History of the Houston Police Department
Infobox Police Department
name = Houston Police Department
motto = Order through law, justice with mercy
established = 1841
sworn = 5,000+
jurisdiction = Municipal
helicopters = 5
Harold L. Hurtt
website = [http://www.houstontx.gov/police/index.html official site] The History of the
Houston Police Departmentstarted with the founding of the City of Houston, while the department's beginning was humble, it grew more advanced as technology became available and was able to handle the various challenges that would plague various cities as well as some of the more distinctive aspects of our geography.
constableof the then recently incorporated City of Houston was elected in 1837, making him the city’s first law enforcement officer. The police force itself was not established until 1841by Houston’s first marshal, Daniel Busley.
There was little patrolling of the city during the next 20 years. It was up to the individual businessmen to hire guards to protect their establishments. In
1866, Marshal Isaac C. Lord began to establish HPD as a proper police force by setting hiring rules, regulations, and requirements in hiring practices for recruits. The new policies were reviewed by the city council and were added to the City Charter (Art 308-344). Isaac C. Lord lobbied and succeeded in adopting the dress uniform which states, “The dress of the members of the police force shall be navy blue, indigo die and all wool.” (Art 333, 1866)
1873, during Reconstruction, R. Van Patton was appointed City Marshal. It was during his tenure that the force hired its first black officers. The officer compliment at this time was 12, with ab even number of black and white officers. The second-in-command Deputy Marshal was the first black officer to hold that position among those hired. During this year, the “Manual of the Houston Police Force” was written and the salary was set at $60 a month where it would stay until 1915. 1894was the year where the department hired its first two police detectivesand purchased a patrol wagon. The term “Wagon call” is still used to this day when it is required to transport prisoners.
1900, The title “City Marshal” was changed to “ Chief of Police”, however it remained an elected position. J.G. Blackburn was the last person to have the title “City Marshal” and with re-election, the first to have the title “Chief of Police.” In the same year, the first female matron was hired and the name of the force was changed to “The Houston Police Department.”
August 23, 1910, the first police chief was appointed by the mayor instead of being elected. Later that year, Houston purchased its first police car, along with the formation of the city’s first traffic squad to help maintain order to Houston’s bustling streets at that time.
The first raise in several decades occurred in 1915 from $60 to $75 a month along with the reduction of work hours (from 12 hours to 8) on their shift.
At the beginning of the First World War, there were two military bases in Houston. One was Ellington field along (Then Known as) Galveston Road and
Camp Logan(Later to become Memorial Park). These two camps Trained, Housed Bomber Cadets and The 24th Infantry Regiment, respectively. The Northern troops resented the segregation of Houston and things came to a head when a black soldier was arrested for interfering in the arrest of a black woman. A clash between the Black Soldiers and the Houston Police Department erupted shortly thereafter that resulted in the deaths of 16 whites (5 of them police officers), Several Black Soldiers, two White Soldiers, and One Hispanic Soldier. It was only after Mayor Moody called for federal troops and Martial lawdeclared was the riot eventually quelled. In 1918HPD hired Eva Jane Bacher as it’s first policewoman and in 1921was assigned to the Public Moral and safety squad (Which later turned into the Vice Division), making her the first female Detective.
1920, HPD revised its application examination to cover its duties, responsibilities, various procedures and firearms policies. Additionally, the following tools and policies were added to the police department in 1921:
* Traffic signals were installed and a traffic squad of 22 officers operated them.
* The Department grew to 171 personnel.
* The Title of Chief of Police was changed to Superintendent of Police.
* The Police Burial Fund was established at a cost of 50 cents a month and paid a benefit of $200 initially but was raised to $500 in time.
1925, health care were given to all city employees in the form of going to the Jeff Davis Hospital for free medical attention and HPD moved to it’s new building.
October 19, 1926, Magnolia Park, the first substation was opened. The assigned officers were close to the ship channel and were kept busy with prohibition violations and were charged with intercepting all forms of liquor.
