AN ATMOSPHERE OF FEAR AT HPD?

ONE OFFICER’S PERSPECTIVE: THE POSSIBILITY JUST SCARES THEM TO DEATH!

As is typical when I’m going live from HPD on the ‘Chief vs. Union’ issue cops are always coming up and talking to me under the agreement of anonymity. It happened again Thursday night at 61 Riesner. This well spoken officer, who says he’s been on the force for 10 years, insisted The Insite and every news outlet in town has gotten the story wrong when it comes to Chief Harold Hurtt versus The HPOU. This officer who didn’t want to be identified told The Insite when he watches the news the most important angle in the debate never seems to reach the public in the ongoing HPD battle. What’s that angle: FEAR. He says he’s not bothered that Chief Hurtt is from Arizona or that he wants to enforce appearance policies…But what bothered this ten year veteran is what he calls the heavy hand of discipline. He says the discipline that has been dispensed in the department under Chief Hurtt’s administration doesn’t seem to be fair or fit the crimes. That officer gave me an example of a veteran cop who was seen spanking his child in public. The incident was investigated by CPS and the department. I’m told the veteran officer was cleared by CPS but was fired by HPD. He says it’s heavy handed discipline like that which causes an atmosphere of fear at HPD. He went on to say that’s what The Insite and the rest of the media failed to get out. He went on to say nearly 85% of the officers terminated under Hurtt for disciplinary reasons have all gotten their jobs back under a second independent review. But he claims even if they get their jobs back they face unofficial retribution by being assigned to the jail or Telserve. He says the officers are also not able to work extra duty jobs as well. That officer says he is a working family man and can’t afford to lose his job over a minor infraction…He says the thought of that possibility just scares him and other officers to death. And that’s just one officers perspective…

5 Comments

  1. Anonymous July 28, 2006 8:12 am 

    thanks for giving us the real story Mr. Carey!!!!

  2. Anonymous July 28, 2006 8:18 am 

    First of all, I want to thank you for taking the time to listen to me when I
    spoke with you on front of the Central Station at 61 Riesner. It is my honest
    belief that only half the story is being told on the major media outlets
    regarding why the officers are so up in arms regarding Chief Hurtt.

  3. Anonymous July 28, 2006 9:11 am 

    I found this article very interesting. My concern is why do we constantly hold officers to unrealistic standards. Officers yes though trained to handle situations they are still human beings doing jobs frankly not every citizen in Houston is willing to do.They have normal problems and deal with the same problems we all deal with in there homelife asweell. If he was cleared from CPS his job shouldn’t have even been compromised. Even if this officer gets his job back that that will be held over his head for awhile. Turn this around a bit wouldnt we be upset if an officer came out and a citizen just spanked his/her child in public and someone called the police and the police officer put the citizen in jail called CPS but CPS clears the Citizen should he/she lose there job. Citizens in Houston I think would be very outraged.

  4. Anonymous July 28, 2006 11:00 am 

    And it all depends on the situation/person. One Assistant Chief who was in charge of the K-Mart debaucle, got a 7 day suspension, AND was embroiled in sexual harassment/sex on duty with another married employee, was promoted by the chief to Executive Assistant Chief! Yet a lieutenant who was disciplined over a decade ago on questionable ground was passed over for captain by the chief even though he was next on the list.

    Hurtt creates policy and problems then have to end up in a win/lose situation,,,with him as the winner, or course. Well, now he has painted himself into the ultimate win/lose situation over his job. This time, he is going to lose.

  5. Anonymous July 28, 2006 2:12 pm 

    With all the major problems the dept has, Hurtt spends more time going after officers for things like having a family picture with the officer in uniform posted on the Internet! He has some BIG problems to worry about, yet, he continues to worry about things that are so small or no problem at all.

    The shortage of officers? Thank Mayor White and Hurtt for this problem. Remember in the beginning when they said they could run the dept with “X” number of officers? Well, they can’t!

    They knew this in the beginning, but they knew they could save money in the long run by running off the officers with a lot of time on the dept and hiring new officers under a new pension plan (need 25 yrs to retire now instead of 20). It’s also cheaper to pay new officers than it is to pay officers who have been on 20+ years.

    The dept is now complaining because officers are making too much money in court overtime! We didn’t bring in this new computer system, which is why courts move so slowly now. Officers used to show up and be gone within a couple of hours, now it takes about 6 hours to get a few cases resolved. They screwed things up and want to find a way to blame officers!

    As a military veteran, he must have forgotten the saying, “Take care of the troops and the troops will take care of you!”

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