It should be fairly safe to believe few HPD officers had ever heard of the Los Angeles School Police Department until the officers in that 400-member agency showed how much they cared for their brothers and sisters in water-logged Houston.
They realized that HPD officers and their families would be devastated in the water and needed help.
“When we heard Harvey had landed in Texas, everybody out here began monitoring it and saw the early images through the media and law enforcement agencies,” LASP Sgt. Julie Spry said in an interview.
“One of the deputy chiefs said we need to send help to the family in blue in Texas.”
The supervisor made it clear: “Put a plan together how we’re going to help the Houston Police Department.”
The LA Unified School District patrols 1,200 schools over the 710 square miles in the city of Los Angeles. The fourth largest PD in LA County has two unions, the LA School Officers Association and – for sergeants, detectives and above – the LA School Management Association.
Spry, a 13-year veteran, holds membership in the management union.
Both unions agreed to work together to collect funds for Houston officers. “We wanted this to be a humanitarian effort,” Spry explained. “We wanted to show that we really care for you guys and want to help you rebuild and see the officers go back to work and don’t have to deal with unlivable conditions.”
The union leaders knew the growing reputation of Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo. Spry sent him a private Twitter message and the chief made immediate arrangements for her to talk to HPOU President Ray Hunt.
Of the fundraising effort, the sergeant said, “It was something everyone understood: This has to be done; let’s make it happen. Both of the union presidents and boards understood and went out of their way to make sure that the mission was completed.”
Spry and leaders of the unions decided that to demonstrate their caring they would deliver a check to Hunt and the HPOU. They flew in and spent a day in Houston, making an appearance at the Union’s general membership meeting.
They presented Hunt with a check for $7,850.
“The hospitality and wecoming we received from HPOU was outstanding and I couldn’t be any more proud to say that I got to meet these leaders, the officers, the team.
“When anybody asks me about Houston, I will say those people are the most caring folks I’ve ever met.”
It will be safe to say that HPD officers are now very much aware of the policing agency known as the Los Angeles School Police Department and recognize one of the kindest gestures ever extended by their fellow officers in blue.