Friday, July 31, 2009

Pride and Joy

Click Play Above

Wednesday night, Academy Class 204 graduated from the police academy. The morning of graduation day, the cadets get to change into their blue uniforms and pin on their badges for the first time, for a class picture. Once the picture is taken, they must return the badges and change back into their white cadet uniform until they are reunited later that night for the actual graduation. The pride and joy is fun to watch as they try on their badges and blue uniform for the first time. We are proud of each and everyone of you. You will never forget your classmates or your class number. Good times, bad times, fun times and sad times, you will prevail and bloom into city heroes. Thank you 204.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

And now a word from your President

Click Play Above

Academy Class 204 President Paul Lowrey graduated last night. President Lowrey was one of the 66 newest members of the Houston Police Department. Starting this week they will be out on the streets protecting and serving the citizens of Houston. You can feel the pride in Officer Lowrey's comments. Way to go 204, make us proud!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

One Last Time for 204

Click Play Above

Academy Class 204 graduates tonight! Tradition held strong as Class 204 held their final roll call as the sun rose above the police academy this morning. Academy Classes 205, 206, and 207 watched Class 204 with pride, knowing that they too will soon be performing their final roll call. All the cadet classes will stand in formation during roll call and will announce their names one by one very quickly. Throughout training, roll calls are done the same way every time, every morning. However, on graduation day, such as Class 204, it is done a little differently with each cadet of Class 204 slowing down and pronouncing their name loudly and proudly. Congratulations 204, make us proud.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Fox 26 - Cadet Andino- "Pushup Queen"

Click Play Above

Cadet Ana Andino, soon to be Officer Andino, graduates tomorrow night from Academy Class 204. Fox 26 interviewed Cadet Andino this morning on their local news broadcast. Click the play tab above to watch the story.

For more information on Cadet Andino, check out the video from a previous post titled "Pushup Queen" at:

Congratulations Cadet Andino, see you tomorrow morning for your "Final Roll Call".

Monday, July 27, 2009

Meet Your Recruiter

Like any other job or profession, being a police officer is what YOU make of it. I can honestly say, as a member of the Houston Police Department, I have enjoyed the ride.

My name is Anthony (A.J.) VanDorn. I have been with the Houston Police Department for 25 years, and have earned my Bachelor’s Degree while I was employed with the department. (Did you know that you can finish your degree with HPD? HPD will reimburse your tuition and allow you to further your education.) Much of my experience has been on the streets of Houston – from patrol officer, to divisional tactical officer, to patrolling the sky in one of the department’s helicopters. I also used to fly one of the department’s fixed-wing airplanes.

Now if you want to see what this world is made of, patrolling the streets of Houston will accomplish that. Being a city of diversity, a police officer in Houston has the potential of seeing almost every avenue of human nature and tradition – good and bad. In other words, after 25 years I can say you’ll be well-cultured in human customs. This is also where a police officer earns many of his stories. One time, a fellow officer and I were chasing a suspect through some houses in a local neighborhood. The suspect ran into a small vacant house that had no doors or windows, my fellow officer followed. I tried to stop the officer from running into the house, but he yelled back to me saying, “I’m going to get this guy.” I only had time to reply, “If you wait, we will.”

What neither of them knew was, two days earlier I had gone into that same home and discovered that the owner had set up a hive of bees in there. The owner did this to protect the honey-producing hive, and keep them out of the element. Well wouldn’t you know, less than a minute after they both ran into the house, they both came running back out … shouting as a small cloud of flying insects were chasing them out of their home. We got the suspect, and the other officer got a date with a bottle of Calamine Lotion.

Currently, I’m a background investigator in the Recruiting Unit, and I have enjoyed the opportunity to help so many police applicants begin their career with the Houston Police Department. Being a background investigator has also allowed me to see parts of our country I would not have otherwise traveled.

Becoming a Houston Police Officer helps build friendships…friendships in a brotherhood that last a lifetime. If this is what you seek, I would encourage you to apply. The job is going to have its ups and downs. But what YOU make of it – is what it becomes!

