I recently had the pleasure of attending the benefit for Houston Police Department legend Jerry Flores. If you did not have the opportunity to attend, please allow me to pass along the following thoughts on the event.
Although I was amazed by the turnout, they easily had several hundred if not a thousand people at the event, I was not surprised. The officers of this department have shown time and time again that the brotherhood/sisterhood of law enforcement is alive and well.
Not only do we back each other every day on the street, but when one of our Blue Family members needs our support we always answer the call. Like every benefit before it and Jerry’s, the HPD Blue Family showed up in full force as we rallied around a brother in need. Not only did we show our support, but our community stepped up in a big way.
The Astros were kind enough and Houston Strong enough to host the benefit and we cannot thank Reid Ryan and Twila Carter enough for their generous hospitality. I also want to thank the local leaders in our community for attending as well: Mayor Turner, Senator Whitmire, Council Members Gallegos, Stardig, Boykins, Christie, Rep Alvarado, Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, Pasadena Mayor Jeff Wagner (retired HPD), Constable Alan Rosen and ever-reliable auctioneer and contributor Allen Helfman. Of course, I apologize to anyone I may have missed.
Finally, thank you to Stephanie Reyes and her team, Assist the Officer, The Thin Blue Line, Jeff McShan, Steve Garcia, Todd Young and anyone else that assisted in coordinating the event. I know we will all continue to keep Jerry and his family in our daily thoughts and prayers.
The support we have shown for our own is no different than the support that was shown for us just one year ago during Hurricane Harvey. Departments from across this country and across the world sent monetary donations, clothing, equipment, toiletries, etc. to help us in our hour of need.
I believe that left a lasting impression on all of us. The truth is we are a shining example to the rest of the law enforcement community on how to take care of one another and I wanted to take the time to acknowledge every single one of you for supporting your fellow brother/sister officers and their families.
Pay Parity Fire Department
As you all know by now, the ballot initiative from the Firefighters Union requesting parity with Houston police officers, was placed on the Nov. 6 ballot by City Council. Council was legally bound to take this action and we were encouraged to see that almost all of Council opposes the measure and only one, Councilman Dwight Boykins, actually supports this madness.
Not to restate the obvious but the HPOU is 100 percent opposed to pay parity and we will be out in the public educating Houstonians on the perils of pay parity and how it will plunge the city into financial distress. We will do our best to insure the community is educated and encourage everyone to VOTE NO.
Just as we all rally together around our Blue Family when they need assistance, there may come a time when the HPOU will call on you to participate in educating the public on the monetary perils of parity. We will be fighting for our very future, my hope is when we request help, it could be as simple as learning some talking points or even showing up at polling locations, that you will apply the same vigor and zeal you show when supporting officers in need.
We live in a 24/7 news cycle where in an instant a video of an officer doing his/her job can go viral. This happened just the other day as officers from Northbelt did a fantastic job subduing a violent suspect who was wanted in an Aggravated Assault and had a firearm in his vehicle.
We immediately contacted the officers involved, got the entire story and started using our social media platforms to make sure everyone had the facts. We were not going to allow anyone to spin the story, making the dirtbag suspect into some good guy being tackled by our officers for “no reason.”
We didn’t stop there. We continued to pound our message by appearing on local news outlets and eventually every national news outlet picked up the story for us. The important message in all of this is, if you are involved in an incident like this or if you see a video of HPD officers online beginning to pick up steam, CALL US.
As long as you give us permission, we will begin combating any false narratives and insuring that the facts are brought to light. But in any situation like this, time is of the essence, so please don’t hesitate to reach out.
As always, be safe out there and if you need anything I am only a phone call away, text (832-283-9492), or you can also reach me at the following: email (email@example.com), message on Facebook, DM on twitter (@JoeGamaldi).