This year’s Police Week activities begin with special service at the Police Memorial

Tom Kennedy, Editor

It can truly be said that Houstonians go to great lengths to honor Houston’s finest during National Police Week held across the nation each May.

This year will be more of the same – from Friday the 10th through Friday the 17th – when events are scheduled to increase the public’s awareness of the role of police officers in the Bayou City and the steps they take on a daily basis to protect the citizenry. During the week Houston will recall with ultimate respect those officers who made the ultimate sacrifice of their lives so that honest, hard-working residents may live in safety and peace.

“This year’s activities,” Police Chief Art Acevedo said, “will include four important events in which employees and their families are encouraged to participate. All officers and citizens are encouraged to drive with their headlights on in remembrance of the peace officers who have given their lives while protecting our cities.”

Following another long-established tradition, HPOU will host a reception prior to the memorial ceremony, an event always co-sponsored by the Houston Police Retired Officers Association (HPROA). Especially recognized, as always, will be the surviving families of HPD’s 114 officers who died in the line of duty.

The reception begins at 5 p.m. Friday the 10th at the Breck Porter Building, 1602 State St. Beginning at 6:20 p.m. transportation will be provided to the Memorial, which will be the scene of a roll call of the 114 fallen heroes and a candlelight vigil.

Transportation also will be provided back to the Union where more visiting and fellowship always takes place on this, one of the very special occasions of the year, especially for the co-host HPROA members.

By time-honored tradition, this year’s Police Week activities will include:

The Annual Police Week Memorial Service to honor those officers who have given their lives in the line of duty will be held on Friday, May 10, at the Houston Police Officers Memorial site. The procession down Memorial Drive will begin at 7 p.m. The candlelight vigil will include the placing of a wreath on the Memorial, a roll call of deceased officers, a 21-gun salute, the playing of TAPS and a fly-over by HPD police Helicopters.

Clergy leaders will hold a Day of Prayer at 10 a.m., on Wednesday, May 15, at the Edward A. Thomas Building at 1200 Travis. This event will be facilitated by Houston area clergy members to reinforce the partnership that exists between the community and our department.

The Police Week Awards Ceremony Luncheon to recognize officers and civilian employees for outstanding achievements will be held at noon on Friday, May 17, at the Downtown Aquarium, 401 Bagby. The ceremony will feature the reading of the Mayor’s Proclamation and award presentations. This event has limited seating and admittance is by invitation only.

The Houston Police Training Division located at 17000 Aldine Westfield will be conducting free tours of the facility. These tours will begin with an orientation at 9:45 a.m. and conclude at 1 p.m., Wednesday through Friday, May 15-17. Tours must be pre-scheduled via email at HPDMuseum@houstonpolice.org and must include the approximate number of attendees, grade level(s), a contact person, and school district information.

This year the Department has chosen to name the honorees prior to the presentation ceremony. And they are:

Manager of the Year

Commander Belinda Null

Mid-Manager of the Year

Lieutenant Timothy Trometer

Investigative Supervisor of the Year

Sergeant Luis Menendez-Sierra

Administrative Classified Employee of the Year

Sergeant Michael D. Gunter

Civilian Administrative/Para Professional

Senior Office Assistant Judy Tristan

FTO of the Year

Officer Robert Segura

Patrol Officer of the Year

Officer Brandon Stephens

Officer Dean Nguyen

Civilian Support Services Employee of the Year

Sr. Police Telecommunicator Nicole O’Dell

Technical Support Employee of the Year

Officer Aaron Schumann

Instructor of the Year

Sergeant Melissa Holbrook

Proactive Investigator of the Year

Officer Jorge Ortega

Undercover Investigator of the Year

Officer Wesley Jones

Partners of the Year

Officer John Stroble

Officer Michael Barrow

Civilian Manager of the Year

Information Systems Administrator Carlos Salas

Civilian Supervisor of the Year

Police Telecommunicator Supervisor Irma Munoz

Patrol Supervisor of the Year

Sergeant Andrew Mustain

Tactical Officer of the Year

Officer Shane Krantz

Senior Police Officer of the Year

Officer Michael Zientek

CIT Officer of the Year

Officer Robert Hatfield

DRT/CSO of the Year

Officer Matthew Simon

Civilian Technical Employee of the Year

Technical Hardware Analyst III John Guynn

Specialized Officer of the Year

Sergeant Patrick Morrissey

Reactive Investigator of the Year

Officer David Yoon

Civilian Professional Employee of the Year

Counselor Jennifer Baker

Rookie of the Year

Officer Ana Bertens

Lifetime Achievement Award

Sergeant Paul Weido (posthumous)

Officer Norberto Ramon (posthumous)

Officer Charles Starks

For information regarding the Memorial Service contact Sergeant James Armstrong in the Honor Guard office at 713-247-5826.

For the Police Week Awards, contact Awards Coordinator Shelly Molina at 713-308-3245.

For information regarding the Day of Prayer, contact Senior Police Officer Barry Curtis at 713-775-1857.

For Police Academy tours, contact Senior Police Officer Steve Duffy at 832-394-2360.