Thursday, June 30, 2011

210 Update - Cadet Gemmill

So, a lot has happened in the past few weeks. Since my last entry, our class has had our mid-term Physical Agility Test and I was only five seconds from breaking the department's female record for the 1.5 mile run! I have been running during lunch and working hard. I really want to break the record and determination is definitely going to be the key.

The past three weeks everyone in our class has been busy with skills. They split the class up into four groups and divide us into different training areas. Skills, firearms training, defensive tactics and driver's training.

The first two weeks I was in firearms training where I thought I would be in my comfort zone considering my upbringing with firearms, my experience on a rifle team, and shooting pistols throughout my life. Surprisingly enough, this is where I have been the most stressed out so far during the whole academy. I guess part of it was I felt like I was letting myself down. I did really well until they only give you two seconds to shoot the middle of the target twice. That means “trigger jerking.” Thankfully I qualified and was able move on to defensive tactics (DT.)

Defensive tactics (DT) is interesting and very important for a cadet in training. We learned how to handcuff, "Terry Frisk", do a high risk search, and a take down. This is only the beginning of DT and I'm looking forward to learning more throughout the next three months.

Next week I go to drivers training. I've been told by so many that this week will be the best week of the whole academy. I'm really excited to get behind the wheel of a squad car. Being behind a steering wheel is another comfort zone for me so hopefully my stress level doesn't escalate like it did in firearms.

I feel like I'm doing well and our class is at the point where the days are going by quickly. It's hard to believe we are halfway there and September 27th is just around the corner. I wish I could just blink and I could be on patrol somewhere in Houston already.

With skills, I've had a chance to meet more instructors with more personalities and all of them love what they are teaching.

Finally, I'd like to thank my firearms instructors, Officer Bosky and Officer Walsh. They taught me a lot and helped me accomplish my qualification all while being positive and fun. Even through the blisters and the jammed wrist, I got through it. Although stressful, firearms has been my favorite time so far.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The badge really does mean you care...

There is more to the badge than you may realize. There’s a pretty unique teacher over at Pershing Middle School who will be missed a lot over the summer. He’s another example of "What’s Right" about our community.

Raul Collins’ class is made up of kids who get in trouble—a lot. But instead of getting kicked out, they were sent to Collins’ class this year. But he isn’t really a teacher, Collins is a Houston police officer.

Check out this story on Click the link below:

Friday, June 24, 2011

So You Want To Be HPD K-9?

Click Play Above

You may or may not have seen the original video on Youtube ( but I thought I would have a little fun with it and change the conversation.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

210 Update - Cadet Smith

The last time I checked in with the blog we had just finished week 7. We were gearing up for Police Week which was really an eye opener into many divisions you can partake in after patrolling. Many of us spent our lunch hour talking to SWAT, Mounted Patrol, Fox, SRG and the Bomb Squad; after seeing Fox lift off I was convinced that’s where I want to be in 5 years. All week there were hundreds of small school children who were visiting the academy. During lunch they would ask for our autographs like we were famous. You couldn’t help but smile. We would march out to perform a roll call for them and they cheered the whole time. Several cadets commented that it made them a little teary eyed.

Police Week wrapped up with Class 210 marching into the Police Memorial Friday evening. We all knew it would be a somber event, but it really hit home when you saw all the family members who the fallen officers left behind. I just hope my family never visits the memorial to hear my name called. Unfortunately, HPD lost Officer Will, from class 205, the very next week. Class 210 attended his funeral and we were once again reminded of how dangerous this job can be. Several of us broke down during different portions of the funeral, but for me it was the last radio call that sent the tears rolling down my cheek. Officer Will was a true hero to the end.

Week 11 ended with our 2nd PAT test, which was pretty grueling considering the heat and anticipation. The final one in August will be the true test since it will probably be 110 by then! Knowing the PAT test was over we were all looking forward to 4 weeks of "ropin’, ridin’ and shootin’" as Officer Lyall refers to it.

