Friday, July 30, 2010

Funny Friday

Every kind of call that you can imagine, happens to you as a police officer.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

From the "Not so Bright" catalog of crooks

July 24, 2010, New Westminster, British Columbia, police made a surprise arrest early Saturday morning after a man cut ahead of them in line at Starbucks and then allegedly attempted to rob the coffee shop.

Two uniformed officers were inside the coffee shop ordering at the counter when a man walked directly up to the cash register, threw a drink at the employee and demanded cash.

The man was quickly taken to the ground and arrested.

He is to appear in court Monday morning facing charges of attempted robbery and assault.

I wonder if the officers were able to get a latte to go?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

HPD First!

Houston Police Chief Charles A. McClelland, Jr. on Monday (July 19) joined representatives from Houston City Council and U.S. Rep. Ted Poe in unveiling the Houston Police Department’s latest training platform.

A decommissioned Boeing 737 aircraft is the newest tactical training ground for HPD and regional law enforcement agencies.

“Acquiring this plane gives our officers a realistic training tool in the on-going efforts to keep the citizens of Houston safe,” Chief McClelland said at a news conference near the site of the aircraft. “This plane can be used as a training platform by our SWAT, Special Response Group, Bomb Squad, and K-9 units,” he added.

Getting the plane re-routed to Houston from the ‘Boneyard’ in Arizona where it had been scheduled to be decommissioned and never used again, was largely thanks to the hard work of several HPD officers and the support of Rep. Ted Poe.

“The men and women that wear the badge are a cut above the rest,” said Congressman Poe. “When I was elected to Congress, I continued my long-time support for law enforcement and made advocating for them a top priority. This project is a perfect example of all levels of government working together to make sure that our local law enforcement community has the equipment they need to keep the rest of us safe. I commend the Houston Police Department for the selfless service they perform each and every day.”

The acquisition of this aircraft is an integral part of a larger vision for HPD’s training facility, said HPD Assistant Chief Vicki King, Tactical Support Command. “It is our desire to expand our training platforms to provide officers with a variety of sites and situations where they can train. We want to prepare our officers for as many different situations as practical,” she added.

The aircraft will also be available to several regional law enforcement agencies for training, depending upon the agency’s responsibilities.

The decommissioned aircraft was obtained from the Department of Defense (DOD) through the efforts of Rep. Poe as part of the Texas 1033 Surplus Property Program. Once used to train navigators at Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio, the plane had been scheduled to be mothballed after 37 years of military service.

HPD is the first law enforcement agency in the United States to be granted a decommissioned, fully functional aircraft from the DOD.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Officers in Action

During the month of May there were numerous Aggravated Robberies occurring at Family Dollar and Dollar General Stores. On one occasion suspects robbed the Family Dollar off of Jensen Street and escaped with several hundred dollars in cash. Patrol officers were dispatched to the scene to take the original report and Officer Hutto volunteered to check by the scene and search for any possible evidence that could have been left by the suspects. Officer Hutto is one of the latent print and picture units at the Northeast Division.

Officer Hutto viewed the surveillance tape of the robbery and observed where one suspect had touched the door jamb of the exit door when he entered the store. Officer Hutto went to that door and successfully lifted one card of latent fingerprints that were later placed into evidence.

Northeast Division’s Robbery Liaison Unit took over and began to work this case. Through good police work, several suspects in this incident were identified and a confession about this incident was obtained. The confession of one suspect implicated another suspect as the actual robber of the store.

This suspect was located and interviewed about his role in the robbery. He denied his involvement in the robberies and stated that while he had been to this Family Dollar store once before, he denied robbing the store.

However, the Latent Print Lab informed the investigators that the latent fingerprint lifted by Officer Hutto from inside the store was identified as belonging to this suspect’s left thumb.

These arrests by the Northeast Division’s Robbery Liaison Unit solved over eleven felony robberies involving these suspects at Family Dollar and Dollar General Stores.

Without the special dedication of Officer Hutto in the detection and lifting of one fingerprint, the suspects might not have been charged in this case.

Officer Hutto displays an evidence oriented mindset, is noted for his attention to minute details, and continually exceeds expectations to evidence recovery.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Funny Friday

Meet "Shadow" from HPD Mounted Patrol. This horse is known as "Funny Face" by members of the unit. He can make a funny face on queue. Senior Police Officer Greg Sokoloski spends countless hours training his partner and from I understand Officer Sokoloski can make a funny face on queue also. Who taught who?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Crossed Sabers Awarded

Senior Officer Horace Mann, Jr. with Rey

Officer Rebecca Gunderson with Figgy

Senior Officer Gerardo Alaniz with Vinson

Yesterday, HPD Mounted Class number 20, Officers Horace Mann, Jr., Rebecca Gunderson and Gerardo Alaniz along with their mounts Rey, Figgy and Vinson completed their eight week extensive mounted training class and graduated to the streets. The traditional “crossed sabers” pins were awarded to each by Captain Zera and Lieutenant Wallace.

