Tuesday, December 27, 2011

HPD WILL BEGIN ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS!


HPD will begin accepting online applications at http://www.hpdcareer.com/ beginning January 3, 2012. Be sure to follow the specific application procedures listed in order to properly submit your application packet to Recruiting personnel (See "Application Process" link for details). Your application is not complete and no action will be taken until all the required forms and documents are reviewed and approved.

Fully completed application packets with the required documents will be accepted at the Department's Recruiting Center located at 1219 Milam, Houston, Tx 77002 by appointment only beginning January 9, 2012. Hours of operation are Monday and Tuesday 8 am-4 pm and Wednesday 8 am-7 pm each week. You can request an appointment by emailing: HPDRecruitingapplication@cityofhouston.net. Appointments will be filled in the order they are received.

Walk-in applications will be accepted in the Recruiting Center beginning on January 17, 2012 but will not be accepted before that date. Operating days and hours will remain the same.

If you are interested in a career with the Houston Police Department and would like to be kept informed about future recruiting activities and application openings, please complete the contact form to be added to our email contact list.
If you have any additional questions, please contact HPD Recruiting at 713-308-1300 or 800-252-0473.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Officers Remembered: Dawn Erickson


Dawn Suzanne Erickson was born in Belleville, Illinois, on January 15, 1973. Her parents were David and Beth Erickson. She graduated from Westbury High School in southwest Houston in 1992, finishing in the top five percent of her class.

Continuing her education at the Houston Community College, she earned an Associates of Arts Degree in 1993. On August 29, 1994, she joined the Houston Police Department by entering Police Cadet Class No. 160. Upon graduation on March 3, 1995, she entered her probationary training period, which she successfully completed on August 28, 1995. She wore Badge No. 5963.

Christmas Eve Extra Job

Dawn’s first and only assignment was to the South Central Division of Central Patrol. She had completed only four months of a promising career when on the night of December 24 – Christmas Eve 1995 – she was on a voluntary extra-job assignment of her choice at a church in southwest Houston.

At approximately 6:45 p.m. in this most joyous of seasons, Officer Erickson was directing traffic for the Christmas Eve service at the Unity Church of Christianity, 2900 Unity Drive. Erickson was wearing a reflective jacket and using an orange-tipped flashlight. At this time, a motorist was eastbound on Unity in a 1987 Honda Accord. The motorist later reported that she only saw a red light flickering in the street.

It was at this point that the passing motorist struck Officer Erickson with the left front of the vehicle. The impact caused the officer to be thrown into the vehicle’s windshield and an additional twelve feet into the air and onto the pavement. Erickson suffered head and leg injuries as a result of the impact. A Houston Fire Department ambulance rushed her to Ben Taub General Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 8:50 p.m. She was only twenty-two years old.

This accident was professionally investigated by the HPD Accident Division. While Officers N.E. Maurer and R. S. Cedeno were the first units on the scene, Officers J. W. Nickell and R. Hernandez were the primary investigators from the Accident Division’s Hit and run Detail. Sergeant D. Hurd supervised as well as participated in the investigation. Officer R. Saenz was later assigned to assist in the investigative follow-up. Officer D. E. Henry, who was working this departmentally approved extra job with the complainant, was also on the scene to assist the responding officers.

The suspect driving the Honda Accord was quickly determined at the scene to have not had any major culpability in this offense. She was taken into custody and tested for any and all chemical substances in her body. All tests were negative.

The Accident Division conducted an extensive and thorough investigation. While investigators determined that the driver of the Honda was likely exceeding the speed limit at the time of the impact into Officer Erickson, a grand jury no billed her.

Officer Erickson was survived by her father David Erickson of Harlingen and her mother and step-father, Beth and Scott Green of Richmond. Also, by her brother Christopher Erickson, 15 years old and a sophomore in high school as well as her sisters Deanna Nixon and husband Brent and their two children, Faithe and Colby, and Nicole Erickson, a college student in Edinburg, Texas.

Emotional Pain

The Earthman Company was in charge of arrangements. Visitation was held from 8:30 a.m. until 9 p.m. at the Earthman facility at 12555 South Kirkwood on Wednesday, December 27, 1995. Funeral services were conducted at the Sugar Creek Baptist Church, 13213 Southwest Freeway, at 10 a.m. Thursday, December 28. The Reverend Gene A. Moore and Police Chaplain Edwin Davis co-officiated. Burial followed at the Forest Park-Westheimer Cemetery.

For some reason unfortunately attributed to his own abilities, this writer was unable to locate any of the Erickson family. However, Mrs. Beth Erickson accomplished what I could not. In August 2007, Mrs. Erickson approached me at the HPOU Building and introduced herself as well as her daughter, Nicole, and two grandchildren.

