Sunday, May 29, 2011

Rest in Peace

“A Houston police officer was struck and killed by a suspected drunken driver early Sunday while investigating an accident on the North Loop near Yale. The 38-year-old officer, Kevin Will, died at the scene, Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland said. Will was a father of two children, ages 6 and 10, and his wife is 6 months pregnant with their third child, the chief said. The driver, 26-year-old Johoan Rodriguez, was taken to an area hospital for toxicology tests, police said. He’s currently in jail, facing pending charges of intoxication manslaughter of a peace officer, felony evading and possession of a controlled substance… ”At this morning’s roll call, (Will) announced to his comrades that today was his one-year anniversary in Vehicular Crimes, and he made a joke that he’s been here a year, so does that qualify him to be a veteran or is he still a rookie?” McClellan said. ..” (Houston Chronicle)

Officers on the scene stated that as the vehicle approached, Kevin shoved a witness he was interviewing out of the way saving his life, before being struck and killed by the vehicle. Officer Will was a hero until the very end.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Out of Service

Everyone needs a vacation. The blog will be out of service until June 8, 2011. If you need immediate assistance please call Recruiting at 713-308-1300 or Public Affairs at 713-308-3200.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Officers in Action

Officer D. Haynes was recently dispatched to a Robbery call at a hair salon. Officer Haynes arrived and met with the victim, who relayed to him that a male had just robbed the business at gunpoint. Officer Haynes broadcast a description of the suspect, who had just left the scene to other officers in the area.

Officer C. Castellani searched the area for the suspect and was able to find him quickly, however as Officer Castellani attempted to detain the suspect, he began to run away on foot. Officers R. P. Roecker and L. Pudifin arrived at the scene and assisted in the foot pursuit.

Officers chased the suspect through a busy shopping center. Officers could see that the suspect was carrying a sock, with what appeared to be a gun barrel protruding from it. Officers gave the suspect numerous commands to drop the gun, and to stop running.

The suspect then ran into an alley by the shopping center and stumbled. Officer Roecker tackled the suspect to the ground and was able to wrestle the gun away from him. Officers Roecker, Castellani and Pudifin were able to take the suspect into custody. During a search of the suspect, the cash stolen from the business was recovered. Officers also recovered the gun, which was a fully loaded, .45 caliber pistol.

Officers returned the suspect to the scene, where he was positively identified. The suspect was charged with Aggravated Robbery with a Deadly Weapon.

Officer Haynes provided critical descriptions of the suspect immediately, leading to the pursuit. Officers Roecker, Castellani and Pudifin showed great restraint, while pursuing an armed suspect through a crowded shopping center. The officers took action with care to avoid injuries to bystanders.

Without the diligence of the officers involved, this robbery might have gone unsolved. Without the quick response of the officers, the suspect would have had time to conceal evidence and flee the area.

HPD would like to commend these officers for their dedication to duty.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Monday, May 23, 2011

One Small Step...

Houston Police Chief Charles A. McClelland, Jr. officially welcomed the latest cadet class to the Houston Police Department Training Academy today.

Chief McClelland offered words of advice, expectation and encouragement to the 73 men and women who make up Cadet Class 211.

“There’s a certain expectation which goes along with being a Houston police cadet,” said Chief McClelland. “What makes law enforcement so unique are the values and ideals to which we all subscribe,” he added.

“The Houston Police Department has high standards and a lot of hope for these cadets. They are solely needed to replace the officers who are retiring,” he added. “Our department is graying a little bit. Individuals like me can’t stay on forever, so we need this infusion of young talent.”

“There is a future for these cadets and that future is very very bright,” Chief McClelland concluded.

Friday, May 20, 2011

In Memoriam

Click Play Above

Today we honor our fallen heroes.

The Annual Memorial Service will be held this evening at 7 p.m., at the Houston Police Officers Memorial site to honor those officers who have given their lives in the line of duty. A procession of police officers will walk down Memorial Drive beginning at 7 p.m. A candlelight vigil will be held and include the placing of a wreath on the Houston Police Officers Memorial, a roll call of deceased officers, a 21-gun salute, the playing of TAPS, and a fly-over by HPD helicopters.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Starting early...