The remainder of the decade saw the following milestones:
* The Mounted Traffic Squad was established in Downtown.
* HPD formed it first Police band.
* Automatic Traffic signals were upgraded and installed.
* The first radio was installed in patrol cars. They were turned to KPRC (the only station in town) and regular programming was interrupted to broadcast dispatch police calls.
* The city Ordinance that forced officers to keep their firearms out of sight under their coats was repealed.
* HPD started hiring woman as “matrons” instead of female Police officers. Matrons would be responsible for young females, juvenile boys and girls.
* Manpower was increased to 330 officers, 36 patrol cars and 23 motorcycles.
Houston Chroniclereported that the position of police woman was abolished because Chief McPhail believed that a woman on the police force was unnecessary and that policing was a man’s job.
1930, the Touchy Furniture Store Robbery highlighted a deficiency in the firepower of HPD’s weapons. Several .38 caliber shots struck but failed to penetrate the suspect’s vehicle as it got away resulting in the deaths of 2 officers. As a result, the city started to issue .44 caliber guns instead.
* A third substation, North Side was opened.
* The Homicide Division was created.
* The first Police school was formed.
* Percy Heard was sworn as Superintendent of Police.
* Two Thompson Machine Guns were purchased for the apprehension of “desperate criminals.
* 425 Special (Reserve) Officers were sworn in by the Mayor and under the call of the Superintendent of Police during Emergencies.
* A “Shadow Box” was installed allowing victims to view suspects without being seen as well.
1933The Police and Fire Departments were merged briefly under the Department of Safety. Two-way radios were installed in the patrol cars and received called from the police radio station KGZB. This allowed for “Scout Cars” to be deployed more effectively and designed to create a feeling of friendliness and safety between the department and citizens.
The Milestones of the 30’s included:
* The average response time was reduced from 5.8 to 3.81 minutes.
* The City Purchased 1,000
Parking meters for downtown.1936:
Federal Communications Commissionnamed HPD as one of the first five departments in the United States to be licensed.
* The Missing Persons Division was established.
* The Accident Division was created.
* Each officer was issued one uniform per year.
* Force strength reached 444 officers.
1939, HPD started its first Police Academy Class held at the Sam Houston Coliseumunder the direction of Captain L.D. Morrison that lasted 5 weeks. The first class that graduated was on August 16, 1939 and is referred to as the Class of ’39. [ [http://www.click2houston.com/news/16747321/detail.html 200th HPD Academy Cadet Class Begins] ]
1940, HPD had grown to 466 officers. With the increased use of the police radios, a PBX operator was hired to handle police calls.In the same year the Department started giving voluntary blood tests to determine the intoxication of suspected drunken drivers.
1941, Neal Picketwas elected Mayor of Houston named Ray Ashworthas Chief of police. This move sparked controversy because he was originally the Chief of Police from San Antonio. Counsel members were hoping to hire a new chief from within the rank and file of the current police department. Ashworth quickly instituted the following changes:
* All Officers could have one day off per week.
* All Officers had to have a standardized nickel plated badge with either a number or rank.
* The purchase of 47 new police cars which doubled the size of the fleet.
* One-man units to cover more area and reduce crime.
* All members of the department were to be
fingerprinted; this resulted in 15 officers being terminated for having police records.
* Created the Houston Civilian Auxiliary Police Division to be used in emergencies which was necessary due to a number of officers going into the military.
1945, The Houston Police Officers Association (HPOA) was established.
1950, a new City ordinance took effect that reduced the police work week from 48 to 40 hours. In 1951, Chief Morrison announced a “booster squad” designed to be deployed at certain crime-infested parts of the city that proved to be quite effective in cutting down crime in areas they worked in.Also in that year, the first of the three-wheeled motorcycles to direct traffic and write tickets.