The specialized pin is the crossed sabers that mounted officers wear on their pocket flaps. The crossed sabers are the traditional insignia of the U.S. Cavalry. Nearly every mounted patrol unit in the world has crossed sabers in their insignias, whether it is a pin on their shirts, a patch on their sleeves, or flags they carry. It is the most recognizable symbol of horse soldiers in the world.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Officers in Action

Last month, Officer A. Garcia received a call for help from the Houston Fire Department (H.F.D.) at a McDonald’s parking lot off the Eastex Freeway. A suspect had ingested a dangerous substance known as PCP, had injured himself, and was being transported to the hospital by H.F.D. The suspect escaped from the ambulance and was in the process of throwing large newspaper containers through business windows, pushing over trash cans and breaking vehicle windows with his hands. When Officer Garcia arrived, he quickly assessed the situation and noticed that the suspect was very large individual. He radioed for additional officers and attempted to contain the scene at a safe distance until help arrived. Before help could arrive, the suspect began to assault two innocent victims who were sitting in their car. Officer Garcia put himself in harms way to assist the two citizens and defend them from the suspect. Additionally, Officer Garcia prevented the suspect from driving a vehicle and further escalating the already extremely hazardous situation. Due to Officer Garcia’s initial actions, assistance quickly arrived and it took seven additional officers to gain control of the suspect who at the time was out of control on PCP. As a result of Officer Garcia’s actions, no officers were injured and the citizens he protected from further harm only sustained minor injuries and were treated.

Officer Garcia is a tribute to the Houston Police Department and epitomizes the mission statement through his principles, professionalism, and improving the quality of life in the city of Houston. This officer is a valuable asset and a tribute to the Houston Police Department.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Funny Friday

I know people who walk faster than three miles an hour.
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

From the "Having a Bad Day" department...

Fife, Washington - Officers became suspicious of two suspects in the area sitting in an SUV and attempted to stop the men, but the driver hit the gas and took off. Officers chased the men into Fife's south side, where the driver drove down a dead end street. Once there, the men got out of the SUV and began running. By coincidence, the suspects stopped their vehicle at a spot where more than a dozen police K-9 officers and 16 police dogs from several Pierce county departments were conducting a regularly scheduled training session. The men, seeing the large number of officers and dogs, surrendered. Upon searching the vehicle, investigators found 43kilos of cocaine inside two duffel bags.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Mounted Patrol

No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle. ~Winston Churchill

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Officers in Action

Officer J. Sweet, Officer D. Lathan, Officer W. Webb, and Officer D. Hrncir, recently arrested two Burglary of Motor Vehicles suspects who have been linked to several felony crimes at hotels in the George Bush Intercontinental Airport area. Working as a team, the officers were able to piece together several other B.M.V. cases that night and returned property back to the original complainant, who was visiting Houston from out-of-town.

Officer Lathan received a suspicious person call at the Hilton Hotel near Bush Airport. Officer Sweet heard the call dispatched, so he checked by to assist Officer Lathan. Officer Lathan arrived and began his investigation. After learning that the suspects could still be in the area, Officer Lathan gave a short general broadcast. Officer Sweet responded to the general broadcast by patrolling the immediate area, focusing on other hotel parking lots. Officer Sweet spotted the suspect’s vehicle and the driver evasively drove away at a high rate of speed through the Sheraton Hotel parking lot onto World Houston Parkway. The suspects then turned onto John F. Kennedy Boulevard, where Officer Sweet was able to catch up to the suspect’s vehicle and conducted a traffic stop. Using sound judgment, Officer Sweet held his position and asked for a back-up unit so that they could perform a high-risk vehicle approach. Officer Lathan checked by with Officer Sweet to assist in the apprehension. The suspects were taken into custody without incident.

Officer Webb was dispatched to the Sheraton Hotel on another B.M.V. and realized his case was related to the arrest made by Officer Sweet. Officer Webb transported his complainant to the arrest scene and he identified his property. Meanwhile, Officer Hrncir was investigating six other cases related to the incident at the Hilton Hotel and he also realized the cases were similar. Officer Hrncir transported the witnesses to the arrest location and they were able to positively identify the suspects as being at the scene of the B.M.V.

