This year’s HPOU Scholarship topic addresses proper student reaction when stopped by police

Tom Kennedy

The topic of this year’s HPOU Scholarship essay prompts applicants to present opinions about how students should conduct themselves when stopped by police.

Officially, the essay question is:


Texas State Senator John Whitmire plans to introduce a bill

to teach high school students how to conduct themselves when

being stopped by the police?

Are you for or against this?  Please explain.


Please bear in mind that you can’t post your entries on Facebook. Nor may you tweet them for all to see.

This special Section B of this issue contains all the necessary paperwork for prospective applicants.

As usual, the scholarship applicants must express their opinions in a special essay entry that is required to meet a deadline set for 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24, no exceptions.

Entrants must be dependents of an active or retired HPOU member. And each one must be a high school senior who will be entering college for the first time in the fall.

Last year the HPOU presented 77 scholarships totaling $34,000 – both new records since the program’s inception.

“We expect similar numbers this year, even more in all likelihood,” HPOU 2nd Vice President Joe Gamaldi told the Badge & Gun. “It’s exciting to see that we always seem to see huge increases in the number of applicants as well as the amount of scholarship money awarded. This is always a great way to recognize our greatest asset – our children.”

And those offspring bound for college in the fall won’t get by with just filling out the application (available in this issue). They must also research and opine in an ongoing debate and make their case in an essay of three to four pages dedicated to this year’s topic.

To qualify for a scholarship, a student must:

  • Be a dependent of an active or retired member in good standing with the HPOU
  • Be a high school senior who will be entering college for the first time
  • Submit the application along with a copy of his or her high school transcript
  • Submit a written essay of 3-4 pages on a topic that has been selected by the HPOU Education Committee
  • Have all these documents and the essay in the office of the Houston Police Officers’ Union by the close of business day provided by the committee. Official transcripts mailed by the student’s school must be postmarked Feb. 24, no exceptions.

The rules require submission of all documents in a letter-sized manila envelope with the applicant’s name on the outside.

The envelope should include the following:


  • Completed Application Form
  • Official High School Transcript
  • The essay
  • A completed commitment letter

    Please note that the high school transcript must be an OFFICIAL SEALED TRANSCRIPT issued from the respective high schools.

Please also note:

  • Unofficial transcripts will not be accepted.
  • Transcripts issued to student/parent will not be accepted.
  • Official transcripts that have been opened or the seal broken will not be accepted.


Applicants are reminded not to include letters of recommendation; they will not be included in the scoring process.

 Essay Instructions

Applicants should submit in their own words a typed, double-spaced essay three or four pages in length.  The paper should be typed in 12-point Times New Roman font with a one-inch margin.

Applicants may attach a cover sheet with his or her name on it; however, the HPOU requests that applicants DO NOT type their names on the essay itself.

Applicants whose submissions are late or do not comply with all the listed criteria will have their application and documents returned. There will be no resubmissions.