My group went to Firearms Training for two weeks straight. It was amazing! Everyone talked about how driving would be the best, but I have to say I had a blast in firearms (no pun intended.) I wasn’t nervous to shoot even though I don’t shoot often, I was nervous about disassembling my gun and knowing how to put it back together. The instructors gave us repetition drills on everything from drawing and holstering your weapon, to taking it apart and putting it back together. I can now disassemble and reassemble it with my eyes shut. There’s nothing to it. There were a few who had never fired a weapon and struggled in the beginning, but on qualification day they blew it out of the water and most qualified as a Sharpshooter-congrats to them. Our last day of firearms felt like the last day of school. All the testing had concluded, grades were in and then we all sat around cleaning our guns at the picnic tables visiting with one another.

Next week I have driving, the week after that will be Defensive Tactics and then back to the classroom. We’re half way there! Even though it doesn’t feel like September 27th is around the corner our trainers are already prepping for our graduation. We’ve signed off on our certificates, we’re picking out songs and pics for our ceremony and we’re also discussing invitations. I couldn’t wait for the academy to start; it will be bitter sweet to see it end.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Stay informed!

Follow us on Twitter for up to date and breaking news regarding HPD.

You can also follow us on Twitter for news regarding any upcoming academy classes.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Hello, my name is Alpos. I am a K-9 here at HPD. Did you know that I have my very own Facebook page? (I have a really big keyboard) Ready for a laugh? Become my friend at

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

You are a Police Officer...

The department was all astir, there was a lot of laughing and joking due to all the new officers, myself included, hitting the streets today for the first time. After months of seemingly endless amounts of classes, paperwork, and lectures we were finally done with the Police Academy and ready to join the ranks of our department. All you could see were rows of former cadets with huge smiles and polished badges. As we sat in the briefing room, we could barely sit still anxiously awaiting our turn to be introduced and given our beat assignment.

It was then that he walked in. A statue of a man, six foot, three inches and 230 pounds of solid muscle, he had black hair with highlights of gray and steely eyes that make you feel nervous even when he wasn't looking at you. He had a reputation for being the biggest and the smartest officer to ever work within our fair city. He had been on the department for longer than anyone could remember and those years of service had made him into somewhat of a legend.

The new guys, or "rookies" as he called us, both respected and feared him. When he spoke, even the most seasoned officers paid attention. It was almost a privilege when one the rookies got to be around when he would tell one of his police stories about the old days. But we knew our place and never interrupted for fear of being shooed away. He was respected and revered by all who knew him.

After my first year on the department I still had never heard or saw him speak to any of the rookies for any length of time. When he did speak to them all he would say was, "So, you want to be a policeman, do you hero? I'll tell you what, when you can tell me what they taste like, then you can call yourself a real policeman." This particular phrase I had heard dozens of times. My buddies and I had bets about "what they taste like" actually referred to. Some believed it referred to the taste of your own blood after a hard fight. Others thought it referred to the taste of sweat after a long day's work.

Being on the department for a year now, I thought I knew just about everyone and everything. So one afternoon, I mustered up the courage and walked up to him. When he looked down at me, I said "You know, I think I've paid my dues. I've been in plenty of fights, made dozens of arrests, and sweated my butt off just like everyone else. So what does that little saying of yours mean anyway?" With that, he merely stated, "Well, seeing as how you've said and done it all, you tell me what it means, hero." When I had no answer, he shook his head and snickered, "rookies," and walked away.

The next evening was to be the worst one to date. The night started out slow, but as the evening wore on, the calls became more frequent and dangerous. I made several small arrests and then had a real knock down drag out fight. However, I was able to make the arrest without hurting the suspect or myself. After that, I was looking forward to just letting the shift wind down and getting home to my wife and daughter. I glanced at my watch and noticed that I had five more minutes left in my shift and would be on my way home. I don't know if it was fatigue or just my imagination, but as I drove down one of the streets in my beat, I thought I saw my daughter standing on someone else's porch. I looked again but it was not my daughter as I had first thought, but merely a small child about her age. She was probably only six or seven years old and dressed in an oversized shirt that hung down to her feet. She was clutching an old rag doll in her arms that looked older than me. I immediately stopped my patrol car to see what she was doing outside her house at such an hour by herself. When I approached, there seemed to be a sigh of relief on her face. I had to laugh to myself, thinking she must see the “hero policeman” coming to save the day. I knelt at her side and asked what she was doing outside. She said "My mommy and daddy just had a really big fight and now mommy won't wake up."