1953The 100 club(non profit), a 501(c)(3)charity, was founded by Leopold L. Meyer, Ray R, Elliot, R.H. Abercrombie, William A. "Bill" Smith and Jim "Silver Dollar" West to help Police officers by providing assistance when officers are killed or hurt in the line of duty.
1954, Chief heard was appointed Chief of Police. Under his tenure he implemented the following changes:
* Once again women were allowed to join the police department. Female cadets were hired as
dispatchers, jail matrons, or to perform clerical duties.
* Officers were permitted to wear light weight long sleeved shirts.
walkie-talkies were purchased for the Narcotics, Vice, and other divisions.
* Obtained the first Police Chaplain.
1956 Carl Shuptrinewas appointed Chief and in 1957he reassigned 70 officers from downtown foot patrol to patrol cars to help get to Houston’s newly annexed areas. This was an effort to “decentralize” the Police Department and to economize manpower. This included 17 civilian jailers and in 1959 purchased two lots for future substations.
1960, some of the requirements were trainee applicants during this time frame were to be:
# 21 years of age or older
# 5’8” to 6’5” tall
# A high school graduate or have passed an entrance exam given by the
University of Houston
# In excellent physical condition with no history of asthma, hay fever, tuberculosis, or diabetes
# Free from any physical defects or deformations.
# Live within 150-mile radius of Houston
Other milestones for the 1960’s include:
1960: The Central Intelligence Division was created to track “hoodlums”. 1962:
* Snap-on ties would be worn for safety reasons.
Peace Officers Memorial Day(May 15th) was designated by congress and signed into law by President John F. Kennedy. 1964: Herman B. Short was appointed as the New Chief. 1965: The State of Texas established the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officers Standards and Education(TCLEOSE) 1966:
* Total force was 1,337 officers patrolling 446 square miles.
* The Department’s bomb squad was established.
* Officers received 22% pay raise spread out over a 3-year period.
* The Department formed the Community relations Division.
In May of
1967, Rioting erupted at Texas Southern Universitydue to the Vietnam Warand racial tensions of the time. After the rioting ended, one officer was dead and 488 students were arrested. Mayor Welch then planned community relations training program for police officers in the aftermath of the riot. He appointed 300 neighborhood aides from impoverished areas to provide a communication link to City Hall.
1968, The Department incorporated a hookup system between the Texas Department of Motor Vehiclesin Austin for immediate vehicle registration verification purposes and established a direct link with the National Crime Information Center(NCIC) in Washington, DC. Another feature added was the teleprinter, which simultaneously typed an offense report as a new record was entered into the system.
By the end of
1969, the department had grown to 1,577 Officers and 223 civilian personnel.
1970, the Helicopter Patrol Division was formed with three leased Hughes 300 helicopters which gave the city the largest Helicopter division in the Nation. Bullet proof vests were also introduced to the rank and file and an initial purchase of 30 were made.
The Houston Police Department and The Blank Panther Movement clashed in the area of St. John’s Baptist Church on 2800 Dowling Street. Members of the Blank Panthers had dared any HPD unit to drive down Dowling. As a result Chief Short declared that any citizen of Houston or HPD would not be denied access to any public street. This resulted in a gun battle that in which the leader, Carl Hampton was killed.
Other milestones in the 1970’s include:
* City Council approved the hiring of 30 civilians to replace police officers in Clerical and telephone work
* The first in-house videotape training for in-service was established.
* Officers were able to use scholarship funds from the 1969 Omnibus crime Bill to attend colleges and universities.
* The Number of officers who had a bachelors degree stood at 95
* The Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officers and Standards Education (TCLEOSE) established minimum appointment standards for applicants to become peace officers.
1972: Chief Short issued a written version of a long-standing verbal policy against officers accepting rewards. 1973: City Council approves time-and-a-half overtime for all city employees. 1975:
* The Department strength stands at 2,541 officers and 698 civilians.
* The Monthly retirement pay for police personnel with 20 years of service base on 30% of their base salary.