Due to a quick response, proficient investigative skills, and the officers working together as a team in crime scene management, two felony suspects were arrested with stolen property in their possession. It is expected that more cases will be cleared during the subsequent follow-up investigation.

Monday, July 12, 2010

HPD History

This is the first known photograph of HPD on patrol. This picture was believed to have been taken in the late 1800's.

Cool Fact: 1894 was the year the department purchased a patrol wagon. The term “wagon call” is still used to this day when it is required to transport prisoners.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Ducks go National!

Our celebrity "Caducks" at the police academy are going national! It seems that after the story ran on KPRC last night the story was sent out to all the NBC affiliates to run nationally.

The ducks asked me to keep the "Paparazzi" to a minimum. They don't want TMZ showing up at the academy.

KPRC will be doing another story on the ducks today at 4:00pm. Set your DVR's!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Something "Fowl" at the Houston Police Academy

Click Play Above

It seems that there are three ducks that want to be police cadets and have started attending the early morning roll calls. They will attend every morning at 0630 hours while each cadet shouts out roll call. Once roll call is complete the ducks march with them back to class. These cadets have their ducks in a row.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Special Response Group - SRG

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The Special Response Group consists of a small core group of full time assigned officers and a large group of part time trained officers that can be mobilized with short notice. Active officers that are assigned to various divisions. The SRG training course familiarizes officers with formations used contain and disburse large crowds. The school also familiarizes the officer with different chemical munitions and teaches the officer the basics for disaster preparedness. many of the officers have received additional training and belong to the Crowd Disbursement Team (CDT). CDT officers go through a rigorous selection process. The officers attend a three-day tryout that consists of physical activity and agility testing. They are exposed to tear gas and train extensively with non-lethal specialized weapons. They use chemical munitions as well as impact weapons. Upon completion of the three-day tryout, selections are made and the officers become part of the team and continue to receive training.

The SRG is built around the team concept. Officers volunteer to be a part of the group. The only officers that are required to be a part of the SRG are officers assigned to the Special Operations Division. The SRG believes in the team concept and trains that way as well. The officers are broken down into groups known as squads. Several squads make a field force. Squads can be broken down to groups that make arrest teams, react teams, processing, and chemical munitions teams.

The SRG is involved with all protests, demonstrations, rallies, and mass gatherings. They are equipped and prepared to handle any type of situation. The goal of the SRG is to be prepared for any situation and influence a peaceful ending.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Marine Unit - Dive Team

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On July 23, 2008 Chief Harold L. Hurtt created the Marine Unit by combining and expanding the two existing maritime operations (Dive Team and Lake Patrol) into one unified Marine Unit under the command of the Tactical Operations Division. The merging of the assets and capabilities of those two units is intended to enhance the effectiveness and professionalism of the department’s maritime response.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Mounted Patrol

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The Mounted Patrol Detail has established itself as an undeniable asset to the Houston Police Department and the community we serve. The Unit is an invaluable tool in crowd control and public relations.

Officers, Supervisors, and Horses of the Detail all work together to provide the community effective, quality service. The Detail is also staffed with Civilian personnel.

The Downtown Central Business District along with Memorial and Hermann Parks are the primary focus of the Mounted Patrol Detail. Due to their increased height on a horse, Mounted Officers are able to survey an area quickly, and address problem situations effectively. Mounted Officers also provide crime deterrence due to their increased visibility in the public eye. Mounted Officers are effective in the patrol capacity; however, they are most effective and efficient in crowd control situations, and public relations.

One Mounted Officer and his/her mount are as effective as 10-12 foot officers in crowd control situations. The unit has provided crowd control in many different and diverse situations. Some of the situations include but are not limited too; Super Bowl XXXVIII, the Houston Rockets Championship Parades, the Galveston Mardi Gras, the Republican National Convention, and the Baseball All-Star Game 2004. The Mounted Patrol Detail was an integral factor in the success of these events, and will continue to be a needed asset as more large special events are scheduled in the City of Houston.

Although the Mounted Officer may be very intimidating in crowd control situations, the general public sees him/her as very approachable. Citizens who wish to see and touch the horse will stop the Mounted Patrol Officer many times in his/her tour of duty. Also, members of the Mounted Detail are requested on a daily basis to provide demonstrations for schools, civic clubs, and other community based programs. At these demonstrations, Mounted Officers will explain the duties of a Mounted Officer, and demonstrate the effectiveness of the horse in a law enforcement capacity.