Friday, April 29, 2011

Funny Friday

Britain's Royal Mail issued a special commemorative stamp to honor the wedding of Prince William & Catherine Middleton this morning. The only problem? It was just ONE stamp.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Chronicles of a Teen Killer

Click Play Above

Trailer: Excerpts from a high school senior's moving account regarding her experience after being arrested for DWI.

HPD, the Houston Area-Galveston Council and Texas Pictures present "Chronicles of a Teen Killer." It is a documentary, currently in production, that will raise awareness among teens of the fatal results of impaired driving. Local students are involved in all aspects of the production, which will premiere in May of 2011.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Officers in Action

Officer F. Deyhim has worked with the Truck Enforcement Unit approximately three... years. It is of significance, that his productivity for the calendar year 2010, consistently exceeded the Unit’s productivity standard within the Truck Enforcement Unit. His statistics for the calendar year are as follows: 930 commercial vehicle enforcement inspections resulting in 57% of these being placed out of service, 1,234 citations, and 5,340 administrative notices (violations listed on inspections but not cited).

Officer Deyhim regularly shows initiative by remaining informed and updated on commercial motor vehicle federal regulations. Likewise, he routinely volunteers for special assignments and continually makes himself available when the dispatcher or another officer requests a truck enforcement unit. In addition, he volunteered to be part of the call-up program, which consists of officers who are on call Monday through Sunday between the hours of 2000 and 0600, who respond to commercial motor vehicle involved incidents. His knowledge and dedication to the job is evident in the quality of the commercial vehicle inspections he performs on a daily basis.

In conclusion, Officer Deyhim’s work performance, as well as his exemplary daily efforts that go beyond the call of duty; specifically the enforcement of commercial motor vehicle federal regulations, make the city of Houston roadways safer for the motoring public. Therefore, HPD would like to commend him publicly for an outstanding job.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Be observant and look for every detail...

(CBS/AP) NORWALK, Calif. – When Los Angeles County Sheriff’s homicide investigator Kevin Lloyd was routinely looking through snapshots of tattooed gang members, he saw something that caught his eye – a crime scene he was familiar with.

Anthony Garcia, a member of the Rivera-13 gang, had a tattoo that resembled the scene of the liquor store killing of 23-year-old John Juarez in Pico Rivera on Jan. 23, 2004, reports the Los Angeles Times.

There were numerous details the murder inked on the gang member. The paper reports that the tattoo included the Christmas lights that lined the roof of the liquor store where Juarez was shot and killed, the direction his body fell, the bowed street lamp across the way and the street sign. Above everything read the title, "RIVERA KILLS", a reference to the gang. A helicopter was also placed above the scene raining down bullets, a nod to Garcia’s alias "Chopper."

When police discovered the evidence on Garcia’s chest in 2008, they launched an investigation, which was followed by the arrest of Garcia.

This week, an undercover policeman got a confession from the suspect. That yielded a first-degree murder conviction in a killing investigators had initially given up hope on.

"Think about it. He tattooed his confession on his chest. You have a degree of fate with this," Capt. Mike Parker told the Times.

Garcia faces 65 years to life when he is sentenced on May 19 in a Norwalk court.

Pico Rivera is about 10 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Happy Easter

The calls for service went through the roof yesterday as chickens everywhere were complaining.

Friday, April 22, 2011

210 Update - Cadet Mark

1 Down, 5 to go!

Officially one month into the academy and things only seem to get faster. More material to study, faster paced runs, and more day to day challenges being thrown at us. I felt that I was prepared coming into the academy, but there are a lot of things that you just can not prepare yourself for. Lately the biggest challenge for me is getting my mind wrapped around all the sights, sounds and smells we're soon to come in contact with when we hit the streets. I'm just happy to know we have great instructors that are preparing us now so we don't have any shocks when the time comes.

I'm not sure if you've heard of the dreaded "primary" exams, but if not, let me be the first to tell you, they're the real separation from the men/women and boys/girls. You would think the physical aspect of the academy would be the thing everyone walks around worried about, but it’s really the primary you’re studying for the next Monday. So far we've had 2 primary quizzes and one actual primary, but I'm here to say that the primary will cause you to lose a lot of sleep and find study habits you didn't think you had. I actually look at the morning 3 mile run as a mental break and the seemingly hours of push ups as a welcome getaway from Penal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure.

Besides the primaries and what seems like constant push ups, you just have to learn how to take orders. If you listen to what you are told and do exactly as your instructors and other officers around the academy tell you, it makes life a lot easier. We don't always know exactly why we do things at times, but we soon learn the lesson and appreciate the experience. When we finally get on the streets, we have to be respectful and set the bar for others, and that's why at the academy we treat each other and everyone else with complete respect. There is no better time to start learning that you are a servant to the people and for the people, than right now.