I am Anthony (A.J.) VanDorn and I am a Recruiter.

Friday, July 24, 2009


Click Play Above

If you are a regular reader of the blog you will notice that I try to post something every day. Today I have "nothing." I have banged my head around this concept and I am flabbergasted that I have come up with "nothing". Which reminded me about a very popular TV show that was about "nothing". Therefore, it made me think of "something" to put on today's blog. Now you see how my mind works...

Mr. Bookman would have made a very good cop!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Song Birds arresting the Jail Birds

Courtesy of the HPD Video Unit

Click Play Above

Academy Class 203 graduated on June 16, 2009. Cadets Vashawnda McLean and Kevin Waymire from Class 203 performed the National Anthem preceding the ceremony. Click the play button above to listen to their wonderful rendition.

Now that they are police officers on the street, I wonder if they sing to the crooks to calm them down?

Academy Class 204 graduates next week!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Monday, July 20, 2009

40th Anniversary

The Apollo 11 mission was the first manned mission to land on the Moon. On July 20, 1969 Neil Armstrong and 'Buzz' Aldrin became the first humans to walk on the Moon, while Michael Collins orbited above.

Houston, once known for our oil industry, was forever changed when NASA came to town. The patches worn on our uniform still reflect the words "Space City U.S.A."

Friday, July 17, 2009


For a free recruiting T-Shirt, what year was this photo taken of the "then" brand new police officer graduating from the police academy? For a bonus gift, who is the officer receiving the badge, and who is the Chief of Police pinning the badge on the officer? Fellow officers, please do not reply.

Cadets, applicant's and fans of the blog, the first one to comment in the comment section will win the shirt and the bonus gift. Please leave your email address in the comment section. I will not post the comments until Monday, so the suspense will fester as to who answered first.

Good Luck.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Family Fight

Click Play Above

When you become part of law enforcement and join a police department, you become part of an extended family. Occasionally, as part of a family, you will have disagreements and a few fights along the way. The only thing I can think of that would cause "police family" to fight is shown on this video one of my readers sent me.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Meet Your Recruiter

My name is Daryl Smith. I have been a Houston police officer for 15 years. Before joining the Houston Police Department I worked for the Galveston County Sheriff’s Department. Although I enjoyed working for Galveston County, I wanted more. I knew that a city the size of Houston would allow me to pursue endless opportunities. After joining HPD, I patrolled the streets at the South Central and Southeast Patrol substations. Patrol was exciting and fun. After patrol I started teaching a drug free program formally known as D.A.R.E. Speaking to children about the dangers of drugs was a wonderful opportunity and I loved every minute of it. After the D.A.R.E. program I worked in the HPD Marshal's Office executing warrants. The Recruiting Unit had an opening and I thought this would be a good fit. I have now been in Recruiting for three years.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my years with HPD. It is a very rewarding career. HPD has afforded me the opportunity to increase my education and skills as a police officer. I have learned professionalism, character, and moral ethics, which is the foundation for effective police work. I hope that you will find the courage and motivation to join us in continuously making this city a safe place to live.

I am Daryl Smith and I am a Recruiter.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Trunk Monkey

Click Play Above

Click Play Above

A series of commercials came out a few years ago that were really funny. I recently came across two again that related to police work and I thought you might want a laugh today. You may have seen them already, but what is wrong with a laugh everyday.

Monday, July 13, 2009

IFR - Investigative First Responder

A two year pilot program called Investigative First Responder, IFR for short, is now its own division within the Houston Police Department. In December 2008, Captain Milton "Wyatt" Martin became the first commander of the Investigative First Responder (IFR) Division. IFR is a hybrid of patrol work and investigative work. The Division now has 68 officers spread across the city who follow up on leads in a various array of crimes such as robberies, assaults, burglaries, and thefts. It is an exciting job that allows the uniformed officer to not only "respond to the call" but to take the information and "run" with it. IFR Officers perform a variety of investigative tasks that have traditionally been restricted to officers assigned to the Homicide, Robbery and Burglary & Theft Divisions. They take statements, show photo spreads, obtain charges, and track down wanted suspects. The assignment is perfect for the officer who likes to be in uniform serving the public but also likes the investigative aspect of police work. The officers assigned to the IFR Division range from the 2 year officer to the 27 year veteran, all of whom work towards the goal of keeping Houston a safe city.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Serve your Country, Protect your City

