Meeting Minutes for the August 4 Membership Meeting
Ray Hunt, President, called the meeting to order that was followed with the Pledge of Allegiance and prayer by HPD Chaplin Monty Montgomery.
Joe Gamaldi then read the meeting dedication for Officer Edwin Meinecke, who was killed in the line of Duty in 1917. A niece of Officer Meinecke was in attendance. She provided HPOU a photograph of her uncle so that it can be added to the HPOU “Wall of Honor.”
Ray addressed the membership in attendance and introduced Steve Benavidas of HPD Class #36 and who is presently the Post Commander for (HPD) VFW Post #6010. Steve provided information to the membership on how to become a post member if you quality.
PATROL OF THE MONTH:
Ray advised the membership that Officer Frank Gomez was this month’s recipient of “Officer of the Month.” A summary of Officer Gomez’s award winning activity, submitted by Sergeant Reid Cashdollar, read by Sergeant Luis Menendez -Sierra.
INVESTIGATOR OFFICER OF THE MONTH:
Ray advised the membership that Officer Monica Fortson of the Special Victims Sex Crimes Unit was this month’s recipient of “Investigator of the Month.” A summary of Officer Fortson’s award winning investigative excellence was read by Sergeant Bill Madden of Special Victims Sex Crimes Unit.
CIVILIAN SUPPORT ACKNOWLEDGEMENT:
Ray advised the membership that Officer Moises Zamora of the Narcotics Division, Major Drug Squad, would be presenting an acknowledgement of appreciation to Dorthy Rojilio for her efforts supporting the successful conclusion of an extensive multi agency narcotics investigation.
Ray acknowledged the organized efforts by Sergeant Luis Menendez- Sierra along with numerous members and civilians that assisted in the benefit for disabled HPD Officer Ram Garcia. A video presentation to the membership related to the “First Responder Home Renovation Project” was shown. Jim Dutton, radio host, along with area contractors were acknowledged for their supportive efforts. The project was a huge success.
Ray informed those in attendance that the treasurer’s report was on the tables. Ray then updated/explained to the membership on how the Cynthia Martin matter was being handled by HPOU, while adding it is at “no cost” to the HPOU. Ray stated if anyone had additional concerns or questions to get with him or Tim Butler for clarification.
Ray reminded those in attendance that the minutes are available at HPOU.org
Ray advised the membership that HPOU now has a “Prayer Room” that hopefully soon will be manned 24/7. Ray invited members to go by and check it out.
Ray displayed a “Police Support” sign that Harris County Tax Assessor Mike Sullivan allows posted in the Harris County Tax Offices to show support for Law Enforcement.
Ray explained to the membership why the HPOU Building now has signs posted, “Members Only-Private Property.”
Ray once again addressed the Pension issue with the membership. Ray advised that the HPOU does not negotiate pension benefits but believes the Pension Board will try to come up with a fair agreement and cautioned that the Legislature is looking for a fix to the current pension issues.
Ray advised the membership that HPOU coming election sign-up is for 1st and 2nd Vice President and all even Board Positions. The sign-up will commence at our next General Membership Meeting scheduled for September 1st. Ray added that a resolution to amend the HPOU Constitution, Article II, Section 8 will also be on the voting ballot as well and reads as follows:
“Each of the officers, members of the board of directors, and members of committees and sub-committees shall serve without compensation; provided however, that the board of directors, by majority vote, may provide for reasonable compensation for the services rendered by the Treasure and President of this Union”
Ray advised that Chief Montalvo wants CSU’s back under HPD but that HFSC is still reluctant.
Ray stated to the membership that for the upcoming training cycle starting September 1st “only 32 hours” of training will be required instead of the usual 40 hours as per a directive by Chief Montalvo so that more officers came be out in the field.
Ray advised Chief Montalvo has waived the mandate that Sergeants must approve RMS initiated reports.
Ray stated HPOU supports all three internal HPD candidates who are seeking the COP appointment by Mayor Turner.
Ray informed the membership that Stars and Stripes Golf Tournament was a huge success. Ray then acknowledged Captain Greg Freemin and all those who helped and participated in this worthy event.
Ray stated local business owner, Clay Jones, a big supporter of Law Enforcement and HPD has donated an AR-15 for auction. Ray added that raffle tickets are available now in the HPOU hall foyer.
Ray informed the membership that the 911 Hero Run is scheduled for September 10th in the Clear Lake area. Captain Freemin stated this is a great event for a great cause and encouraged members to show participation and support.
Ray informed the membership that the Texas Association of First Responders is offering an appreciation luncheon at HPOU on August 10th from 11am to 2pm. This event is open to all area law enforcement, so please spread the word.
Ray informed the membership that the Captains promotional exam was held on July 21, with the upcoming Sergeants exam scheduled on August 20th. Ray added that the Lieutenant promotional exam date should be announced soon.
Ray gave a special thanks to Lt. Governor Dan Patrick for his continued support of fallen officers and their families. Ray stated that the Lt. Governor continues to check-on Tyler Martin weekly.
Ray gave an update regarding body cameras advising the membership to make sure and turn on their body cameras ASAP when respond on an active scene. Ray stated in a recent justified shooting incident responding officers hadn’t activated their body cameras and that footage could have been very beneficial in support of the officer’s actions.
