Thursday, March 24, 2011

There is no strength without unity

Over the next six months I will be keeping up with the following four police cadets of Academy Class 210. You will also hear from them directly as they will keep us updated with their ups and downs and overall experiences of going through one of the toughest police academies in the world. From the youngest to the oldest (I prefer the term wiser), man or woman, you will read and view each struggle and accomplishment from each ones perspective.

My name is David Williamson. At 35 years old, I have had a few interesting work experiences before coming to HPD. For the last 18 years or so, I have been in the entertainment field. I started as a stage magician and actor. Later I became the director for a comedy theater and eventually entertainment director for a corporate entertainment company. For the last 12 years or so, I have been making TV shows.

A few years back, I made a TV show called 'The Academy' which featured HPD Class 193. I never stopped talking about how great it would be to become an HPD officer after doing that show. Eventually my business partners insisted that I either sign up or shut up! I am now thrilled to be fulfilling a dream, trading the world of TV cop shows for the real thing.

Going from submitting that first application online to receiving “The Big Phone Call” took well over a year for me. There are thousands of applicants, and only a relative few are selected. Everything must be perfect or be fixed quickly in each phase of recruiting in order to advance to the next phase.

Not sure if I would be selected, I enrolled in a private (non-HPD) police academy at a local college. Now, near the end of the 6th month of that academy, I am about to start all over again in the HPD academy. I did well in the private academy program, but the HPD academy is unlike any other. Doing well here will not be an easy accomplishment, so it's a good thing I am ready to give it my all!

My name is Bradley Mark and I am a new cadet in Class 210. My entire life, all I’ve ever knew was policing, specifically the Houston Police Department.

My father is a retired HPD officer of 35 years, so my idea of a job growing up was putting on black boots, being protected by a blue uniform, and riding a larger than life motorcycle. He taught me many life lessons and allowed me to learn even more on my own.

After high school I continued my education at The Ohio State University, graduating with a degree in Aviation Systems with a minor in Criminology. I have always known that law enforcement was the career for me, and fueled by a love of flying, I hope I can serve the community as a Pilot in the Air Support Division.

So far, things are going great! We had a pre-orientation downtown, and for most of us, it was our first time meeting the other cadets. I can only speak for myself, but walking in I was overwhelmed with different emotions. I was excited to meet my classmates, anxious to start working with them and incredibly nervous of the unknown still to come. I had the nervous butterflies in the pit of my stomach, but as soon as I saw a room full of the blue uniforms I hope to wear one day, my butterflies took flight and a sense of gratitude set in.

I am very grateful that these men and woman have given me the opportunity to join their “family” and the chance to fulfill my life-long dream. Class 210 has only taken its first baby step, but I know by September we will full steam ahead.

My name is Elizabeth Gemmill, and I recently became a cadet for the Houston Police Department. I was born in 1988 in Germany on a US Army base. I grew up in a suburb south of Houston called League City. I’m a young woman that has geared all her goals toward becoming a police officer.

Since I was 12, being a police officer has been my dream thanks to a League City police officer who helped me through a rough time in my life. He became someone I looked up to and someone I wanted to be.

Throughout high school I worked several jobs and played sports to keep myself busy along with whatever social life I could manage. While juggling my busy teen life I helped out my local police department with tobacco stings.

This experience only encouraged me to pursue my dreams of becoming a police officer one day. Immediately following high school I began college and as soon as I had my first degree I applied for HPD, I could not get there soon enough.

My name is Jessica Smith. I was born in Riverside, California and raised in San Antonio, Texas; I am pursuing my lifelong ambition in law enforcement. I am mother of three and grandmother of two.

I have a “never give up” attitude and was recently awarded a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and Hapkido. My past hobbies include motorcycle riding and raising horses. I used to own a small motorcycle apparel company, practiced real estate in North Carolina and Texas, and served as the public relations director at a large Martial Arts school. I enjoy shooting handguns and aspire to pilot an HPD helicopter one day.

I have waited 17 long months for Academy 210 to begin and look forward to forging new friendships and making a positive contribution in the Houston community.


Anonymous said...

I love this! The photos are way cool. They look like superheroes! LOL. Can't wait to hear more.

Anonymous said...

Awesome. Stay focused. You can do this. I DO NOT want to read about one of you quitting!

Anonymous said...

This is a very nice post. I like this very much. I want to see more about them and see them wearing the blue in the end.

Officer McCoy said...

That's the goal. I will be out there tommorrow taking pictures of the first P.T. test. This should be good. Thanks for the support and the nice comments. GO 210!

Anonymous said...

This is great Mike! I wish someone had done the same to my class (kept up with some of us) and today we could go back and see how things actually played out! You do an amazing job with these cadets.. keep up the good work and I look forward to reading about them for the next few months.

Officer McCoy said...

Thank you. I know what you mean. This would have been cool went I went through as well. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Very cool! Love this story.

Anonymous said...

Mike you've done it again. The HPD should be proud of you and your efforts to keep HPD in a positive light. Congratulations to the cadets of 210 and all the brave men and women who will follow!

Kenneth Shoemaker

Anonymous said...

Good Luck HPD Class 210. Remember to work together as a team.

HPD Officer from class 1 9 7.

Anonymous said...

I am so impressed with this story. I follow HPD on Facebook all the time, but this blog is the most outstanding and creative thing I have ever seen. This current story is absolutely terrific. Congrats Officer McCoy -you are to be commended for this. I look forward to the following days and reading about the progress these Cadets make each day.

Anonymous said...

Great idea Officer McCoy! Best of luck to the men and women of 210... we are behind you 100%!!

Anonymous said...

Hey Williamson it's Greason. I finally got my call for HCSO! It looks like I will be a peace officer before you, but I can't wait to see you as an HPD officer. Hang in there because only good things will come to those that believe in what they're trying to accomplish in life.