Cadet Smith knows that one day she may need backup from HPD's Mounted horse "Sioux" so she thought she would make friends early by sharing her lunch.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Thank You HPD

Click Play Above

As we continue to celebrate Police Week 2011
(May 16-20), we wanted to share this video of local celebrities giving thanks to HPD.

Today, Ministers Against Crime will hold A Day of Prayer at 10 a.m. at HPD Headquarters, 1200 Travis. Houston area clergy members will gather to reinforce the partnership that exists between the community and the department.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Police Week

The Houston Police Department will observe National Police Week starting today, through Friday, May 20.

First proclaimed in 1962 by President John F. Kennedy, National Peace Officers Memorial Day is celebrated on May 15th and the week in which the date falls is known as “Police Week.” Law enforcement personnel from around the world gather in Washington DC to participate in the National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service and Candlelight Vigil. Communities across the nation also pay tribute to their fallen heroes. National Police Week serves as a time of reflection and appreciation for the ultimate sacrifice made by exceptionally courageous and noble officers.

This year’s activities for the Houston Police Department include four important events and the daily, pre-scheduled tours and demonstrations to Houston-area school children at the Houston Police Training Academy.

The Police Week Awards Ceremony will be held today, at 10 a.m., at the Downtown Aquarium, 3rd floor, 410 Bagby Street @ Memorial Drive. The ceremony will feature the reading of the Mayor’s Proclamation and awards presentations.

Ministers Against Crime will hold A Day of Prayer News Conference at 10 a.m., Wednesday, May 18, at HPD Headquarters, 1200 Travis. Houston area clergy members will gather to reinforce the partnership that exists between the community and the department.

The Annual Memorial Service will be held on Friday, May 20, at 7 p.m., at the Houston Police Officers Memorial site to honor those officers who have given their lives in the line of duty. A procession of police officers will walk down Memorial Drive beginning at 7 p.m. A candlelight vigil will be held and include the placing of a wreath on the Houston Police Officers Memorial, a roll call of deceased officers, a 21-gun salute, the playing of TAPS, and a fly-over by HPD helicopters.

During Police Week, Houston-area school children are once again participating in pre-scheduled tours and demonstrations at the Houston Police Academy, located at 17000 Aldine Westfield. The children will meet with officers and partake in demonstrations from the Helicopter Squad, K-9 Unit, SWAT team, Dive Team, Training Division, and Community Services Unit.

It is during Police Week we remember and honor those who have given the ultimate sacrifice so that we may live in safety and peace. Please join the Houston Police Department in commemorating the law enforcement officers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice, selflessly dedicating their lives in the line of duty while serving to protect the citizens of this great city.

Friday, May 13, 2011

210 Update - Cadet Gemmill

Eight weeks in! That means only a few more weeks until skills! Skills are supposedly the hardest, yet best part of the academy. It's the time we learn how to shoot our firearms correctly, drive our patrol cars, and defense tactics. Recently, the whole class got their bullet-proof vests and that in itself is an exciting concept. Once again, we are all one step closer to becoming police officers for HPD!

Remember I had told you that those primaries were no joke? Well, unfortunately we lost two of our cadets to them. These tests and the quizzes that go with them are life consuming. Since the tests are on Mondays most of us spend the whole weekend studying. My family, although very supportive, is a bit jealous of the time I have spent studying for these test on weekends. Most of us have our own little study groups. I love mine. Not only are they my study group, but my support system. We all get along pretty well; have our own little inside stories, and all know how to quiz each other. Along with the few cadets I study with, the whole class is supportive. Especially during PT.

While running the track, one can often hear several cadets randomly pushing one another on with words of encouragement. While doing pushups, after a strenuous work out you can hear cadets breathing hard and others shouting out words to keep us going. Previously I had mentioned that a rope and a wall had given me some trouble, well not anymore. This last week I climbed to the top of that rope and climbed over the wall in one try. Most of us are pretty happy with ourselves. A lot of us have lost weight, gained muscles, and toned up. Many of the instructors had told us that the academy will be one of the times in our lives that we will be in our best shape.