Ray stated the Public Safety Financial Group (PSFG) will be offering free Chick-fila meals on Friday, August 12th from 11am to 2pm for those who come by their office with “no obligation” required. Information will be offered on the services they provide.
Ray stated that a Law Enforcement Appreciation Breakfast is scheduled at the FORUM living complex in the southwest area on August 25th from 7am to 10am.
Ray reminded the membership of the Physical Agility test guidelines on who can get $800 and/or an extra 40 PD hours. Ray also reminded the membership that when you receive the $800 that is before tax.
Ray told the membership that the recent pay raises should have been on their paycheck received on July 22nd and added that the HPOU website has a very good “salary calculator” program feature that members can access.
Ray displayed an orange wristband in support of Ted Poe (#TeamPoe) who is currently battling Leukemia. Members and friends can show their support by taking a picture and post it on social media.
Ray advised the membership of an error made recently in the Badge and Gun. Ray advised corrected copies for families who children received scholarships have now been sent out.
Ray then informed the membership that the Texas Wild Game Cook-off is scheduled for September 9th and 10th at the Pasadena Fairgrounds. HPOU will have a booth at the event and members are invited to stop by.
Ray advised that if you use direct deposit for payroll at the HPFCU there is a chance starting in September that your COH payroll check may not get deposited until Fridays instead of the current Thursdays. Ray added this is not an issue caused by the COH or HPFCU but by the clearing house that handles processing. So, if you have auto-bill pay you may want to think about changing dates.
Ray reminded the membership to utilize the Doctors Council of Texas if there injured in the line of duty. Ray advised this would save a lot of headaches in the future dealing with workers compensation.
Ray spoke on the First Responder Peer Support and advised it is still being held on Monday and Thursdays.
Ray reminded to the membership that you can still fill prescriptions at the HEB, Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Sam’s or Kelsey but NOT Target. Target and CVS have been removed from the approved locations to get medication filled.
Ray reminded the Officers at the meeting to get and use the new HPOU app for their smartphones, both Apple and Google. Ray stated that this is the quickest way for the HPOU to push out notifications to the membership.
Ray then reminded the membership if they were in the market for a home loan or refinancing to use Mickey Keys with PHH mortgage. With every closed loan, Mickey makes a $50 donation to the Assist the Officer Foundation.
Ray reminded the membership to please be on time for in-service schools. Ray advised the Academy is going to start enforcing the start times and if you’re late you will not be admitted to the class.
Ray reminded the membership that if you were not a member of the organization you would receive no member benefits.
Ray advised the membership that HOPA Peer support group is live 832-200-3499. If any Officer is in need of assistance or you know of an Officer who needs help, please call.
Ray advised the membership that there are guns for purchase from Tim Butler. Tim has AR-15’s in stock, which will be sold at cost.
Ray then told the members to remember to KEEP YOUR FIELD NOTES! Ray advised we would address this in the legislature but for now officers need to keep them.
Ray Hunt reminded everyone to restrict his or her HCAD and voter registration information. Spouse may restrict voter information as well.
HPOU.org – Please update your address and/or email address at the HPOU office or by visiting www.HPOU.org (member tab).
Public Safety Financial Group (PSFG) –Thinking of retiring go see PSFG for a free financial analysis. The analysis is valued at approximately $500 and there is no obligation to join PSFG. Contact PSFG at 832-200-3440 for an appointment.
URGENT CARE vs. ER – Ray advised the membership to use urgent care centers instead of emergency rooms. Urgent care facilities are $65 compared to the ER visit of $400. Because the city is self-insured, the ER visits increase the costs to the COH.
Ray reminded everyone to wear their seat belts at all times and to watch your speed.
Sobering Center – Ray asked all members to support and utilize the sobering center. Utilizing the sobering center helps the city and is an easy process for officers. Most officers are unsure of the location so encourage officers to look up the area before having to transport a person to the facility.
Facebook/Twitter – Ray Hunt asked members to invite officers to “like” the HPOU Facebook page. Additionally, HPOU is now on Twitter at @hpoutx. The HPOU is working to increase communications to members.
The next meeting will be on September 1st.
Retired HPD Sergeant Paul Ogden addressed the membership on purchasing raffle tickets for an AR-15 and BBQ benefit tickets to help support (24 hour) care needs for a HPD officer’s son. The officer passed away just 10 days shy of 20 years of service and therefore did not qualify for full pension benefits.
Ray advised the membership that it is time again to schedule your physical and to get your biometric numbers as required to qualify to receive the COH Medical Insurance discount offer.
Ray advised the membership that Chief Montalvo has approved “black only” tattoo arm sleeve covers so that individuals affected can adhere to department policy.
Ray asked members to pick-up PTSD-“VET’s Need Help” flyers to pass out to anyone you may come in contact with that could benefit from the service offered.
All of Cadet Class 226, Luis Menendez –Sierra made the motion with a second from Tom Hayes, the motion passed the membership.
Ray Hunt announced the door prizes; four sets of Astro’s tickets along with a special door prize, a $50 gift certificate to Brazilian Steak House.
Joe Castenada made a motion to adjourn the meeting, and Monty Montgomery seconds the motion. The motion passed by a majority of membership.
Minutes prepared by: Cole Lester, Assistant Secretary