Thursday, March 29, 2012

You never know...

Every call for service is different and unique. For the most part it involves fighting crime and reporting crime; but the best part is you will never get bored and you may even have a laugh or two along the way. Interested in a career that is extremely satisfying and stable? Let me show you the way.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Yesterday, Houston Police Chief Charles A. McClelland, Jr. and "Techron" with the HPD Mounted Patrol Detail accepted a generous check from the Chevron Corporation to the Houston Police Foundation.

The check presentation was held in the front of the Chevron Corporation building at 1500 Louisiana in downtown Houston.

The Houston Police Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation formed by local business leaders to support projects of the Houston Police Department. Donations made by individuals and companies fund special programs, officer safety, training, equipment, and new technology.

To find out more about the Foundation, please go to:

The Mounted Patrol Detail is just one of the many opportunities within the Houston Police Department. For more information on how to apply and become a Houston police officer please visit

Monday, March 26, 2012

210 Update - OFFICER Gemmill

The first six months of my career as a patrol officer in Houston have flown by. Once I graduated from the police academy I experienced different phases of training. Three weeks on each shift, days, evenings, and nights. I rode with a veteran officer who showed me the ropes.  Once I finished my training period I proceeded to an evaluation phase. I rode with an evaluator who watched how I handled scenes, executed decisions and followed procedures.

I enjoyed riding with all my trainers and evaluators. Each of them have their own way of policing and they each brought something different to the table. With each of them being unique, I was able to find the qualities I liked and instill them into my own style of policing. Once I finished my training and passed evaluation, I had the opportunity to patrol with other officers at the station. I truly believe this is a career where you never stop learning. Every call for service is different and has its own set of challenges.

As of March 21, 2012, I am no longer considered a “rookie.” As a rookie police officer I was required to ride with another officer. Now that I am no longer a rookie, I will be riding by myself. As much as I loved riding with a partner, I am beyond excited to be patrolling Houston on my own and in my own patrol car.

My first night by myself was on March 23, 2012. Veteran officers used to always tell me that you will never forget your first call by yourself. I was so nervous knowing that my first night alone was coming up. Once it arrived and I put the key in the ignition, I could feel my nerves calm. I was definitely more excited than nervous. Everyone wants their first call to be something exciting so we can tell the story for years to come; my first call was a minor accident. I was not dispatched to the call but because the accident was in my assigned beat I asked dispatch to send it to me. It’s important to know the meaning of "beat integrity," which basically means that you take care of your beat to the best of your abilities.

Towards the end of my shift I heard gun shots while sitting at a red light. The sound of the gun shots sounded like they were right next to me. They made my heart jump. I picked up the radio and let the dispatcher know my location and what had happened. I immediately drove to the vicinity of the sound. Before I knew it, half of the station was out there backing me up and looking for anything that could have helped figure out where the gun shots were coming from.

I must admit, I had a minor adrenaline rush. The scenarios ran through my head. "What would I do if I found a person with a gun?" "What would I do if I found a person injured?" For each scenario, I realized I knew the answer. Everything I had learned in the academy and from my trainers had worked. Although nothing became of this call, I was ready and able to handle the situation if needed.

I am happy to be a part of this HPD family and even happier to know I have many years left to serve and protect to the best of my ability.

I would like to personally thank each of my supervisors, trainers and every officer I have had the opportunity to ride with, because each of them taught me something different. Thank you for answering all my questions and leading me in the right direction.

