Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Academy Class 209 graduates tonight!

At 6:30 p.m. Today, Houston Mayor Annise Parker, Police Chief Charles A. McClelland Jr. and the HPD Family will welcome 67 new police officers of Academy Class 209 to the city during a cadet graduation ceremony at the L. D. Morrison Police Training Academy.

Way to go 209, Make us Proud!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Lieutenant Frank Drebin

Click Play Above

Actor Leslie Neilsen dies at the age of 84.

"This is Frank Drebin, Police Squad. Throw down your guns, and come on out with your hands up. Or come on out, then throw down your guns, whichever way you wanna do it. Just remember the two key elements here: one, guns to be thrown down; two, come on out!"

Friday, November 19, 2010

No matter how good your excuse is...

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I will not be posting new items until Monday, November 29, 2010. I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving and please be safe. If you have questions that need to be answered right away, I suggest you call the main recruiting number at 713-308-1300. I will begin returning email questions when I return to work on the 29th.

As always, thank you for the continued support of the HPD recruiting blog.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Happy 40th!

Members of the HPD Air Support Division recently celebrated 40 years of helping to Keep Houston Safe. The anniversary celebration, held at the HPD Hangar, also recognized Air Support officers for their use of the FLIR (forward looking infrared) cameras in making arrests and demonstrations of the cameras and the helicopters’ live downlink capabilities.

Founded in 1970 with 3 helicopters, the HPD Air Support fleet has grown to include 14 aircraft which fly 365 days a year. These “eyes in the sky” patrol Houston’s more than 640 square miles and also assist other regional agencies as needed.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Top 25 things to remember about being a police officer.

Family comes first. Don't let the job consume you. Ultimately, the only things that matter are the people waiting for you to come home.

Take care of yourself. Live a healthy lifestyle balanced with physical fitness and nutrition.

Continue to educate yourself and TRAIN in defensive tactics. Take on extra training opportunities as often as you can.

EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED. Be prepared for anything. No call is a routine call. Pay attention, especially during boring or repetitious calls. COMPLACENCY IS DEADLY.

Maintain your Integrity. The uniform you wear comes with a certain level of integrity that must be preserved.

Remember Cover/Concealment. Always be aware of your surroundings (on or off duty). Stay alert and aware of potential dangers in your patrol zones. Know your patrol zones better than the illegals and smugglers.

Be aware of body language and non-verbal communication. Watch the hands and eyes during all citizen contact. Hands kill you – control them.

Listen to your instinct. If you don't think something's quite right, it's probably not.

Be professional and courteous to fellow officers, administrators and civilians. Remember, you're being evaluated on and off duty.

Know the law. Keep up on all changes of the laws and policies, as well as court decisions. Keep up to date on search & seizure laws and probable cause.

Know your agency policies.

Mentally prepare. Keep a positive mindset - "I will go home at the end of my shift." Practice When/Then thinking. "When this happens; Then I will...

Practice defensive driving and safe vehicle operations. More officers get killed by vehicles than gunfire. Wear your seat belt.

Practice, practice, practice. Train to react and rely on your training. Practice firearms, defense tactics and verbal judo skills like your life depends on it.

Have other interests, hobbies outside of your work.

Know your strengths and weaknesses including size limitations.

Don't disregard your backup until you're sure you don't need it, and then think through it again. When backing up fellow officers, be the best you can be.

Know your equipment and take care of it. Be proficient with it.

Always wear your vest.

Never underestimate the enemy. On every encounter, expect your worst possible adversary.

Play the "what if" game in your head so that you are prepared for any situation.

Remember the golden rule of handcuffing - cuff and then search. When searching for a weapon, remember the "Plus One" theory - if you find one, search for two and if you find two, search for three and so on.

Remember to advise dispatch of your location.

Practice your communication skills - writing and speaking. This includes writing thorough and detailed reports.

Have confidence in and support your fellow agents. We are all brothers and sisters under one badge.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Officers in Action

Last month a citizen (complainant) called the Juvenile Division to report her eight year old son had not been home in almost a day and that her boyfriend was the last one with him. The complainant told Juvenile officers that the previous day she had an argument with her boyfriend.

When the complainant’s boyfriend never returned home, she attempted to contact him numerous times throughout the day but was unsuccessful, so she contacted HPD. An investigation was begun by the Homicide Division involving numerous investigators chasing leads throughout the day and ultimately culminated in an Amber Alert being issued for the child. Unfortunately, this effort was unable to locate the missing eight year old by the end of the day.

Officer J. J. Greenhaw was on routine patrol in northeast Houston when he observed the boyfriend driving the complainant’s vehicle and pulled him over for a traffic violation. At the time, Officer Greenhaw did not know that the boyfriend was a suspect and that an Amber Alert had been issued.

As Officer Greenhaw pulled over the boyfriend, and before he could run the plate, the boyfriend jumped out of the car and approached him attempting to draw his attention away from the vehicle. Officer Greenhaw asked the suspect several questions and found that he had no identification with him. Officer Greenhaw detained the boyfriend in the police car and went up to the vehicle and continued his investigation with a passenger in the front seat. This passenger was found to be intoxicated and was subsequently detained as well.

