September 7 Membership Meeting Minutes
Ray Hunt called the meeting to order with the Pledge of Allegiance and then a prayer led by Rev. Corey Wilson. A moment of silence was requested from all present in honor of Sergeant Steve Perez’s tragic on-duty death serving the citizens of Houston during the departmental mobilization response to Hurricane Harvey.
Joe Gamaldi read the meeting dedication for Officers Edward Fitzgerald and William Phares who were killed in the Line of Duty in 1930.
Ray introduced Twila Carter from the Houston Astros organization along with Charlene Floyd of the Police Foundation. Ray thanked them both for their supporting efforts to law enforcement and first responders during a catastrophic flooding event that effected the majority of the Texas Gulf Coast region. Twila provided Ray with 500 upcoming regular season game tickets to provide to HPD officers in appreciation for their service.
Ray introduced Gilbert Gamez, Julie Spry representing LA School PD who had taken up a money collection from their agency personnel and present Ray with a check toward hurricane relief efforts. In addition, Sgt. Spry advised that the LA school district was also collecting school supplies that will be sent to Houston to help those impacted by the wide spread flooding in the area.
Ray introduced Lennie Ambrose from St. Arnold’s Brewery who stated that he wanted to give thanks to first responders and as small token of appreciate he was providing 14 cases of St. Arnold’s beer to give away for HPD’s dedicated efforts.
Ray introduced District Attorney Kim Ogg who addressed the HPOU membership. DA Ogg stated that the Harris County Probable Cause Court and the District Attorney office sustained some flood damage but were up and running. DA intake is now located at the old grand jury assembly location.
DA Ogg stated that she also has concerns regarding low bonds being set for criminals in aggravated cases and is working on dealing with recent legislative changes to the bail process. DA Ogg added that bail is set by pretrial services not the DA’s office but ADA’s will be asking magistrate judges to place conditions to bail set.
Ray stated DA Kim Ogg has always responded quickly to questions he has forwarded to her office.
PATROL OF THE MONTH / INVESTIGATOR OFFICER OF THE MONTH
Ray advised that the entire Patrol and Investigations Division were being recognized for their efforts with the Boy Scouts candy fund raiser.
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 all that the minutes are posted at HPOU.org
Ray wanted to thank all of the following high-profile friends for their support for first responders and all those effected by Hurricane Harvey; Dallas Keuchel, Whitney Merciless, Jeff Bagwell, 10 New York Mets players in town, Dana Tyson, Michael Berry, Mike Sullivan, Jack Christie, Dave and Laura Ward, Andre Johnson and James Harden.
Ray stated that the upcoming HPOU election sign-up ends on October 5th at 10am.
Ray expressed appreciation for the Baton Rouge District Attorney’s and associates that had traveled to Houston and set-up at HPOU to cook several meals for first responders.
Ray recognized the dedicated law enforcement investigative efforts of the HPD Special Victims Unit for getting numerous pedophile offenders off the streets.
Ray recognized Jack Christie and associates from Kelsey Seybold who were offering first responders chiropractic adjustments at HPOU.
Ray reminded all in attendance to make sure and turn on their body cameras. Failure to do so will result in stiff discipline including up to termination. Ray stated that the body camera’s low battery life is still an issue and a viable remedy to the problem is still being looked at.
Ray gave thanks to Billy Graham of the Rapid Response Group for their support.
Ray stated that the current HPOU contract will expire next December and added that the current contract includes one additional pay raise of 3.48% across the board. Ray requested that members need to send an email suggesting changes they would like to see take place in the next contract.
Ray stated that the 911 Heroes Run has been rescheduled to Saturday, November 11th. For more information see Captain Greg Freeman or Doug Griffith.
Ray informed the membership that the next station cookout hasn’t been identified yet due to flooding issues but will be made know at the October 5th HPOU General Membership Meeting.
Ray informed the membership that due to HPD mobilization for Hurricane Harvey PD days will be allowed to be carried over.
Ray stated that the attached VFW Post will be hosting a brief ceremony at the HPOU flag pole at 7:30am on Monday, September 11th.
Ray stated that Martinizing Dry Cleaners located at 822 Durham Drive has offered free uniform cleaning this week.
Ray stated that the prayer room at HPOU will be opened for all members. All personnel are encouraged to come by if you have a few minutes.
Ray spoke on the First Responder Peer Support and advised it is live: 832-200-3499 HOPA.
Ray advised the membership if they needed a Realtor to use Michael Bender who advertises in the Badge and Gun.
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 seat belts at all times and to watch your speed.
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.
Ray stated that Smoothy King was out in the HPOU back parking lot today along with Subway.
Ray asked that anyone with related pictures to flooding rescue and/or volunteer efforts to please forward them to email@example.com (with a brief description).
The next meeting will be on October 5th.
Ray Hunt announced the door prizes, 3 sets of Astro’s prime tickets, 2 dinner gift cards to the Brazilian Steakhouse, 2 Artic Cups donated by Kelsey Seybold, several shirts and the 500 Astro’s remaining regular season tickets that were donated.
Ken Neely made a motion to adjourn the meeting, and Doug Griffith seconded the motion. The motion passed by a majority of membership.
Minutes prepared by: Cole Lester Assistant Secretary