* The number of radio channels was increased from 8 to 16. Each dispatcher had a computer CRT screen, which access information regarding stolen vehicles and pick-ups for other divisions.
* The Department formed a Special Weapons and Tactical (SWAT) Squad.
* Officers were allowed to wear short sleeve shirts for the first time and allowed uniform officers to wear a mustache.
* The Department adopted the San Jose model to begin an organized field training program.
* The Department announced that officers would receive incentive pay for immediate and advanced certificates issued by TCLEOSE.
* City Council agreed to purchase 500 portable two-way radios.
* The Department established an Internal Affairs Division whose first cases included the beating and drowning of Joe Campos Torres.
* As an Outgrowth of the Torres case, the Department worked with Hispanic leaders including Dr. Guadalupe Quintanilla to develop closer community ties which led to a conversation Spanish class for Police Officers at Ripley House Community Center in the East end of Houston.
* Chief Caldwell reinitiated the issuance of nightsticks or batons as a defensive weapon.
1978The Department hired a psychologist(Dr. Gregory Riede) to screen police applicants and provide counseling services. 1979: The Department announced a new neighborhood crime program called, “Houstonians on Watch”. The program combined police patrol with citizen awareness and designed to cover selected high crime areas.
One of the more significant advances came in 1979 when The Houston Police Department became one of only five police departments in the nation to have an
Automated Fingerprint Identification System(AFIS). AFIS was described as a computerized minutia-based fingerprint identification system, capable of storing approximately 375,000 criminal fingerprint records with descriptive information and an additional 12,000 unidentified latent fingerprints.
1982, Mayor Kathryn J. Whitmirewas the first female of the City of Houston and appointed Lee P. Brownas Chief of Police, who was the first black appointed to be Chief of Police and the first to hold a Doctorate. He instituted several changes including “Neighborhood Oriented Policing. “ which is described as the following:“Neighborhood Oriented Policing is an interactive process between police officers assigned to specific beats and the citizens that either work or reside in these beats to mutually develop ways to identify problems and concerns and then assess viable solutions by provided available resources from both the police department and the community to address the problems and/or concerns.”
Along with community policing, he instituted the following changes as well:
* HPD mandated 40 hours of in-service training annually for officers.
* There were 3,465 officers, of which 266 were female
* The Positive Interaction Program (PIP) to involve citizens in fighting crime by establishing committees in selected areas.
* HPD planned to re-institute a mount patrol downtown. [ [http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/life/main/5730552.html Giddyup with HPD The Houston Police Department's horse unit is a valuable public relations tool] ]
* The Park Police were transferred to the Houston Police Department.
* HPD hired the Department’s only civilian Academy Director.
* Under state law;
Drug testingbegan for police applicants. 1986:
* The Academy classes were shut down for budgetary reasons.
* “For-cause” drug testing was started for both officers and civilians. 1987: The first command station (Westside) was opened.
* The FBI reported that the past year was the first since
1977that Houston had less than 400 homicides, with 339.
* City Council restored the three percent pay raise revoked in
In 1990 Chief Brown left Houston to be the Police Commissioner for the
New York Police Department. On January 20th of that year, Mayor Whitmire announced that Deputy Chief Elizabeth “Betsy” Watsonas the new Chief of Police making her the first female to hold that position.
Chief Watson established the Personal Concerns Program that gave attention to and provided action to employees demonstrating behavior problems. The Chief also requested and was approved by city council to abolish the deputy chief rank and replaced it with assistant chiefs to flatten the department’s hierarchy.
Since the Police Academy was closed for three years, this resulted in the loss of 600 positions, dropping the number below 4,000 personnel. Against the wishes of Chief Watson, the 60 College credit hour requirements were dropped.
March 1991, The Texas Supreme Courtruled on the long running lawsuit known as Lee V. City of Houston. The Court held that “if a particular job assignment require no knowledge of police work in the Department, and entails no supervision of classified officers, the position need not be classified.” But it held that the Act did prohibit non-classified employees from supervising classified employees.