In a few days, my academy class (210) will pick our patrol assignments and it looks like I may be headed to another station. I am sure I will learn even more once I get there. I'm going to miss everyone at my current station because in the last six months I've made some great friends. I am so happy I've made it this far and am excited knowing how much further I have to go.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Run with the Recruiter

Everyone had a great time at the Run With Your Recruiter event this morning. You should never miss a Run With Your Recruiter event even if you are already signed up and in the process of getting hired. You miss a chance to speak with recruiters one on one about becoming a police officer, learn skills to prepare yourself for the academy, and see what it takes to pass the physical assessment test not only during the hiring process but what you need to know to graduate from the police academy.. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Officers in Action

 Recently, Sergeant M. Malone was reviewing the daily Robbery Bulletin sent to him by a fellow officer that works in the Crime Analysis Unit. The bulletin indicated that six aggravated robberies had occurred within in a certain area of Houston within two weeks. All six of the robberies occurred in apartment complexes, all of the robberies involved at least two suspects with similar descriptions, and each case involved an older model, certain make and model of car.

Sergeant Malone conducted roll call and shared the information from the Robbery Bulletin with the officers. After roll call, while monitoring the radio from his desk, Sergeant Malone heard the dispatcher broadcast a “Robbery with Weapons, Just Occurred.” Sergeant Malone observed that the suspects in the robbery call matched that of the suspects in the bulletin.  Furthermore, Sergeant Malone observed that the suspects were said to have left the scene in a similar vehicle that had been described in the Robbery Bulletin. Sergeant Malone immediately advised the dispatcher via the radio of the information in the bulletin. He also advised her to get additional units to help search for the vehicle. 

Officer S. Spurlock along with the initial officers responded quickly and searched the area for the vehicle. Within a short time officers were able to acquire the suspect’s vehicle direction of travel and advised other units over the radio.

Officer M. Gomez and Officer L. Menendez-Sierra along with rookie Officer S. Lam also checked by to assist in searching for the vehicle. Sergeant E. Benningfield also responded and began searching for the vehicle. Within minutes Sergeant Benningfield spotted the suspects vehicle at a nearby gas station. Sergeant Benningfield also observed two suspects matching the description of the robbery suspects inside the store. Sergeant Benningfield requested additional units to the location to assist in approaching and detaining the suspects.

Officer Lam assisted Sergeant Benningfield in detaining one suspect who was coming out of the store. Officers Menendez-Sierra, Spurlock, and Gomez then entered the store to search for the other suspect. Officer Menendez-Sierra found the second suspect hiding in the female restroom and took him into custody without further incident. Officer Gomez searched the inside of the female restroom and recovered credit cards and identification, which belonged to the victims that had just been robbed. The victims were able to positively identify both suspects as well as their stolen property. Officer M. Little assisted with processing the scene. 

The daily robbery updates that an officer from Crime Analysis disseminates for patrol officers are valuable tools for the apprehension of dangerous criminals.

Sergeant Malone took the time to familiarize himself and his officers with the valuable information given by Crime Analysis. Strong instincts and initiative were paramount to the events that lead to the capture of these two suspects.

Without the supervisors proactive support of officers in the field, the suspects may very well have escaped.  The assistance of Officers Gomez, Menendez-Sierra, Lam, and Little in quickly apprehending the suspects and securing the scene was also invaluable.

The two suspects who were apprehended were very dangerous criminals. In each of the robberies, victims were threatened or pistol whipped. In some cases they were even shot.  Furthermore, one suspect had prior convictions for robbery, burglary and drug cases. The second suspect was on probation.

If these two suspects had not been removed from the streets it is certain that they would have continued to terrorize the citizens of Houston. However, due to the combined initiative, instinct, efforts and teamwork of these officers’ two very dangerous individuals were captured and removed from the streets of Houston and would no longer be able to continue their crime spree. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Did you hear?

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 March 20, 2012. Hours of operation are Tuesday and Thursday 8 am-4 pm and Wednesday 8 am-6 pm each week.

You can request an appointment by emailing:

Appointments will be filled in the order they are received.

Walk-in applications will not be accepted at this time.

For more information please visit

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Police Week is coming! - May 14th-18th, 2012

For over 25 years HPD has hosted tens of thousands of Houston area students at the HPD Academy during National Police Week. The field trips give the students the opportunity to learn about police officers while we foster communication with our community.