At this time, Officer Greenhaw believed that there were only two adults in the car. However, instincts took over and Officer Greenhaw obtained consent to search the vehicle. Officer Greenhaw was looking through the car when he moved a large pile of clothes and blankets in the back seat. To his surprise he found the eight year old boy in the back seat of the car buried under blankets and clothes so that he was totally hidden from view.

Neither suspect in the car alerted Officer Greenhaw that the boy was hidden in the car. When the boy was found, the boyfriend tried to tell Officer Greenhaw that he was his son.

After sorting through the information, Officer Greenhaw was able to run the vehicle’s license plate on the police car’s computer. He received the Amber Alert notification which allowed him to put the entire puzzle together as well as make the necessary contacts to the Homicide Division so that their investigation could be continued.

From a traffic stop and thorough fieldwork of Officer Greenhaw, a criminal was taken off the streets of Houston by good police work. The suspect (who was found to be a violent, repeat felony offender) was charged with Unlawful Restraint and held without bond. The missing eight year old boy was safely reunited with his mother and the case was closed with a happy conclusion.

Monday, November 15, 2010


Meet "Gunnar", he is a two year old German shepherd from the Czech Republic. He has been taking a bite out of crime in Houston since April of 2010. He has already captured over one dozen crooks while they were committing crimes in progress. K-9 is one of the many units and divisions within the Houston Police department that you could eventually call home.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Happy Birthday

Each year, the Marine Corps marks November 10th with a celebration of the brave spirit which compelled these men and thousands since to defend our country as United States Marines.

Many of our current police officers, retired police officers and cadets in training are former Marines. Becoming a police officer is a good fit for all of our former military. The Houston police department is a para military organization and has a rank structure similar to our military ranks.

Happy Birthday Marines!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Fun in the Sun with 209

Academy Class 209's graduation day is fast approaching. Last week they had to make sure they could all meet the criteria in the 1.5 mile run (among other criteria) before they are allowed to graduate. Each cadet must run the 1.5 mile run in 15.54 minutes. Maybe it was because I was there taking pictures or they are well trained running and gunning machines (most likely) but they all passed the time test with flying colors. Great job 209. Hang in there; you will be wearing the blue for Christmas!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Funny Friday

I have pulled over numerous people during my career and heard every excuse in the book but this is ridiculous.

I guess it could be worse, could be no bubbles.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Officers in Action

Officer Pete Sandoval while off duty and working security for Vista Bank was sitting in the lobby area when he noticed two suspects with guns wearing ski masks entering the bank. Officer Sandoval immediately drew his weapon and placed himself in grave danger to protect the lives of citizens and employees inside the bank as he began to directly engage the suspects.

During this hostile engagement Officer Sandoval sustained a head wound resulting from flying glass during the engagement and was bleeding profusely. The suspects attempted to flee from the bank to a waiting vehicle. Officer Sandoval did not know if he had been shot, but continued to aggressively pursue the suspects on foot through the parking lot.

Officer Sandoval was able to apprehended one suspect in the parking lot and held him on the ground until back-up could arrive. The second suspect stopped running and turned back towards Officer Sandoval. Another engagement ensued with this suspect. The suspect immediately retreated and jumped into a get-a-away car that a third suspect was driving.

These suspects fled the scene, however, after a thorough search; officers were able to locate the suspects’ (stolen) vehicle abandoned on a side street.

As a result of Officer P. Sandoval’s relentless determination and dedication, all three suspects have since been arrested and charged with aggravated bank robbery.

Officer Sandoval also has been accredited for clearing many other bank robberies in the area due to this arrest. If not for the heroic efforts of Officer Sandoval, these suspects may have eluded police and gotten away with this horrific crime. HPD would like to recognize and commend this officer for a job well done.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

National Recognition

Courtesy of J. Whyte, HPD Photo Lab

On October 25, 2010, the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Aviation Committee announced Houston Police Department Captain Tom Runyan, Air Support Division, as the recipient of the 2010 Excellence in Police Aviation Award. The award recognizes an individual who holds a management position in police aviation.

During Captain Runyan’s tenure he has been involved in many positive projects and maintained a clear vision to move the division to an elite aviation unit. Captain Runyan has been involved in increasing the fleet, setting division standards, review and revision of the division Standard Operating Procedures manual, implementing a Safety Management System, and creating a division news letter for the department.

One of the first and greatest events that Captain Runyan has been involved in, is the task of increasing the fleet with the addition of nine new MD500 Helicopters and replacing the old training helicopters that were purchased in 1975, with three new training helicopters. The division will have a total of 13 MD500’s for patrol, three 300’s for training, and one fixed wing aircraft. With the installation of new aircraft the Houston Police Department, Air Support Division will be among one of the largest police aviation units in the country. The upgrade was a necessity and marks a new beginning for the division.

Without the drive and vision of Captain Runyan this division would not be at its current level. He has made the future brighter for the division and has displayed leadership worthy of receiving the award from the IACP for Excellence in Police Aviation.