The ups and downs of today’s HPD world

Tom Kennedy, Editor

WE HAVE TO POINT OUT THAT THUMBS-UP AND THUMBS-DOWN opinion pieces often come across as clichés. But when a cliché becomes appropriate for making a case let her roll!

UP – We have to congratulate HPOU President Joe Gamaldi on his election as the national vice president of the National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) at the August national conference in New Orleans. FOP sets the national agenda for police officers and law enforcement in general throughout the nation. It’s encouraging to see one of our own in an important national leadership position.

UP – The Houston City Council – the majority of which stays supportive of HPOU – recognized yet another of HPD’s pioneer policing efforts in a proclamation ceremony on Aug. 20 at City Hall. Councilman Robert Gallegos of District I introduced a proclamation honoring the HPD Chicano Squad, formed 40 years ago in the Homicide Division to serve as a special investigative squad designed to deal with a growing number of violent crimes involving the increasing number of Hispanic immigrants. The squad’s reception may have raised eyebrows at first but proved to be highly successful in solving crimes involving the emigrant population. Gallegos didn’t stop with this one day of recognition. He has used his office’s funding mechanism to pay for a special Chicano Squad exhibit at the HPD Museum. Thank you, Councilman Gallegos!

DOWN – District Attorney Kim Ogg. We still can’t say anything positive for Ogg’s dealings with policing in Houston and the overall support for the needs of law enforcement throughout Harris County. We will give a thumbs-up when Ogg is defeated in the upcoming election year.

UP – Make your plans now to get (not purchase) tickets for every one of your family members for the annual HPOU Family Picnic set for Saturday, Nov. 9 at Oil Ranch. Get the details in the story and the flyer in this issue of the Badge & Gun. The exciting day-long event continues to be the most popular Union family event of the year.

UP – It was good to see Officer John Daily at the August general membership meeting. Officer Daily (see story in this issue) still has a long way to go in his recovery from the Christmas Eve collision with a drunk driver on Telephone Road. The serious burns he suffered from resulted in more than 30 surgeries. And he’s not out of the woods yet. Still, we are proud to note that you can’t keep a brave HPD officer down!

DOWN – the aforementioned drunk driver remains at large despite ardent investigative efforts by Daily’s fellow officers. We hope and pray the perpetrator is found and faces the consequences.

And so, we start the new autumn with more positives than negatives. We hope that’s a steady trend henceforth.