Last year HPD hosted over 4,000 students and are equipped to do it again this year.

Primarily we are reaching out to elementary age students and criminal justice students who might enjoy a visit to the Academy and a unique experience.

The free tours and demonstrations (reservations required) will be at the Houston Police Academy which is located at 17000 Aldine Westfield. The tours will begin with an orientation at 9:45AM and conclude at 1PM.

Your groups may bring sack lunches and picnic at our facility after the tours have concluded. The tours are scheduled on a first come first serve basis so please schedule your tour as soon as possible.

The tours are scheduled via e-mail ( and must include the approximate number of attendees, grade(s), contact person and phone number, as well as school district information.

May 14, 2012 9:45AM – 1:00PM
May 15, 2012 9:45AM – 1:00PM
May 16, 2012 9:45AM – 1:00PM
May 17, 2012 9:45AM – 1:00PM
May 18, 2012 9:45AM – 1:00PM

Displays and demonstrations from the following divisions/units:
Bomb Squad
Dive Team
Mounted Patrol
Police Pursuit Driving

Monday, March 19, 2012

My Fox Houston 26

Wanted by Police - New Recruits


Courtesy of

HOUSTON - The Houston Police Department is looking for new cadets and recruiting at college campuses, military bases and now even Facebook.

Captain Ready with HPD says recruiters try to reach out to everybody, that way they have a diverse group of candidates to select from. 

But do you think you have what it takes to be part of Houston's finest? Don't think it's a walk in the park.
"Joining HPD is not an easy task; it's a long application process," says Cadet Rivera.
Applying online is not the half of it. The process includes several different phases to really distinguish the candidates who are truly dedicated.

Cadet Mathews says candidates really need to have a desire for this profession.
After passing all of the application process, candidates can start the academy and these cadets will have a lot on their plate.

Cadets have to be able to wake up before the crack of dawn and be alert both physically and mentally. A typical day there includes physical training, showering (of course), attending classes and working on training skills.
FOX 26 News reporter Amor Lemus made the attempt to go a full day but after waking up early and the not so short run, she quickly learned it is truly not an easy task.

Cadet Mathews shared his initial experience with FOX 26. "Day one was tough. I was extremely nervous coming to a new environment is totally difficult for you. You have to basically transform yourself," says Cadet Mathews. 

Both Mathews and Rivera will graduate from the same class on June 14.
Anyone who wants to be a part of the HPD should apply soon. 

Apply soon though because the 213th class is full and the 214th class is filling up.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Friday, March 9, 2012

RWR -Cancelled

"Dude, where is everyone?"

Due to field conditions the Run With Your Recruiter even was cancelled this morning. Please check back soon for the next scheduled event.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Run With The Recruiter - Tomorrow (March 9th is cancelled)

Run With The Recruiter for Friday, March 9th 2012 is cancelled due to possible severe weather and field conditions. Please check back often for next event.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Police Dispatch

Courtesy of the Houston Police Museum

No, this is not an intense game of Battleship. This is a rare photo taken at police headquarters of the (new at the time) dispatch system in the 1950's. 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Not all calls are exciting...

Recently I came across this news clip and it made me think about the career path of a police officer. I know I mention excitement and danger on this blog, but in reality this is what makes the job of a police officer so unique. Yes, this sort of call is very rare and may be the only call in the history of police work where opening a jar was involved, but it's important to put this in perspective.

This may have been an elderly person who has no one in the world to help her with this unique problem and remembered that police are here to HELP.

By choosing a career in law enforcement you must know that every shift is different and not your typical day at work. From foot chases, to car chases, to...opening a jar, it's all in a days work. I promise you this, you will not be bored at work...ever.

Like someone once said, "It's the greatest show on earth and you have a front row seat!"

We will begin accepting applications soon. Keep an eye on this blog, website ,Twitter or Facebook and start getting prepared now. You will not need to open jars during the application process, but you should be prepared to do so just in case you are needed one day by someone who needs your help.