With the election of Robert “Bob” Lanier in November 1991 and swearing in in January 1992, he pledged to put the equivalent of 655 additional officers on the streets of Houston. After 47 days in office, Mayor Lanier announced the replacement of Chief Watson with former HPD Deputy Chief
Sam Nuchiawho was then serving as an assistant U.S. Attorneyin Houston.
Immediately up on his appointment Chief Nuchia he went to a “back-to-basics” policing approach that would make crime fighting his first priority. He did away with one man units in patrol cars and made as many two-man units as possible.
Of the 655 officers added to the patrol duties, 361 were on patrol, 150 in investigative positions, and 144 on special assignments. The Airport Police department and City Marshals were merged into the HPD.
Other achievements of the decade included:
* The Special Response Group (SRG) was formed to handle large crowds and special events
* The Downtown Pistol range in operation since 1933 was closed.
* The Response time was lowered to 4.4 minutes from 6.1 minutes in 1991
* New pay increases were established for officers with 17 years of seniority and sergeants and lieutenant with 3 and 8 years of seniority respectively.
* The Woman’s Advisory Council was created to review concerns of female officers who, incidentally, comprised 11% of the police force.
* Officers with 20 or more years of service were eligible for the new Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP)
1996: Planning for police services were undertaken with the beginning of the Kingwood annexation process.
In January 1997, Chief
Clarence O “Brad” Bradfordwas sworn in as the new Chief of Police.
One of the first priorities he accomplished was the elimination of the promotional ranks of sergeant and lieutenant. Judge Lynn Hughes granted a motion making it possible for the Police Department to fill vacant sergeant and lieutenant through promotions. However, the promotions were to be acting positions and would not accrue pension or seniority until the case known as the Edwards Lawsuit was settled.ceremony opening.
It was also during 1997 that then Governor
George W. Bushsigned into law the new “meet and confer” legislation for the Houston Police Department. The legislation provided for officers to vote for a representative organization to negotiate for them with the City administration on a compensation package that would be brought before City Council.
In December 1997 the new 26-floor high-rise police headquarters located at 1200 Travis was dedicated. The Mayor, Past chiefs of Police, other dignitaries and guests were on hand for the The new facility was equipped with the latest security system and would house 2,200 employees.
Lee P. Brown, the former Chief of Police, was elected as City Mayor in November 1997 and took the oath of office in January 1998. He had become the second former head of the police Department to become the Mayor of Houston (I.C. Lord was the first in 1875).
On November 2002, an investigative report made by KHOU about improper lab procedures and accuracy of results. It also pointed out various deficiencies of various lab personal in experience and education. The severity of the lack of credibility lay question of a number of cases, including those that were later convicted and put on death row. [ [http://www.truthinjustice.org/suttonDNA.htm Worst Crime Lab in the Country] ] . The scandal involving the DNA Lab would last well into the decade. The other major milestones affecting HPD are:
December 2002: HPD suspends
DNA testingafter an investigate report and audit.
January 2003: Harris County District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal announces plans to retest DNA evidence from hundreds of cases.
March 2003: Josiah Sutton, convicted with faulty DNA evidence, is released from prison after serving more than four years for a
rapehe did not commit.
October 2003: The
toxicologydivision, which tests for alcohol and drugs, is shuttered after its head fails a proficiency test.
August 2004: Police Chief Harold Hurtt reveals that evidence from thousands of cases dating back to the 1970s was improperly stored in HPD's property room.
October 2004: George Rodriguez is released from prison after serving 17 years for a rape he did not commit. He was convicted on faulty work of the lab's
* Mayor White Launches the "Safe Clear" program is to help clear disabled vehicles from freeways to help reduce the amount of accidents on the freeways. [ [http://www.houstontx.gov/safeclear/safeclear-press.pdf City Of Houston Safe Clear Press Release] ] [ [http://www.houstontx.gov/safeclear/chron-20050609.html City website on Safeclear] ]
* Independent investigation led by Michael Bromwich begins probe of crime lab and property room.