My mind was reeling. Now what do I do? I instantly called for backup and ran to the nearest window. As I looked inside I saw a man standing over a lady with his hands covered in blood, her blood. I kicked open the door, pushed the man aside and checked for a pulse, but was unable to find one. I immediately cuffed the man and began doing C.P.R. on the lady. It was then I heard a small voice from behind, "Mr. Policeman, please make my mommy wake up." I continued to perform C.P.R. until my backup and medics arrived but they said it was too late. She was dead. I then looked up at the man. He said, "I don't know what happened. She was yelling at me to stop drinking and to get a job, I had enough. I just shoved her so she would leave me alone and she fell and hit her head."

As I walked the man out to the car in handcuffs, I again saw that little girl. In the five minutes that had passed, I went from hero to monster. Not only was I unable to wake up her mommy, but now I was taking her daddy away too.

Before I left the scene, I thought I would talk to the little girl. I wanted to console her, anything to help her. Maybe just to tell her I was sorry about her mommy and daddy. But as I approached, she turned away and I knew it was useless and I would probably make it worse.

As I sat in the locker room at the station, I kept replaying the whole thing in my mind. Maybe if I would have been faster or done something different, maybe that little girl would still have her mother. And even though it may sound selfish, I would still be the hero.

It was then that I felt a large hand on my shoulder. I heard that all too familiar question again, "Well, hero, what do they taste like?" But before I could get mad, throw a punch, or shout some sarcastic remark, I realized that all the pent up emotions had flooded the surface and there was a steady stream of tears cascading down my face.

It was at that moment that I realized what the answer to his question was:


With that, he began to walk away, but he stopped. "You know, there was nothing you could have done differently," he said. "Sometimes you can do everything right and still the outcome is the same. You may not be the hero you once thought you were, but now you ARE a police officer.

~Unknown Author

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Think it's hot outside? Ask 211...

A couple of weeks ago Academy Class 211 took its initial Physical Fitness Training Assessment. This is the first of many tests to come. If you are not in shape now, don't worry, after six months you will be. Of course this is June and we all know it only gets hotter as we go...

Good luck class 211, welcome to summer, Houston style.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Orientation/Open House is FULL

Thanks for the quick response everyone. The Open House/Orientation for this Saturday is full. Please keep an eye on the blog for future dates.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Act Now!


Reserve your spot NOW for this Saturday, June 11, 2011 for the HPD Academy Orientation/Open House!

Take this opportunity to prepare for a possible upcoming Fall of 2011 academy class. Admission is by appointment ONLY and seating starts at 8:30am.

It is limited to the first 150 qualified and serious candidates.

Register ASAP by contacting Officer Abrian Nelson by email at:

You must RSVP to get on the list. FIRST COME, FIRST SERVE.

The orientation will begin in the auditorium at the academy. Parking will be at the Academy located at 17000 Aldine Westfield Rd. The presentation will start on time at 9:00 am so please arrive by 8:30 am. If you will be attending the orientation, please RSVP by simply sending an email stating, "Please sign me up for the orientation on June 11, 2011 at 9 am."

You must RSVP.

Please bring your Texas Drivers License, Social Security card, Birth Certificate, proof of any college hours you have earned, and a copy of your degree if you have one. If you have served in the military, please bring a copy of your DD-214 Form 4.

Visit our website at and become familiar with the requirements such has college hours needed or military service required, physical fitness, credit, residence requirements, documents needed, etc.

The orientation will include an opening presentation in the auditorium giving prospective applicants valuable information about the hiring process, and the expectations for cadet training. The orientation will offer prospects the chance to tour the academy and be given more detailed information regarding cadet training. Also, this time will allow for questions and review of any credentials the attendees may bring (i.e. driver's license, social security cards, birth certificates, degrees, transcripts, etc.).


The tour will include:
Class rooms, and class room training
The Gym, and defensive tactics
The pistol range and fire arms training
Driver Training, and the track
The outdoor track, and training requirements

Take advantage of this opportunity and RSVP today!

Still have questions?

Please contact Officer Abrian Nelson by phone at 713-308-1373. Remember this is for questions only. If you want to officially attend the orientation, please email as instructed above.