Membership Meetings for August 6
Ray Hunt called the meeting to order with the Pledge of Allegiance, and Bishop Lewis began the meeting in prayer.
The meeting was dedicated to Officer Robert Shultea who died in the line of duty August 1956. 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: PCT 4 Constable Mark Herman with Jessica from Tax Office, and our good friend Mike Sullivan of the Harris County Tax Office.
INVESTIGATOR OF THE MONTH
Sgt. Hahn presented Officers from the Houston Metro- Internet Crimes Against Children Unit the award for the Investigator of the Month. The following Officers received the award, Officer T. Jackson, M. Carmichael, N. Jones and S. Wyatt, and Sgt Lem.
PATROL OFFICER OF THE MONTH
Sgt. Luis-Menendez Sierra presented Officer Caballero assigned to Northeast Patrol the award for the Patrol Officer of the Month.
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.
Ray reminded the membership in attendance that the minutes are at HPOU.org and any question should be directed to Will Reiser in regards to the minutes.
Ray told the membership about the upcoming HPOU election and timeline. Ray advised which positions were up for election, and informed the membership that Lt. Al Elizondo was the current Election Committee Chairman. Ray stated that the announcement for the election would be in the July-August Badge and Gun. Ray also stated that the Badge and Gun would be in a new format, which is a magazine style monthly publication.
Ray advised the membership the new uniform distribution has been completed at the HPOU, now everyone will have to go to uniform supply and then Lone star to get their uniforms. He advised they are still looking at a dress pant for the new uniform. Ray also stated that at this time there is no official date to cease wearing the light blue uniforms, but he anticipates it will be announced in the next 30-45 days. Ray also advised earpieces for police radios are being looked into as well.
Ray advised the membership that a pamphlet will be coming out regarding the Doctors Council of Texas (workers comp issues). Ray advised this organization would assist an injured employee to find Doctors who understand and know the workers compensation process to aide the employee in correctly completing the workers compensation paperwork. This service is at no cost to the HPOU.
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 a 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 advised the Board that the NAPO affiliation cost us around $28,000 a year and NAPO wants to increase the dues by $1 per member. Ray stated that he, Tom Hayes, and Mark Clark went to the NAPO convention and were very dissatisfied with what NAPO is doing. Ray advised that the Board had voted to discontinue membership in NAPO and that the following month the membership would vote in the general membership meeting whether or not we continue our NAPO membership.
Ray advised the membership that there is talk of moving the Police Headquarters to 800 Bell as opposed to building a new facility at 61 Riesner. He stated he wrote a letter to Mayor Parker to oppose the move to 800 Bell. Ray also stated that there was a rumor that Chevron wanted the Police headquarters on Bell, but that was incorrect. Chevron opposes the move claiming the traffic would be horrific. Ray advised the Union does not support moving the Police Headquarters to 800 Bell.
Ray reminded the membership that if an officer is not a member of the HPOU there will be no legal representation. Ray stated it was unfair to members who pay their monthly dues for someone to get representation if they are not a member. He stated the DPS Trooper that arrested Sandra Bland was not a member of any Police union, so he will have to pay to be represented by an attorney out of his own pocket.
Ray advised that the Cookout at HPOU was a success and the next one will be held on Wednesday August 19th at South Central.
Ray advised the membership that Officer Winston Rawlins who was killed in 1982 is the only graduate from St. Thomas High School who became a Houston Police Officer and was killed in the line of duty. Ray stated he would like to start a campaign to have him in the Hall of Honor at St. Thomas High School. Ray received full support from the Board.
Ray advised the membership that there has been an additional $15k donated from Alan Helfman to Crime Stoppers for information leading to the conviction of the killer of Officer Charlie Clark.
Ray advised the membership that the residency incentive for police officers to move into the City of Houston has been completed by the LRC. Ray stated that the City would now have to figure out if this program will work. Ray said that the monies from this program couldn’t be taken from the current or future police budgets. Ray was not optimistic that this program would take affect.
Ray then informed the membership of the Garnet Coleman traffic stop. Ray stated Coleman had been stopped on traffic and issued a warning. Coleman then went in a committee and claimed he was treated poorly, like a child and was disrespected. When he made these allegations, the Officer who initiated the stop found the video and it was released. In the video it clearly shows Coleman was not treated rude or like a child and in fact he was speeding at over 90 mph and was shown a great deal of respect. Ray then reached out to Coleman and spoke to his office seeking a comment. Garnet Coleman stated he was not going to apologize and that he was treated like a child.
Several legislators had also advised Ray, that they had contacted him and told him he should make the apology, but he is refusing to acknowledge the lies he had told in regards to the stop. For this reason, Ray read a press release he wanted to send out issuing a No Confidence Vote for Coleman.
Ray stated thanks to all who attended the naming of 1200 Travis after Mr. Thomas. Ray stated unfortunately he was out of town but he wanted to be there. Ray was proud that the building would be named in honor of a lifelong patrolman.
Ray informed the board members that there was a First Responder Peer Support program which was/would be held on Mondays and Thursdays. Ray was surprised that on the first meeting there were five Officers and the second there were three. Ray wanted the membership to know this was a program that was available to any Officer who needed the assistance.
Ray reminded members to refer friends and family to recruiting, who would be interested in becoming a Houston Police officer.
Ray advised the membership that Patrick Fagan tennis classic needs players and brochures will be on stage for any officer who is interested in playing in the tennis tournament.
Ray advised the membership that a trust was established for both of Officer Martin’s kids for over 120k each, payable when the oldest child has their 30th birthday.
Ray advised the membership that SeaWorld of San Antonio has free admission for LEO +3 guests through Monday, September 7th.
Ray reminded the Officers at the meeting to download and use the new HPOU app and it is available through Google or Apple.
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 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 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 its 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.
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 September 3rd.
Ray reminded the membership about the Hero 911 Run which would be held September 11.
Ray advised the membership of the upcoming Women’s Shields of Christ event which would be on August 13- August 16. Contact Officer Robles for additional details.
Ray advised the membership to expect Sgt. Trey Coleman and Officer Mike Newsome to be running in the upcoming Pension Board election. Ray then allowed each officer to address the membership briefly explaining his or her reasons to run for the Pension Board.
Ray then asked the membership to accept all of Class 222 as new members. The motion was made by Joe Gamaldi and second by Kawanski Nicols. The motioned carried.
Ray Hunt announced the door prizes.
Joe Gamaldi made a motion to adjourn the meeting with a second by Will Reiser. The motion carried and the meeting was adjourned.
Minutes prepared by: Nancy Jones Secretary