* HPD receives accreditation from a national organization for all areas of its crime lab except the DNA-testing division.
* Four intersections in
Downtown Houstonwere used as testbeds for red light camera equipment. After a vending contract was approved, the enforcement goes online September 1, 2006 to which those running a red light (there are 50 locations [ [http://www.chron.com/mm/ymap/lightcams/ link to Map on Chron.com] ] ) are fined a $75 civil fine as opposed to a $225 moving violation which goes against the vehicle operator.
*Studies released in February 2006 indicate that Safe Clear has been successful during its fledgling year. There were 1,533 less freeway accidents in 2005, a decrease of 10.4% since Safe Clear's implementation [ [http://www.houstontx.gov/safeclear/oneyear/safeclear-oneyear.pdf City Of Houston Website] ] .
* DNA division resumes testing after receiving accreditation.
* Red Light cameras go fully operational and go online.
* Bromwich team releases its final report recommending, among other things, free DNA testing in 413 questionable serology cases, and the appointment of a special master to review 180 serology cases with "major issues."
* HPD says it will review about 200 narcotics cases following the suspension of an HPD crime laboratory analyst accused of failing to properly secure evidence in drug investigations. [ [http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/5035591.html HPD crime lab worker out; 200 cases in doubt] ]
Bill White (mayor)started a new program called The "Mobility Response Team". This Task force, staffed by traffic officers that will patrol within the loop looking for, and being dispatched to, traffic problems. They will report traffic lightoutages, issue parking citations, help clear and direct traffic around minor accidents. The duties will only involve surface streets and will be using scooters for transportation. [ [http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/4946881.html Traffic officers on scooters will fight Inner Loop gridlock] ]
* A new Police Property Room starts construction.
* HPD is considering using Unmanned aerial surveillance drones to help with traffic mobility and assisting with various police duties such as SWAT situations. The drones that are currently being looked at cost $30,000, but will be offset by the manufacturer during the studies. [ [http://www.khou.com/topstories/stories/khou070914_tj_dronespd.d4e89c7a.html HPD may send Big Brother to the air] ]
October 6, 2007allegations arose of employees cheating on an open-book proficiency test. [cite web
url = http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/5192096.html
title = Some workers accused of cheating on proficiency test; inquiry launched
author = McVicker, Steve
date = 2007-10-06
accessdate = 2007-10-08
publisher = Houston Chronicle
format = html] [cite web
url = http://www.myfoxhouston.com/myfox/pages/News/Detail?contentId=4558475&version=4&locale=EN-US&layoutCode=TSTY&pageId=3.2.1
title = HPD: Crime Lab Employees Cheated on Open Book Test
date = 2007-10-06
accessdate = 2007-10-08
publisher = Associated Press
work = Fox26 Houston
format = html]
*Hurtt to spend an $24 million on overtime pay through 2010. The money would continue to bolster an understaffed force as police commanders try to increase their ranks. The overtime that is planned would be about equal to 500,000 police hours of which would help bolster various departments including, vice, Westside patrol and traffic enforcement, among other areas including a new 60-member crime reduction unit that will serve as a citywide tactical squad. [ [http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/5183337.html HPD'S war on crime goes into overtime] ]
*On October 26, 2007, HPD reveled that since the Red Light cameras went online, it has generated $6 Million in revenue and are looking at a variety of programs to fund including 3 specially designed DUI enforcement vehicles, Camera upgrades in squad cars, and additional officers for school zone speed enforcement and patrol. [ [http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/5247376.html Red-light cameras' $6 million put to use on police force] ]
*In November, 2007, HPD started installed a system called PlateScan by its manufacturer, California-based Civica Software, which would allow for several cameras installed on a Police Cruiser to scan license plates and automatically run them through a database that would immediately alert the officer if the plate is wanted as a stolen vehicle, on an amber Alert list, or on a warrant. This saves the officer from having to individually type in every plate and does it at a faster pace. [ [http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/5272441.html New system alerts HPD to vehicles linked to crimes] ]