I'm really proud of my class. Our class leader and squad leaders have really stepped up and have taken care of business. Our class president, treasurer, and secretary have really taken care of business as well. Our president keeps us informed, our secretary has helped put together our class flag and our class hats (which we have to wear while on the driving track), and our treasurer has helped in gathering all the money to buy those things for our class. I'm really looking forward to seeing the fruits of their labor. Our class flag will hang with all the previous class flags in the gym and I'm sure all 68 of us will rock the baseball caps on the driving track.

I can honestly say that the past 8 weeks have been some of the most tiring weeks of my life. I may be a morning person but waking up at 4:30 every morning is hard. Now, sleeping in means sleeping until about 7 am. Once we hit the streets we will have to adjust our sleep schedule once again. But, you won't hear me complain because I'll be doing what I've always wanted to do.

We still have various instructors that come in and teach us about topics that they are knowledgeable in. It's a great chance to meet many different officers from different divisions and one can tell that each one of them is passionate about their jobs. Many people have asked me how I'm enjoying the academy... although, I can hardly wait to be a police officer I know the next 20 weeks will go by very quickly and I'm doing my best to savor the good times learning about other people and growing close with other soon-to-be officers. I know we will always have each other's back. Way to go 210!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

HPD in Action

Criminal Intelligence Analyst (CIA) Pandora works in the Real Time Crime Center (RTCC) at police headquarters. The Real Time Crime Center is a centralized technology center in which its primary purpose is to give field officers and investigators instant and comprehensive information to help identify patterns and stop emerging crime.

Recently, investigators were searching for some major gang members who were threatening business owners. The crooks would pose as undercover police officers to gain entry into the homes of these business owners. Once inside the home they would ransack the homes for cash and valuables and threaten their lives before abandoning the scene.

This gang would first identify their target and set up surveillance. Then two members of this gang would dress up as members of a police raid team and approach the front door of their target. After gaining entry, they would subdue the victims with flex cuffs and cover the victim’s face to conceal the gang’s identity. After completing the raid, other members of the gang would show up to search the residence for cash and valuables, take pictures of the victim’s and then threaten their lives to keep them from reporting the crime and testifying in court.

Investigators were able to identify, capture and charge the gang members but needed help finding the ring leader of the gang. All they had was a last name and a fictitious social security number.

After extensive investigation, the case started to go cold. That’s when they contacted the RTCC.

CIA Pandora jumped into action utilizing her analytical skills to query the various databases within the RTCC and she was able to determine the ring leader’s real name, address, phone number, place of employment and his real social security number.

This ring leader was also linked to numerous crimes and determined to be a habitual criminal.

As a result of CIA Pandora’s due diligence and analytical skills the gang leader was located, arrested and charged with multiple felonies.

HPD would like to commend Criminal Intelligence Analyst Pandora for a job well done.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

210 Update - Cadet Williamson

As we finish up our second month at the academy, Class 210 is shaping up to be a very dedicated class. We've experienced some triumphs and some failures. Sadly, we've lost some cadets, and are told to expect to lose more before the journey is through. On the other hand, we have discovered a stride and find ourselves growing stronger each day. We've certainly bonded as a cohesive group, something the instructors have been pushing us to do since the beginning.

Class 210 has established a motto, "Class 210, Serve and Defend!", that is shouted in unison often in our daily routine. The artists in the room have contributed to our official class flag and the design on our class hats. The entrepreneurs among us have taught the class some methods for raising money to help pay for the flags, hats, and class supplies. It's rewarding to see the group as a whole benefit from the unique skills we are each able to contribute.

