Membership Meeting Minutes for June 4
Ray Hunt called the meeting to order with the Pledge of Allegiance, and began the meeting in prayer.
The meeting was dedicated to Officer Jeter Young who died in the line of duty June 21, 1921. Joseph Gamaldi read the dedication.
Ray then addressed the membership in attendance and pointed out several guests who were at the meeting. The following were some of the persons pointed out by Ray Hunt: Alan Helfman, Gene Birdwell, Wayne Mosley, Eric Fagan, Charlene Floyd, Gary Plotkin, Johnny Whitehead and Senator John Whitmire.
Ray then notified the membership of the new Board Member David Dedo who was recently appointed to position #6. Ray pointed out David who was standing in the rear of the meeting room.
INVESTIGATOR OF THE MONTH
There were no nominations for Investigator of the Month.
PATROL OFFICER OF THE MONTH
Officer Richard Martin was honored as Officer of the Month and a contribution was made to the Assist the Officer Foundation in his honor. Ray then made a special thanks to the Houston Astros for their support of Tyler, Officers Martins son, at the Astros game. Ray advised that Reid Ryan had made contact with the HPOU and donated 2100 tickets to the game where Tyler threw out the first pitch.
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.
Reminders that the minutes are at HPOU.org
Ray told the membership about the recent PTSD benefit which was held at the HPOU. Ray advised that the benefit was a huge success and raised over fourteen thousand dollars for the PTSD foundation. Ray then called Alan Helfman and Gene Birdwell to the stage to make the presentation of the check. A check of $14,546.08 was presented to the PTSD Foundation. Ray then asked Helfman to remain on the stage while he spoke of the generosity of Alan Helfman. Ray stated that Helfman donated forty sports memorabilia items, which were auctioned off. Ray continued and stated that Helfman always assists the HPOU whenever there is a benefit. Ray advised the membership that if they needed a vehicle to contact Alan directly for the best deal. Ray then asked Tom Hayes and John Yencha to come to the stage where Alan Helfman was presented a commerative rifle with the Houston Police Department logo on it.
Ray then had Senator Whitmire come to the stage and address the membership. Senator Whitmire expressed his gratitude for the HPOU in the fight in Austin. Whitmire gave brief explanations of the battles which occurred in Austin, and the team work necessary between the HPOU and other organizations to fight the fight. Whitmire then made the comment about the retirement of Gary Hicks and quickly found out that the membership had not been notified. Ray then advised the membership of Gary Hicks retiring from the Police Department and resigning his position from the HPOU. Gary Hicks will truly be missed.
Ray then called Terry Bratton to the stage where he commented on the recent Legislative Session in Austin. Terry advised that the HPOU had defeated all legislation brought against our Pensions, but this would not be the final battle. Terry advised that this would continue in two years and just get harder. Terry advised all the membership in attendance that if they did not give to PAC they need to, and if they did but their buddy didn’t, they need to get them too.
Ray then mentioned to the membership of an upcoming event for all female Police Officers. Ray stated that there would be a Shields of Christ event from August 12 through August 15. If any officer was interested they should contact Officer Robles.
Ray then gave an update on the body camera issue. Ray stated that it is rumored that the City now has the top two vendors selected. Ray also stated that all the other major cities have Taser product, which offer the dock and walk option. Ray stated that the selected vendors for the City do not have this option and that the Union would not support any system which was deficient in this ability.
Ray then advised that the new uniform is supposed to be issued in July. Ray advised that after all the uniforms are issued we will no longer be wearing the light blue. Ray also stated the City is looking at a dress uniform pant.
Ray then spoke on the new Taser and advised if any member was having issues good or bad, to please send an email to him at Ray.Hunt@HPOU.org.
Ray stated the Cookout at Westside was a success and the next one will be on Wednesday, June 17th at South-central Command station.
Ray then informed the membership in attendance that on June 27, 2015 there would be Cops on Top event in El Paso. Any member who would like additional information could contact Don Egdorf.
Ray then addressed an issue of RMS. Ray stated that he has requested through the department a 24/7 hotline of super users to address the issues people are still having with RMS.
Ray then advised of the push to get new police recruits. Ray advised that Officers should refer any candidate who is qualified to become Houston Police Officers. Ray stated the new class starts in July and their starting salary will be forty two thousand a year.
Ray then provided an update on the use of spike strips. Ray stated that the loss of Officer Martin was heartbreaking and that the command staff had addressed the issue a couple months prior to his death. The decision they made was to not take the spike strips away as a tool, but use them at the discretion of the Officers involved. The Chief has again looked at the use of the spike strips and will still leave them as a tool but he is looking into purchasing the remote control version of the strip.
Ray then told the membership that he met with the Chief in regards to IAD letters. He was advised that officer will now have two business days to complete the letter. If you are served on a Friday evening you will have Monday and Tuesday to complete the letter and turn it in on Wednesday. The only exception is expedited cases.
Ray then gave kudos to the Houston Police Honor Guard for the Police Week ceremony, which honored our 112 fallen officers.
Ray reminded the Officers at the meeting to download and use the new HPOU app for their smartphones. Ray stated we have 1160 users and we want to continue to grow the use. Ray stated that this is the quickest way for the HPOU to push out notifications to the membership.
Ray then told the members that if they were looking for a mortgage or a refinance to contact Mickey Keys at Mid-American Mortgage. Ray stated for each loan closed, Mickey donates one hundred dollars to the Assist the Officer Foundation. Ray stated just for full disclosure, the only thing provided to the Union by Mickey was a knife to be given out at the meeting day raffle and he bought lunch once for the employees at the Union.
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 the Badge and gun is going public and the email to receive it is Badgeandgun@hpou.org If you have a family or friend who lives in the City of Houston and wants to receive the Badge and Gun, please send an email.
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 and forward.
Ray advised the membership that Mid-American Lending representative Mickey Keyes was here for any officer interested in a refinance or home loan. Ray advised that Mickey Keyes would donate $100 for each loan closed, to the Assist the Officer Foundation.
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 $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.
National First Responders Day – In honor of Sean Collier, MIT officer killed by the Boston Bombers, his brother is starting a movement to create a national first responders day. Please go to www.change.org/firstresponders and sign the petition.
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.
Next Union Meeting will be on August 6th and there is no July meeting. Ray then wished a happy 4th of July to all the members of the HPOU.
Randy Upton advised the membership of the Houston Police Bike Relay Team send off event on June 24, 2015 at City Hall. The event would begin at 0800 hrs. and everyone is invited to attend.
Ray Hunt announced the door prizes.
Paul Ogden made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Gary Hicks seconded the motion. The motion passed by a majority of membership
Minutes prepared by: Will Reiser Secretary