After spending some time with Mrs. Erickson, she was asked to contribute to this story and she has graciously done so – but not without emotional pain. The following is a synopsis of Mrs. Erickson’s insight, which helps us all to better understand what kind of young lady Officer Dawn Erickson was and what an even more tremendous loss this was to her family, to HPD and to society in general.

Dawn decided at age 15 to become a police officer for HPD. She was so determined that she even worked out her high school courses along with summer courses to graduate early, knowing full well that she would need 60 college hours to join HPD. Her focus on this goal did not waiver even though she became a model and was also working in a business office. Her long-term goal was to be fluent in Spanish, join HPD and then maybe move on to the FBI or CIA.

Dawn loved being an officer and had expressed to her mom that HPD was a proud family and that her mom needed to show this pride because she “chose” this profession and loved what she was doing to help people. She had a strong faith in her Lord and had said that if God ever came for her, she would take his hand and go willingly.

And, that she did on Christmas Eve 1995.

Her mother had questioned her about working this job on Christmas Eve as they as a family usually spent this special time together. However, Dawn indicated that the church asked her to do this and she felt that she needed to do it. Instead, on Christmas Day, the family had to go to Dawn’s apartment to obtain a uniform for her burial.

Also, Mrs. Erickson described in detail how difficult it was afterwards to deal with the unopened Christmas presents Dawn had purchased for her family.

Where are They Now?

Dawn was very close to her siblings, especially her brother Chris. They had birthdays close to each other and usually celebrated those occasions together.

In 2007, Dawn’s parents, David and Beth, are once again Mr. and Mrs. David Erickson. They live in Manvel, Texas and Beth is a principal of an Alternative School for an area School District. Deanna and Brent live in Rosharon, work for Kroger, and their children are Faithe, 19, a college student, and Colby, 14, who is in the 8th grade.

Nicole is married to Richard Starnes. They live in the same area and are the parents of four children, Aaron,15, Mariah, 9, Lexi, 4, and Tre’, 2. Nicole is a high school math teacher. Chris is married to Chantal and works for Morrison Homes in Richmond, where they live with their two-year old daughter, Kenna Dawn. A step-sister, Stephanie, lives in Kerrville.

By Nelson Zoch

Thursday, December 22, 2011

HPD Museum

The HPD Museum is a free, family friendly activity. The museum is located downtown at 1200 Travis in police headquarters. While your family is in town for the holidays, bring them down and show them a little HPD history.

The museum is open 9AM-9PM, Monday-Friday, and no reservations are required for groups under ten. The tours are self guided.
The gift shop will be open today from 11 am to 1 p.m. All sales benefit the Houston Police Foundation.
http://www.houstonpolicefoundation.org/

Also, the gift shop vending machine in the lobby is always available for last second gifts.


Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Not Today!


Sorry officer, I will not work for you or the city today. Santa needs me. It seems that one of his reindeer was involved in a tragic hunting accident.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Shadow


Meet "Shadow." Shadow is one of the many "faces" working for the Mounted Patrol. However, he is the only one that makes this face on cue.

Over 250 individual units or divisions. The opportunities are here, you should be here as well. Find out more at www.hpdcareer.com

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Officers in Action


Recently, Senior Police Officer T. Hawkins a 27 year veteran of HPD was on patrol when she received a call regarding three suspicious males lurking near a residence. She quickly arrived at the location, parked her patrol car out of sight and began a search on foot for the three males. During the search she began looking through the fences and observed three males coming out through the back window of a home that they had just burglarized.

Officer Hawkins immediately requested back-up and broadcasted the description of the suspects as they fled on foot. Officer Hawkins jumped into action and quickly located the suspects running down the street and was able to detain all three of them at first. As she was handcuffing two of the suspects, the third one ran away. However, by this time other patrol units and a K-9 unit began to arrive to help Officer Hawkins out. They quickly located the third suspect and he was arrested without incident.

All the stolen property was recovered and returned to the victim. Charges were filed on all three suspects.

The skill in which this veteran officer accomplished her duties reflects great credit upon herself and the Houston Police Department. HPD would like to commend Senior Police Officer Hawkins for getting three more crooks off the street and a job well done.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Cadet James - 212



I would like to introduce myself, I'm Jimmy James,  21 years old, born and raised in Houston and currently a cadet in academy class 212 which started December 5th. Becoming a Houston police officer has been a lifelong dream of mine and being accepted into the academy makes me that much closer to achieving my dream.

Since I don’t have any prior military of law enforcement experience it made me a little nervous, but I learned that most of my fellow cadets don't either. During week one our training staff made it clear that they have high expectations of us since we are the first class to have both the reading comprehension test and the entire physical fitness test administered to us in the application process. 

