Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Houston Policeman (1972) Part Five

Click Play Above - provided by HPD Museum - courtesy of Master Computer Video Productions

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Houston Policeman (1972) Part Four

Click Play Above - provided by HPD Museum - courtesy of Master Computer Video Productions

Friday, March 27, 2009

Meet Your Recruiter

Courtesy of Mr. Larry Curley - HPD Photo Lab

My name is Officer John Wall and I have been a Houston Police Officer for 16 years. Before joining HPD, I worked in a laboratory while attending college. I realized this was not what I wanted to do for a living. I happened to hear on the radio that HPD was hiring. Always being interested in law enforcement, I drove to the recruiting office and filled out an application. The rest is history.

I patrolled the streets for 11 years before transferring to recruiting. It was important for me to share my excitement with the ones wanting to make a difference like me. I have had so many memorable experiences in my career with HPD; however, the one that stands out the most involved a mother who could not find her child. The fear I observed in her face and voice was devastating to me. Amazingly, we found the child several hours later and she was unharmed. What a rewarding experience to see the mother being reunited with her child.

I am Officer Wall, and I am a Recruiter.



Perhaps, you didn't find police work. Perhaps, it found you. Perhaps, you are here because, like the sick child who grows up to be a doctor, some experience made a lasting impression on you. Perhaps, you want to make a difference in your community. Or, you are sick and tired of the crime and disorder in society and believe you can make a difference. Never let anyone tell you that you cannot make a difference. We all make differences. If, in 20 years on the job, you save one life, you have made a difference. If you catch only one rapist, you have made a difference. If you slow down just one speeder and keep one child from getting struck, you have made a difference. You may feel your contributions are insignificant in the big picture of life, but together, you make a huge difference. You are here because you can make that difference.

By Robert W. Peetz, M.C.J.
Criminal Justice Professor, Midland College, Midland, Texas

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Crooks - Fit or Smart

Chasing a burglary suspect through backyards of a suburban neighborhood has its challenges. You have fences to jump, swimming pools to go around and the most challenging, dogs to deal with.

As the suspect jumped fences keeping a steady lead during the foot chase I have to admit that I was losing my breath. I was young and fit, but it was a long foot chase. How is it that I am a trained professional, in great shape, right out of the academy and I was unable to catch the burglar? Did he go to some sort of Burglar’s Academy? Was he taught to avoid capture just as I was trained to capture? Maybe his will to get away and avoid being put in jail outweighed all my training. Was it adrenaline perhaps? Probably not, I had plenty of that also. He may have been my equal in the “fit” department, but not so sure about the “smarts” department. I do not profess to be the smartest person around, but I know enough not to become a crook. I digress.

Fence after fence I kept up. Finally after jumping the final fence in the neighborhood, I lost sight of the burglar. Where had he gone? I noticed a large doghouse in the corner of the yard. Had he been eaten by a large animal we call “man’s best friend?” Was I next? Either way, I was not going to take a chance. I slowed down to a crawl as to not disturb the sleeping beast within. I was still in a hurry; after all I did not want to waste a good foot chase for nothing. Just as I was about to jump the fence without disturbing the dog, I heard a loud growl come from the doghouse. This could be bad. I was about to continue my pursuit, and most importantly get away from the mean pup, but something did not sound right. The dog was either very sick or was some sort of pet that was “not dog.” I had to look. I peered inside and noticed a blanket was definitely covering something big.

Remember how I talked about “smarts” earlier in my story? This crook did not have it. Do I really have to tell you what was in the doghouse? If you are reading this blog, then you are interested in becoming a police officer, that means you already have the “smarts” and you know that crooks may be “fit”, but are just not “smart.”

True Story

Check out this link for another true story: http://hpdcareer.blogspot.com/2008/07/crooks-can-be-funny.html

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

New Police Car

Click Play Above

The Houston Police Department has decided against these vehicles. It seems that they had no room for prisoners... :)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Houston Policeman (1972) Part Three

Click Play Above - provided by HPD Museum - courtesy of Master Computer Video Productions

Monday, March 23, 2009

World News with Charles Gibson

Click Play Above - Courtesy of ABC News

As promised, here is the story ABC News aired tonight. Thank you ABC News, Charles Gibson, and staff, for such a compelling story.

National News Tonight!

