Friday, March 25, 2011

I love the smell of sweat in the morning (PART ONE)







This morning Academy Class 210 took its initial Physical Fitness Training Assessment. It was not pretty, but overall they did pretty good. 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 March and the final test will be in August...I'm just saying...

Good luck class 210, welcome to summer, Houston style.

(Part two and three of these photos will be revealed on Tuesday of next week.)

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.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Stay Tuned

Take a look at these faces. Who are they and why are they on the blog?

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Eye Opener















Cadet Class 210 started the academy yesterday. I am sure it was an eye opener for many of them.

Help each other out 210. The goal is to have 100 percent graduate six months from now. You are no longer individuals, become a family and you will prevail.