With that said, everyone is still pushing hard and getting it done. Despite all the rumors, 210 is still a "whole" class! All 70 of us are standing strong ready to go the distance.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

210 Update - Cadet Williamson

What an eventful first month! Our first Primary Exam kicked our butts. Several of us did not do as well as we'd hoped, leaving seven cadets in a failing position. They were given another chance to take the test later that week. When it was announced that they had all passed with A's, the class roared with cheer. It was an eye-opening moment for the class as we realized how much we cared for each other. We may have only known one other for a few weeks, but the bond was already very strong.

While I didn't earn the top score in the class on our first Primary Exam, I did recently run for a class office. The class voted for President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. The candidates were all very capable of doing a fantastic job in the positions they sought, and it was a shame we couldn't all win. I was fortunate to be voted in as Class President. Sadly, the job doesn't come with a limousine or scary looking Secret Service agents, but it is a great opportunity to support my fellow cadets in creative new ways in the coming months. We've already got some great plans and are working together on strategies to implement them.

Currently, we're designing our Class Flag which will hang overhead in the gymnasium with the flags of the classes that came before us. It may incorporate our newly minted motto, "Class 210, Serve and Defend!" (Pending final approval from Chain of Command.) Before we Serve And Defend, though, we'll need to focus our efforts on passing this next Primary Exam. I know this one will be tough, but I also know how hard we've all been working in preparation for it. I have every confidence that Class 210 is going to shine on this one!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

210 Update - Cadet Gemmill

A month down, only five more to go!

Although studying the Penal Code can have interesting topics, it sure does drag. In the past few weeks we have been taught by various Assistant District Attorneys, all with their own personalities. They have been teaching us a lot of the “dos” and “don’ts” for law enforcement and I know we have so much more to learn.

Physical training has been good so far. I have climbed a rope and have mastered a wall after they gave me trouble the first couple of times. If anything, having something that gives me a challenge just motivates me to want to do better. Every time we got a break from class I would find the chin up bar and knock out a few pull ups to strengthen my upper body.

Along with the numerous challenges, I can’t leave out the “primary!” The “primary” is a major written test that they give us throughout the training. We had our first one last week and let me give you some advice. If you think the kind of studying you did in college would be enough to get you through a “primary”, you’re wrong. At least this is the way I personally feel about it. Just be ready to study your tails off when you get here. Thankfully, the first quiz gave me a taste of what the primary would be like, so I did well on the test.

I’m looking forward to our third month to come along, not only does Academy Class 211 start their classes, but we start our skills training!

Every now and then I’ll glance ahead at the schedule to keep me looking forward to the future. The days go by slow, but the weeks have gone by fast. I can’t believe a month has already gone by, but then again I can’t believe I still have 5 more to work through. With that being said, I couldn’t be happier that I am part of this amazing family here at HPD.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Run with your Recruiter

Click Play Above

This past Saturday we completed our inaugural "Run with your Recruiter" campaign. Police applicants for Academy Class 211 met with recruiters at Memorial Park to begin their journey to becoming "Houston's Finest."

We ran them through the mile and a half run, 300 meter run, push ups and agility tests. It was hard for some and easy for others. It was a chance to talk and meet some of the academy staff as well as speak with veteran officers about what to expect in the upcoming months at the police academy. There were even a handful of current cadets from class 210 on hand to meet and exchange ideas and tips for being a better cadet.

Remember, if you struggled on Saturday, this was just a taste of what to expect when the academy starts. You still have some time, start running and doing push ups NOW!

Monday, April 18, 2011

210 Update - Cadet Smith

Week 3 was a killer! The class did not get off to a good start for various reasons, so it was 7 days of push ups, planks and wall squats at every break! This equated to approximately 160-250 push ups per day depending on our PT days.

At first I dreaded break time, but after a couple of days I welcomed it as it was refreshing compared to learning the Penal Code.

As of week 4, I have shaved 20 seconds off my mile and a half mile run, increased my number and quality of push ups (by the time this Academy ends we will all look like Popeye), completed a 3 mile run with several other cadets, had a quiz and my first major test. I did well on the test, but there is always room for improvement. Before I know it we will be in the pistol range, on the driving track and learning defensive tactics. The time is flying by, but I’m enjoying every minute of it.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Mounted Patrol - SRG Demo

Click Play Above

On March 17, 2011, HPD Mounted Patrol and Special Response Group conducted a demonstration of techniques at the Humble Civic Center, with a variety of officers and civic organization members acting as out-of-control soccer fans. Poland, as host of the 2012 World Cup, recently sent a delegation of national law enforcement officials to the Sam Houston State University Law Enforcement Management Institute. This was an opportunity for them, as well as local law enforcement students and supporters, to gain a better understanding of how the Houston Police Department handles crowd control.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Officers in Action

HPD would like to recognize and commend the below listed officers for their outstanding performance apprehending four car-jackers who robbed two victims using multiple weapons.

