Ray Hunt called the meeting to order with the Pledge of Allegiance, and then a prayer.
Joe Gamaldi then read the meeting dedication for Officer Claude Ronnie Beck who was killed in the line of Duty in 1971.
Ray then addressed the membership in attendance, then introduced Captain Greg Fremin to speak about 911 Heroes Run. Captain Fremin then presented a check for $15,165 each for the 3 charities: Assist the Officer Foundation, Texas Association of First Responders and the Houston Fire Department Local 341.
PATROL OF THE MONTH
Ray then advised the membership that Officers Derry, Perez and Salazar of Southeast Tact were presented with the award of Officer of the month by Sgt. Luis Menendez-Sierra.
INVESTIGATOR OFFICER OF THE MONTH
Ray advised the members that there was not a nominee for Investigator of the Month for December.
Ray informed all in attendance that the treasurer’s report was on the tables and asked if there were any questions. Ray then advised the membership that if they had any questions to contact Tim Butler and he would assist them.
Reminder that the meeting minutes are at HPOU.org
Ray reminded the membership that the City Council-Early voting ends on the 8th and the election will be on December 12th. Ray encouraged all members who were eligible to vote in the election to do so.
Ray advised the membership that the HPOU/TPT picnic was a huge success and the new location provided lots of space and the turn out was great.
Ray then informed the membership of the Doctors Council of Texas flyers which were being passed around. Ray advised this organization was available to assist officers with workers compensation issues. Ray stated that if an officer gets injured to contact, if they wished, this company and they would refer them to doctors who understood the workers compensation issues. Ray stated that workers compensation issues are still a large problem and the HPOU is constantly working on these issues. Ray advised that the phone number for the Doctors Council of Texas was found on the HPOU app under Workers Comp Help.
Ray advised the membership that the Pension Appointment to the State Pension Review Board of Texas was Josh McGee. Ray advised the membership that the HPOU is completely opposed to the appointment and was not made aware of the appointment until it was done. Ray advised that the HPOU along with EVERY other police employee group collectively sent a letter to Governor Abbott’s office conveying our objection. Ray stated Mr. McGee works with the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, which is an organization that seeks to end pension benefits for municipal workers. Ray advised the membership that the HPOU would continue to fight this appointment.
Ray told the membership that the last day for Blue Santa pickup is tomorrow at 2pm in the gym.
Ray mentioned to the membership that a meeting for the new Open Carry law will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 9th 7pm at the High School for L.E. 4701 Dickson. The meeting can also be seen live stream on HPD Youtube site. Ray reminded the membership that the Open Carry law begins January 1st and at this point there was no clear direction from the leadership in the department on the response from our officers.
Ray then advised the membership that there were changes coming to the Trust Dental and Vision plans. Ray advised the benefits were getting better and if any member was interested in the information it would be available at the Police Trust.
Ray mentioned to the membership that the cookout at Eastside was a success and the next one will be held at the Beechnut Station on Dec. 16th.
Ray reminded the membership that if you were hired prior to 03/30/11 and you pass the Physical Agility test you will receive $800 and if you are hired after 03/30/11 an extra 40 PD hours. Ray advised there were roughly 700 more spots available to collect the cash incentive. Ray then reminded the membership that when he says you receive $800 that is before tax. The incentive money is taxed.
Ray updated the membership about the body cameras and advised they have been approved. Ray stated the roll out should be a twelve to eighteen month process.
Ray advised the membership that Family Assistance has asked that we URGE YOU TO COMPLETE A WILL AND POD. Ray advised not having a will causes problems when an Officer dies and there is no directive on where to distribute their assets. Ray stated that the pension office would do the will for free.
Ray mentioned to the membership that the Kubosh Christmas Party will be held tomorrow at Kim Son from 7pm to midnight.
Ray spoke on the First Responder Peer Support and advised it is still being held on Monday and Thursdays.
Ray advised the membership that Fuzzy’s Taco has a 50% off for Officers in uniform. Also today is the last day for the Dillard’s 20% Discount.
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 thanked the Four Seasons Hotel for the Thanksgiving Buffet for Officers who were working on Thanksgiving.
Ray advised the membership that the Chief has authorized Officers to sit on prisoners for Comp time.
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 the Peer support group is live 832-200-3499 and that if any Officer was in need of assistance or knew of an Officer who needed help, to please call for assistance.
Ray advised the membership that there are guns for purchase from Tim Butler. Tim has AR-15s in stock, which will be sold at cost and in addition he has .223 ammo.
Ray reminded the members that all in-service and police memorial was now on duty as of February 26th 2015 and forward.
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.
Ray reminded the membership that HPOU will be closed Dec. 24-25 and New Years Day.
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 $60 compared to the ER visit of $300. Because the city is self-insured, the ER visits increase the costs to the COH.
Ray Hunt reminded everyone to wear seat belts at all times and to watch your speed because the Chief is now monitoring from his desk.
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 on Twitter at @hpoutx. The HPOU is working to increase communications to members.
Next Union Meeting will be on January 7th. Ray wished everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy 2016.
Ray then advised the membership of new members to be accepted would be all of Class 223, and Eric Vento. The first motion for the new members made by Doug Griffith and the second by Luis Menendez Sierra. The motion carried.
Ray Hunt announced the door prizes.
Kawanski Nichols made a motion to adjourn the meeting, and Joseph Castaneda second the motion. The motion passed by a majority of membership
Minutes prepared by: Nancy Jones Assistant Secretary