HPD officer numbers growing, pay raises and an upcoming family event

By now you have heard of the family fun events that the HPOU has been putting on for our members and their families across the city. If you haven’t heard, now is a good time to download the HPOU App and/or get added to our eblast list.

A few months back we rented out several movie theaters and allowed our folks to bring their families for a private screening of a movie, free of charge. Last month we sponsored an indoor rock-climbing event for officers and their families.

If you haven’t attended one of our family events yet, you have a wonderful opportunity coming up for the signature event the HPOU puts on every year for our Blue Family, the annual HPOU Family Picnic.

This year the picnic takes place on Saturday Nov. 9 (not the opening weekend of deer season) and runs from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Oil Ranch in Hockley. This is a wonderful opportunity to bring your family out for a safe, fun, free day of activities.

There are all sorts of fun things to do including pony rides, a petting zoo, milking cows, bounce house, train rides, fishing (bring your own bait and tackle), much, much more. And free food! I encourage everyone to come out and enjoy this wonderful day as it is just another way we at the HPOU invest back into our members and their families.

We do a very stressful job, one that takes its toll on all of us physically and emotionally. By providing these events we are attempting to provide a healthy outlet to relieve some of that stress and give you an opportunity to spend quality time with your family, without worrying about the cost.

I have attended each family event and it’s so wonderful to see the smiles on the faces of all the officers and their families as they cut loose if even for a few hours and forget the stresses of their lives. These events are a way to remind us all that we are a part of one big brotherhood/sisterhood and foster a sense of community that is often lost in 2019.

Hope to see you all on Nov. 9 at the Oil Ranch!

Staffing

As I have done several times over the last two years (and will continue to do), I would like to give you an update on the Houston Police Department staffing and the historic progress we have made.

When the HPOU introduced our “Drive for 500” in January 2018 we had approximately 5,100 HPD officers. I am happy to report that as of last month we currently have 5,265 officers. That net growth of 165 officers is the largest addition of officers in a generation. Obviously, the work is not done but we are on track to succeed in adding 500 officers (over attrition) over the five-year time period.

We were successful in once again securing the funding for 375 officers this year and hats off to the HPD recruiting division as they continue to fill the classes. I ask you all to continue to keep your eyes peeled for quality candidates and please attempt to recruit as many people as possible.

Pay Raises

Going hand in hand with our increase in staffing and keeping HPD competitive in the marketplace, we received a four percent across-the-board pay raise in July. The raise was after the first full pay period in July, which would have fallen on the Aug. 1 check. Please double check your paycheck to make sure you received the raise. Remember: Payroll sometimes makes mistakes. If there is an error please contact an HPOU board member immediately. Don’t forget that we still have a three percent raise coming in July 2020 and we are likely to open negotiations in January as we work towards yet another successful contract.

As always, be safe out there and if you need anything I am only a phone call, text away, or you can also reach me at the following: email (jgamaldi@hpou.org), messenger on Facebook, DM on Twitter (@JoeGamaldi).