The officers involved in the arrest were R. Giannini, M. Ortiz, G. Thornburg, K. Harvey, D. Small, and T. Le. These officers are all assigned to the Southeast Patrol Division. Assisting in the arrest - K-9 Sergeant S. Red, along with Helicopter officers R. Hardaway and R. Ashford.

Officers Giannini and Ortiz were dispatched to a call regarding regarding four suspects stripping a white truck. Once they arrived they observed four male suspects, all matching the correct descriptions, standing around a white truck. The suspects took off running as soon as they saw the officers approaching.

Officers Giannini and Ortiz gave chase on foot and each captured a suspect, however, the remaining two suspects escaped. Officers Harvey, Le, Small and Thornburg quickly arrived on the scene, as did the Helicopter Unit and the Canine Unit. A perimeter was established and a systematic search was conducted. The Helicopter Unit spotted the other two suspects several streets away and the canine unit blocked the suspects’ escape.

K-9 Sergeant Red and his partner, Natan, located the suspects on the front porch of a residence. The suspects had been trying to force the resident to drive them out of the area. The K-9 Unit prevented the suspects from leaving and held them on the porch until additional officers arrived to take them into custody.

Officers checked on the truck that the suspects were stripping and learned that it was not reported stolen. Investigation revealed that the owner resided outside of Houston. Officers contacted the owner and learned that she loaned her truck to her son so he could drive to Houston. She informed officers that her son had just contacted her informing her that he and his friend had just been car-jacked at gunpoint and her truck was stolen in the robbery. She gave officers her son’s cell number and officers contacted him. Officers learned that he was in the process of making a police report regarding the robbery and stolen truck.

Officers spoke with the officer who was in the process of taking a robbery report from the victims of the car-jacking and were informed that the victims could identify the suspects.

Each suspect was charged with Aggravated Robbery with a Deadly Weapon/Firearm and one suspect with an additional charge of Possession of Marijuana. It was also learned that they were also suspects in a home invasion case that occurred in the same area just prior to the robbery.

Had it not been for the officers’ professionalism, initiative, and teamwork, the four violent criminals would have easily eluded capture. Thanks to these officers, the intended outcome was accomplished and resulted not only in the removal of these four violent armed criminals from our streets, but also prevented them from committing additional violent crimes. HPD would like to commend these officers for a job well done.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Officers in Action

Click Play Above

by Brad Woodard/KHOU 11 News/

HOUSTON – A man and a woman led police on a wild chase that ended with the man and officers darting through oncoming traffic on the South Loop near the Ship Channel Bridge.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

This just might work...

Click Play Above

If we can only get all the vehicle manufacturers to install a large ring on the roofs...

Monday, April 4, 2011

210 - Week One

Cadet Mark WHEW!!!! What a whirl wind. If week one is any indication of what's to come, these next six months are going to be some of the most challenging, yet rewarding months of my life. Policing is NOT for the faint of heart! That becomes more and more apparent everyday. The class is already starting to come together and learning when to lead and when to be led. As for myself, I'm trying to soak in every minute. If standing in a room greeting Chief McClelland and other highly decorated HPD officers and hearing their expectations for you doesn't get you motivated, it’s safe to say not much will. These are mighty big shoes I'm trying to fill, but I know with the help, teachings, and encouragement by the training officers, we are bound to have a great class. For 209 it was "time to shine", but for 210, its one step, one day at a time until it’s our time.

Cadet Gemmill Well this was my first week and I can’t lie to anyone and say I wasn’t overwhelmed, because I was! I had to keep myself from grinning like a fool and looking goofy from all my excitement. I never really thought I would have the chance to meet Houston’s own police chief, Chief McClelland, but on our first day he came in and gave us a little pep talk . . . along with Assistant Chief Edwards and many other officers. I came into my first day intimidated, stressed, and overwhelmed. Many cadets and I had talked about how we had hardly slept the night before, and if we had slept any that we had nightmares about being late. Needless to say I got adequate sleep that night due to the minute amount I received the night before and from the ease that had settled in after listening to so many officers talk to us. For me, being a police officer is a calling… and like many other officers have told us in our two orientations and first day of class, being a police officer is rewarding and they couldn’t imagine doing anything else. I’m looking forward to graduating this academy in 6 months and feeling the same sense of belonging they feel as a police officer. Our first day consisted not only of speeches and warnings but also more paper work (lol), we even practiced drills and learned to manage our stress as a police officer. PS: I’m still intimidated, but that’s what will keep me going!