Mark Durham moved his wife and children from Detroit last fall for the promise of a more stable career with the Houston Police Department. Mark, a police cadet in Academy Class 202, and his wife Patti, were recently invited to be guests on ABC's World News with Charles Gibson. Mark's portion was filmed on Friday and Patti's portion was filmed this morning. The story will be shown TONIGHT at 5:30pm on ABC. The story focuses on a group of individuals, including Mark and Patti, who moved to Houston to find a career due to the economic downturn in other parts of the country. I was on hand to watch Mark and Patti complete their interviews. They both did a wonderful job. Be sure to tune in tonight for the show. If you miss the broadcast don't worry, I will post it on the blog as a soon as I can.

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Houston Policeman (1972) Part Two

Click Play Above - provided by HPD Museum - courtesy of Master Computer Video Productions

Part two of a series from a film about the Houston Police Department filmed in 1972. To view part one of this series click on this link: http://hpdcareer.blogspot.com/2009/03/houston-policeman-1972-part-one.html

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Houston Chronicle

The Houston Chronicle spotlighted HPD recruiting efforts in today's newspaper. To read the story click this link: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/headline/metro/6320118.html

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Houston Policeman (1972) Part One

Click Play Above - provided by HPD Museum - courtesy of Master Computer Video Productions

Many things change over the years, hairstyles, fashion, cars, etc... some things change very little. Over the next few days I will be providing a series of clips from a 1972 film called "The Houston Policeman - Man in the Middle." It's fun to look at all the changes since then, but one thing remains the same, police work has always been about making a difference. The one thing I noticed that has changed the most while I watched this film was that I did not see any female police officers. In today's world, that would be unheard of. Check out this old post: http://hpdcareer.blogspot.com/2008/07/i-dont-think-so.html

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Luck of the Irish?

Not much luck finding a career? Have you ever thought about a career in law enforcement? Since it is Saint Patrick's Day today, why not change your luck and apply today? www.hpdcareer.com

Monday, March 16, 2009


Click Play Above

In 1998 Officer Higgins was shot by a suspect which left her in a wheelchair for the rest of her life. Channel 11 KHOU recently caught up with her to see how she was coping. The most amazing thing she said during the interview was about her HPD family and how she would do it all over again if she could. You need to see this.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

97.5 ESPN Radio - Rick Gillis Employment Radio

Click Play Above

I had the pleasure of being a guest on the Rick Gillis Employment Radio Show on ESPN Radio, 97.5 this morning. We talked about all the opportunities with HPD, the blog, the website, civilian opportunities and I took some call-in questions. I want to personally thank Rick for having me on for a second time to help with our recruiting efforts. I also would like to thank his producer, Chuck Savage, or should I say Detective Savage...

Friday, March 13, 2009

Thank you!

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone who attended the Academy tour this morning. I hope everyone enjoyed it as much as we did. We look forward to seeing all of you in the future as a cadet rather than a tourist.
A special thank you to Captain Lentschke, Lt. Torres, Senior Officer Chapman, Officer Herb and the Academy staff.

Don't forget!

Academy Tour today at 1000 am for those who signed up via email with me. If you missed the sign up we will have one next month. Look for future tour information on the blog. The address is 17000 Aldine Westfield at Rankin Road. (Close to Bush International Airport) Dress warmly and comfortable. Everyone meet around the fountain in the center of the complex. Eat a good breakfast as the tour will last to about Noon, with a Q & A afterwards.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Academy Tour

For everyone who signed up for the Academy Tour, it is still going to be held from 1000 am until Noon tomorrow (Friday). Wear comfortable shoes and warm clothes as we will be outside on occasion (weather permitting). We will all meet by the center fountains. It will be fun and interesting. If you missed the deadline for signing up, don't worry we will be doing it again next month.

See you there!

Click here for the address:


From riding a horse to flying a helicopter and everything thing else in between, you can find it here at HPD. What are you waiting for? Apply today at www.hpdcareer.com

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Future is Now!

Click Play Above

Many of you may not know this but we have a very nice museum located inside the Houston Police Academy at 17000 Aldine Westfield, which is open to the public. For more information please click on this link: http://www.houstontx.gov/police/museum/

Senior Officer James Chapman does a fantastic job running the museum and came across a very old audio recording talking about of all things, recruiting! He was able to save the audio after hours of adjustments and audio cleaning. This clip is about 12 minutes long, but you need to watch it. Frankly, many things have not changed as far as the recruiting process goes. It's worth a look and fun to see how the city has grown. Hard to determine the exact date, but it was probably from the 1950's.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Donuts and Cops: Fact or Myth?