Click Play Above

Special Projects Reporter Greg Groogan with Fox 26 News completed a wonderful story last night regarding troops coming home after completing their tour of duty and becoming Houston Police Officers. I invite you to watch the video above by clicking the play button. For more information on the story, visit the Fox 26 News website link at:

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Watchmen - A story by Anna Swanson (196)

I received an email from a former police cadet out of Academy Class 196. Anna Swanson sent me an email regarding a call for service she had been on and wanted to share it with me. After reading it, I thought I would share the email with you.

I was dispatched to a sexual assault call where the suspect had broken into an apartment and waited for the victim to fall asleep. Once we arrived at the scene, we were able to do the initial investigation report, collect evidence, file and run the warrant on the crook all within 8 hours. I know that this is not the norm, however the gratefulness of the victim was endearing. Her assailant was in jail before she even got out of the hospital. She felt safe to go home and get some badly needed rest. Although I felt so badly for the victim that she was assaulted and hurt, knowing that I was able to catch this crook so quickly made me love my job even more. Having the ability to put someones mind and heart at ease so they can feel safe is a feeling beyond explanation.

Making a difference after such a horrible incident brought her a feeling of peace and security.

In my humble opinion, it is by far the best career in the world. We are like watchmen for a city, warning and fighting the oncoming danger. We help keep our citizens secure and safe. It is truly a wonderful and rewarding career in which I have chosen. I encourage everyone who wants to make a difference to follow in my footsteps.

Officer Anna Swanson

For previous posts about Officer Swanson click on the following links:

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


It seems that the trivia questions that I post have become as popular as the free t-shirt you win for getting the right answer. I have been receiving many emails lately wanting to know when the next trivia question was coming. Wait no longer. What year was this photo taken of the "then" brand new HPD Armored Car.

The first one to comment in the comment section will win the shirt. Please leave your email address in the comment section. I will not post the comments until tomorrow, so the suspense will fester as to who answered first.

Good Luck!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Pushup Queen

Click Play Above

I had the pleasure of meeting Wonder Woman yesterday at the Police Academy. Cadet Ana Andino from Academy Class 204 graduates at the end of this month. Crooks, I suggest you comply. Way to go Cadet Andino, we are proud of you.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Good Morning

I hope everyone had a nice Fourth of July weekend celebration. Now it's time to run all that barbecue and potato salad off. At least it is ten degrees cooler this morning than it was yesterday.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Happy Fourth Of July

The office is closed today for the holiday. You may always apply online at to start the process. We are still taking applications for future academy classes.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

HPD Bike Relay Team does it again!

Leukemia is the no. 1 child killing disease. Ten times as many adults as children are stricken with leukemia. Lymphoma rates have nearly doubled since the 1970's. Police officers always want to "catch a killer" and the Houston Police Department (HPD) Bicycle Relay Team's goal is to "arrest these killers" and accelerate The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's fight against blood cancers.

The Houston Police Bicycle Relay Team began their 1,800 mile bike ride in Houston and ended five days later in Providence, Rhode Island, travelling through the Smoky Mountains, crossing the Mississippi River and finally to their destination on the east coast. This was an unparalleled volunteer effort to raise funds for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

For more information visit:

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Pressure Relief!

Click Play Above

After six months in the police academy, Class 203 graduated on June 16, 2009. As you may imagine, the pressure of finishing and getting the badge pinned on their shirts, boils down to the final day when it actually happens. I like to film a little piece I call "Pressure Relief!" It's a chance to have a little fun with the graduating cadets after six months of intense training. As usual the cadets obliged.