You've probably heard by now that the may experience some layoffs in the near future. There is a very quiet whisper among us of some concern about our future. The supervisors have always been there for us and have taken the time to address our concerns. Now, that doesn't mean they are taking it easy on us in ANY way, but they do remind us that no matter what our future holds, our only focus right now is to succeed at the academy. It can be tough to keep one's eye on the light at the end of the tunnel when graduation might mean leaving HPD. This is why our class bond is so important. Each day, we encourage each other to focus on the challenges at hand and to remember that we've still got four more months of hard work ahead of us. No matter what our future holds, Class 210 is strong and up to the challenge!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

210 Update - Cadet Smith

Weeks one through seven have come and gone. It’s crazy to think of what all we have accomplished in such a short period of time both academically and physically. At the same time, it’s a little intimidating to think of what we haven’t learned and to know we only have 20 weeks to perfect it.

Class 210 is awesome to say the least. I could not have asked for a better group of classmates. No one keeps their strengths to themselves, they are always willing to share, help, encourage and get you through whatever struggles you may have. Everyone has a unique talent to contribute.

I do have my top, left corner group of guys I have come to love (only because we sit together 8 hours a day) but everyone else is equally amazing. Cadet Mark, Williams and Pena have been my circuit buddies in PT. Cadet August, Byrd, Jones, Ibarra and Cain are my study partners. Cadet Swift and Fay keep me motivated on the mile and half run.

There are so many things coming up in the next few weeks: Police Week, Class 211 will join us, final PAT testing, and then it will be off to “skills.” I’m looking forward to being on the street, but then again I don’t want to rush these last 20 weeks as the first 7 have been an incredible experience!

Monday, May 9, 2011

210 Update - Cadet Mark

(May 8, 2011)

Well, it's the night before Primary Exam #3 and my mind is racing it seems. We just finished week seven and it seems like I'm still settling in. Taking care of things around the house and my life outside of the academy always seems to get placed on the back burner, but with today being Mothers Day, it gave me a chance to just relax and be with my family.

Everything is really starting to intensify. A few months ago if you told me I could do some of the things we do on a daily basis, I would think you were playing a joke on me. For me, it's one day at a time. I make a daily goal, and find a way to complete it. I know I've written this before, but you just don't realize how much the people around you can lift you up until your on your "last leg" and just need someone one whispering in you ear that you can make it through if you just keep pushing.

Seven weeks ago I didn't know any of these people that I call my classmates. Now after seven weeks I have made life long friends.

The atmosphere in the classroom is really starting to pick up! I think we can all feel "Skills" training coming around the corner and we're all very eager to get there. Everyone has been ordering new batons, handcuffs and discussing what kind of sidearm we will be taking with us on the street.

I would like to take this opportunity to say Happy Mothers Day to all the proud mothers of class 210 and all the mothers in Houston.

Now its back to studying for that 7 AM "reality check" known as "Primary 3."

Friday, May 6, 2011

Funny Friday

“Give me a break Ma, it’s Mother’s Day. I paid those tickets a year ago!”

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Family Tradition

If you are a regular reader of this blog you know that I write about HPD being one big, happy family. When you become part of HPD, you become part of an extended family.

Cadet Meghan Miller of Academy Class 210 (literally) knows how to keep it in the family.

Meghan’s mother Jeannine Maughmer graduated from HPD academy class number 81 in 1978 and retired a senior police officer in 2003. She served in patrol, dispatch, juvenile, and the helicopter division.

Meghan’s father, Frank C. Miller, graduated from HPD academy class number 39 in 1968 and retired as a sergeant in 2002. He served in patrol, dispatch and the narcotics division.

Meghan’s grandfather, Lynn A. Maughmer, graduated from academy class number 13 in 1955 and was a motorcycle officer in 1968 when he died from cancer.

Meghan’s great uncle, Earl Maughmer, graduated from class #1, and retired as a Captain in 1975.

Meghan’s great grandfather, on her mother’s side, E.R. “Ray” Goodnight joined in the 1940’s after World War II before HPD numbered the academy classes. He retired a Lieutenant in 1975.

Meghan’s great uncle, G. R. Goodnight, graduated from class #9, in 1953 and retired a Sergeant in 1982.

Just a footnote, their older brother, S.T. “Steve” Goodnight (not pictured) also served the community as a Captain with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office before he died from a heart attack in 1972

FAMILY- figuratively and literally…

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


It's hard enough being an HPD K-9 in this heat. Is it too much to ask for a little rain?