December 24, 23 Hispanicpolice officers filed a lawsuit alleging discriminationagainst HPD. Main complaints is that they are underpaid and a heavier workload than their non-Hispanic coworkers. [ [http://www.click2houston.com/investigates/14917735/detail.html Hispanic Officers Sue HPD] ] [ [http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/5402974.html Latino officers' suit alleges HPD race bias] ]
2008, SWAT unveiled a new 12-ton armored vehicle called "BEAR" (Ballistic Engineered Armored Response vehicle) and is able to carry 15 fully equipped officers and offer better armor protection and can be used in high risk arrests and riot situations. The old vehicle will be used as a backup. The vehicle didn't come from Tax payer money, but rather a gift from the 100 club of Houston. [ [http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/side/5465297.html New vehicle gives HPD more protection at SWAT scenes] ] 2008
January 25, The Houston Police Department has once again closed the DNA division of its troubled crime lab, following the resignation of its chief and the suspension of two other employees, ending an investigation into an alleged cheating scandal. [ [http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/5487532.html HPD again shuts down crime lab's DNA unit.] ]
February 7, rumors that HPD is looking at selling the HPD complex at 61 Reisner and the Headquarters at 1200 Travis in order to raise funds to build a new compound for its force. The location of the future compound isn't available. [ [http://www.khou.com/topstories/stories/khou080207_tj_newhpd.9e2efbe7.html City planning to sell off buildings, build new HPD complex] ]
February 8: HPD reported the firing of its sixth cadet fired in recent times. The latest was found to be stealing from the police break-room and has since come under fire for lowering its hiring practices to attract new recruits. [ [http://www.khou.com/topstories/stories/khou080208_tj_hpdproblems.a32e9084.html More HPD cadets becoming crooks] ] [ [http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/5526865.html HPD academy fires cadet accused of stealing money] ] : The use of Bait cars in high crime areas has started to produce arrests in several stings being implemented in certain parts of the city. [ [http://www.khou.com/topstories/stories/khou080208_ac_baitcar.a1574c66.html Police getting plenty of catches using bait cars] ]
May 8at 5005 Little York construction will commence on a new facility for the Mounted Patrol division, which will include more land for the horses to roam. [ [http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/life/main/5730552.html Giddyup with HPD The Houston Police Department's horse unit is a valuable public relations tool] ]
June 19, the number of police officers in uniform increased to 5,000 for the first time since 2005 with today's graduation class. [ [http://www.khou.com/topstories/stories/khou0080619_ar_hpdcadets.1c4a99f9.html HPD will have 5,000 officers for first time since 2005] ] [ [http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=news/local&id=6218503 HPD staffing reaches three-year high] ]
June 23requested that the more than 2000 convenience storesto get the jump on the new ordinance that will take effect at the start of 2010[http://www.houstontx.gov/police/convenience_store/registration_form.htm] , which requires additional safety measures such as at least two surveillance cameras, a drop safeand a silent alarmat each store in the hopes to curb robberies and provide a database of crimes for better law enforcement. [ [http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/5851866.html HPD urges stores to register under new security rules] ] [ [http://www.click2houston.com/news/16683094/detail.html Convenience Stores Ordered To Increase Security] ]
June 30, Chief Harold Hurttwelcomed the latest police recruits as they start their training and being in the 200th class held by the city. Members of "Class 200" will have a special epauletof white stars on a navy background on their cadet uniforms to acknowledge the milestone. [ [http://www.click2houston.com/news/16747321/detail.html 200th HPD Academy Cadet Class Begins] ]
* [http://eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/Home.portal?_nfpb=true&ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=HPD+history&ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=kw&_pageLabel=ERICSearchResult&newSearch=true&rnd=1200759140944&searchtype=keyword History of Houston Police Department at ERIC: Education Resources Information Center]
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