Last Friday we had our initial physical fitness test and I have to say that the “Run with your Recruiter” events in Memorial park that I took part in, has been a great help for me, but I still need to work on my skills. My best advice to applicants is to start working on your running and push ups now if you plan on applying once the process opens again.  

I am also impressed with the unity that our class has, if you need help or if you're struggling with something you can always count on your fellow cadets to help you make it through.  Week one is now history and I can't wait for my second week as a cadet in the Houston Police Academy!      

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Cadet Rivera - 212




This is the first week of the Houston Police Academy. For me, Cadet Rivera, this process started back in July at a friend's birthday party where I met Sergeant Brown and was invited to attend an Open House at the HPD Police Academy. Deep down inside, I knew I was meant for this. However, this was not the first time I had thought about being a police officer. Back on 9-11, when America was attacked by terrorists, I was in the car ready to sign-up but my lovely wife asked me not to go because our children were too young at the time. She was right. I would never trade those years. But, now, at age 42 could I make the cut?

Friends and family encouraged me to apply.  The application process was grueling and very introspective.  I realized I had gained too much weight and began working out with renewed purpose. I showed up to my second “Run with the Recruiter” event 25 pounds lighter and was determined to make a good showing. (If you are an applicant, I strongly advise you attend these events.) Four months later, I received the call that I had been accepted to the Houston Police Department as a Cadet.

FAST FORWARD…As I sit in the same classroom with 73 other cadets, I think of the thousands of applicants who want my seat. The weight of the training to come, the physical demands, the family obligations that will be put on hold, and the dedication weighs heavy on me. We are reminded by our instructors that not everyone is cut out to be a Houston Police Officer. They show us the front door and say there is no shame in leaving now. No one left the classroom. Then we were reminded that we were chosen to become police officers and a lot of eyes are watching Class 212.

On that first day, Chief McClelland addressed and welcomed us as cadets and promised that all the hard work would pay off. Captain Ready (academy staff) challenged the class to be prepared and respectful of those who wear a blue shirt. As the week progressed, Class 212 quickly learned that 'attention to detail' is key to getting through the day without doing push ups. Officer Nicola (academy staff) reminded us, "That the only easy day was yesterday."

Class 212 is slowing coming together as a team. The camaraderie is growing and the friendships are getting warmer. Our class leader (McMurtry) is assertive and encouraging us to strive for excellence. All of us are being challenged to reach deep inside ourselves and break all those mental obstacles that keep us from being excellent.

Friday came like a hurricane. The gym staff pushed each cadet during our first physical testing. We took a breather and then got our butts kicked for not following directions. It tested our intestinal fortitude. As I gutted out a push up plank, I knew this correction would eventually end…but would I beat it or let it beat me? An instructor walked by me and whispered "have pride, Rivera."  I beat it.  Everything is done for a purpose and the pain in the gym will keep us from bleeding in the  field.

As I packed my locker at the end of the day, I said good-bye to several cadets.  I smiled.  "Wow, I am in the Houston Police Academy!"  I am with the best the City of Houston has to offer. I am honored to be in the presence of 73 other incredible men and women who have been chosen to join the Houston Police Department.  I look forward to the next six months. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

212 First Roll Call

Nothing like a cold morning to begin your day.

This photo depicts Cadet Class 212 learning the formalities of "roll call in formation."

Don't worry 212, it will soon become second nature.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

This is a MUST SEE!

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The Mena siblings were told that their father was not granted leave at first so their mom told them he would not be able to make it home for graduation. However, at the last minute he was granted leave and was able to fly home from Iraq to attend. Army Sergeant First Class, Combat Medic, Carlos Mena surprised his kids and was able to pin their badges.

Thank you for your service as we remember the 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor today.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

211 Surprise!

During the Houston Police Department's Cadet Class 211 Graduation, siblings Karla and Marlon Mena got an unexpected surprise when their father, Army Sgt. 1st Class Carlos Mena, returned from duty in the Middle East to pin their badges.
Video is on Youtube

Monday, December 5, 2011

Academy Class 212 - First Day















This morning Chief McClelland, EAC Edwards, Chaplain Montgomery and Captain Ready congratulate and instruct Academy Class 212.

74 men and women begin their 26 week rigorous campaign of training to become Houston’s finest today.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

211 - Final Roll Call

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Tradition held strong as HPD Cadet Class 211 held their final roll call as the sun rose above the police academy this morning. Cadet classes will stand in formation during roll call and will announce their names one by one very quickly. Throughout training, roll calls are done the same way every time, every morning. However, on graduation day, such as Class 211, it is done a little differently with each cadet of Class 211 slowing down and pronouncing their name loudly and proudly. Later tonight, the 72 men and women of 211 will graduate and began wearing the blue uniform.

Make us Proud 211!