These two pictures were taken on the morning of graduation day for Class 201 last week. I promise these pictures were not staged. The donuts were purchased by the sister of one of the graduating cadets to celebrate their impending graduation later that night.

Why donuts? A comedian would say it was “part of the training” at the academy, along with shooting and driving skills. I say it was a nice gesture from the staff and it just happened to be donuts. Whatever the case may be, you must have a sense of humor to be a police officer. Since I do have a sense of humor, I of course broke out my camera for some classic pictures of Cadet “Smiley.” You may remember Cadet “Smiley” from previous posts on this blog. Of course as I write this, he is now Officer “Smiley.”

You always hear jokes about cops at donut shops and it is a typical stereotype about police officers. I think the myth surrounding cops and donuts comes from the fact that police officers sometimes work unique shifts when most restaurants are closed. Years ago, donut shops were the only place to find something to eat at night. When an officer wanted to stop for a break, coffee and donuts were convenient and quick. A police officer is always on call and if someone needed us, we could leave the donut shop at a moments notice. When the donut shop was the only place to eat and the only place that was open, sometimes you would see more than one police car in front of the shop, thus creating the illusion or myth that cops and donuts go together like “peas and carrots” (as Forrest Gump would say). The all night donut shops are almost all gone now. Donuts shops have been replaced by Starbucks or 24 hour fast food restaurants. However, I still think the whole “cops and donuts” myth will continue to live forever.

The only donut shop I go into now is the one that sells “donut holes” for my five year old.

I wonder, am I unconsciously teaching her to become a police officer, or is just that donut holes taste good?

Monday, March 9, 2009

What's with the Hat?

Click Play Above

This clip came from a film called "Beautiful Country." It's interesting to me on several levels. Let me describe the clip. A Houston Police Officer responds to a call regarding a person trespassing on someones property. The officer asks the man to move on and he complies.

Now here's the interesting part. The car that the Houston Police Officer is driving looks nothing like a Houston Police Car. It's a big white car that simply states "police" on it. The scene was filmed in Dallas, Texas (why not use a Dallas Police Officer?) and not Houston. The third interesting part, is the "Houston Police Officer" is played by my brother Don, who lives in Dallas and he is not a police officer in real life, but as he says "just plays one on TV." The director of this film was asking around about cops and hats and would a police officer wear his hat in the car. My brother overheard the director and told him he could ask a real police officer from Houston (me)that exact question. What was the answer? Watch the clip. Who wears a hat in the car? I mean really. If the director was so concerned about whether or not a police officer in Houston would wear his hat in a police car, why not make a police car look like a Houston Police car? What's really funny about the clip, the director made sure the hat was in the scene by having it placed on the dash. The "zoom in" was not in the actual film. I just wanted you to see our patch! He did get the patch and shirt right.

Actually the film was quite good.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Class 201, What Did You Do?

Click Play Above

Many careers change throughout ones lifetime. Once you become part of a team, family and institution such as HPD, you won't want to leave. Being a police officer is unlike any career you have had before. The camaraderie is hard to explain unless you experience it for yourself. Class 2o1 will be close forever, and many, if not all, will go on to a long and storied career with HPD. Why not change your career and join our family today.

Have I mentioned that we are hiring?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

201 Leaves the Nest

Click Play Above

Academy Class 201 graduates tonight at the Houston Police Academy located at 17000 Aldine Westfield. This morning after six months of intense training to become one of the best, the class gave one final roll call. As everyone else got ready for work the proud sounds of Class 201 resonated throughout the academy. I don't care how many times I film this, I still get goose bumps. Way to go 201, make us proud!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

St. Thomas High School Annual "Round Up"

Great crowds and great food. It was fun for all!

This little guy kept shooting us with his brand new "Marshmallow gun". I have to admit he was a good shot. I gave him my card and told him to call me in 8 or 9 years.

These two wanted to take the car for a "spin".

The Houston Police Department Recruiting Unit was at the annual St. Thomas High School "Round Up" event this past Sunday. We had applicant's from all over Houston and beyond stop by to visit with us and afterwards enjoyed the festivities. I would like to thank St. Thomas High School and it's staff for their hospitality and allowing us to be part of their tradition. Now it's time for you to become part of a another tradition and become one of Houston's finest, apply today at http://www.hpdcareer.com/

Monday, March 2, 2009


Over 100,000 hits and counting! Thank you for your support and interest in the Houston Police Department Recruiting Unit. March 2009, marks the one year anniversary of this blog. While I have your attention, why haven't you applied yet?