Cadet Smith The first week for Class 210 has ended and we ALL SURVIVED! I don’t even know where to start…roll call, marching, lectures, books, tests, inspections, and let’s not forget, the PAT Test. This past week was great. I feel Class 210 has really come together as a team quickly as everyone is helping out each other. Our L1 and L2 are awesome and all the instructors keep you interested with stories and their own experiences. Our military guys have really stepped up to the plate teaching the class how to march and stay in formation. I wasn’t nervous this past week until Friday when our physical abilities were put to the test. It was pretty demanding to say the least, but the instructors were nothing short of encouraging. I know things are about to ramp up as we start learning the law and we will have to juggle that information along with many other classes and PT. I have always enjoyed a challenge and I have to say this is my biggest challenge yet. I have set personal goals for myself, both academically and physically and I intend to see that I achieve them.

Cadet Williamson One week down, twenty seven more to go! After training for six months at a private academy, you'd think starting a new academy wouldn't be so hard. Being that this is the HPD Academy, though, there's nothing easy about it. Right out of the gate, we were flooded with information, rules, classes and homework. We drill daily, practicing the military style ceremonial formations that are fun to watch, but hard to do. Our days start before sunrise and end with just enough sunlight to get home. There is a constant fear for each cadet that something is being forgotten or messed up. We learned very quickly that a small mistake by any cadet can mean push ups or other punishment for the whole class. There are no individuals in the HPD Academy. We are trained to function as a single unit, so a mistake by one cadet is a mistake by all. There is no room for error, as the instructors (who are all seasoned HPD veterans of course) demand discipline, professionalism, and strength from each cadet. They know it's the tiniest of mistakes that can lead to loss of life in the real world. The week ended with PT exercises starting bright and early at 0700 hours (7am) Friday. Throughout the course of the next several hours, we were tested in our first of three critical Physical Agility Tests (PAT's). The test includes an Agility Run, Push-Ups, High Jump, 300 Meter Sprint, and 1.5 Mile Run. There are minimum standards for each test, and a failure on any test means remedial training for that event. Remedial training is extra work that can involve coming in early before the day starts and working out, so the stakes are high. I nearly failed the agility run. When they were telling us the instructions, which included sprinting to one end of the course and back, being sure to step across a line, I thought "Of COURSE you step past the line. What idiot would miss the line?" Yeah. It was me. I was disqualified on my first run, but was able to pass on the second time through. I was also able to pass the other events with decent times. Not GREAT times, but decent. They'll be great times by the end of the academy, I can guarantee that. The instructors will accept nothing less than complete and total commitment from each cadet, as they demonstrated when they made sure the physical training kicked into overdrive after the PAT was finished. I won't go into detail about what exactly went down (it was a complete shock to us, and is probably meant to be that way for future classes), but let's just say that Class 210 will definitely still be feeling it for the next several days! In the coming weeks, we will be electing a President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. I signed up to run for president. The sign up list for the positions is quite full. Given that nearly everyone in the class holds a stack of degrees in law enforcement related studies or is prior military, winning an elected position in this class will not be an easy thing. In just a single week, everyone in the class has shown the heart, dedication, and commitment of a leader, so I know Class 210 is in great hands no matter who wins the positions!

Friday, April 1, 2011


BREAKING NEWS: HPD authorities announced this morning that a two-year old orange Tabby-mix named “Tuffy” and two of his fully trained, dual-purpose cat companions are part of the first C-A-T (Cats Attack Thieves) division in the United States.

HPD received $21,850.23 from an anonymous donation and used additional federal and state grants along with money from drug seizures to open the program today, April 1, 2011. The entire cost, which included training in Oklahoma, is about $68,231.25.

The three sworn and trained C-A-T’s are trained to sniff out narcotics, similar to the instinct they already have bred into them of sniffing out cat-nip, attack based on a trainer's command and carry out other useful techniques.

Officer McCoy said they hope to add a fourth cat in the near future for full-time canine (K-9) assistance, although that may take some additional training due to the current dogs jealousies.

Tuffy and his fellow C-A-T’s already have helped officers find narcotics. Last week during a trial run, McCoy said the C-A-T’s sniffed out illegal narcotics and a crack pipe that their human coworkers might have missed without them. However, tragedy struck as one of the C-A-T’s went missing after a pigeon landed nearby.

"When Tuffy is close to the drugs, he'll indicate by purring very loudly, and he'll roll on his back," McCoy said.

Off-duty, Tuffy is a completely different cat. "He runs the house," McCoy said. "He'll just lie around, but when he sees his handler getting his uniform on, he starts going in circles, meowing incessantly and runs to the door. It's a big game to him."

As long as the crooks don’t have a feather tied to a stick or a ball of yarn, we feel that this could be a very successful program.

Have a great April 1st everyone...