According to the latest calculations, approximately one in every five HPD officers is currently using the first-ever HPOU app for cell phones.
This new app, the reality result of the brainstorm of HPOU board member Luis Menendez-Sierra, encapsulates all the information in the 2015 calendar book published annually by the Union for the benefit of its members.
HPOU 2nd Vice President Joe Gamaldi said he was pleased with the 1,450 officers who are using the app but stressed that there is still room for many more users in HPD blue. All you have to do is download it on your cell phone by going to Google Play or iTunes, providing your payroll number and email address. You must be an HPOU member to get it.
Traditionally, HPD officers have never been short of opinions about standard operating procedures. The new app is the product of brainstorming during a complaint session devoted to “making things better.”
Menendez-Sierra, now a sergeant, explained that from his earliest days as an officer he constantly referred to the calendar booklet for key basic information such as phone numbers for the various HPD divisions, using it “as a little Bible.”
He said, “I noticed that the younger officers don’t even look at it and never carry it. They say they use their phone for everything. I thought that maybe we need to put that little book in a phone so everybody can use it.”
It took about a year and a half to make this clever concept a reality. Menendez-Sierra said the Union used a local app developer, Softway Solutions, to create the software. Menendez-Sierra and Gamaldi worked diligently on the content and even made sure the department’s DWI checklist was added, meaning that the app now contains more information than is in the calendar booklet.
From 500 app downloads to officers’ phones the first week, the number has steadily grown over the first four months of availability.
“Everything is in the calendar,” Gamaldi said. “You can keep track of all your stuff, all the phone numbers you need. Say if you needed B and T, all you need to do is click it and call it.
“More and more officers are realizing the convenience. I urge each of those who still don’t have it to get that download ASAP!”