After Four Months Time Is Up for Occupy Houston
February 13, 2012

Since October 6, 2011, members of  Occupy Houston have used Tranquility Park as their staging area.

At one point dozens of people were part of the movement to protest social and economic injustice, but in recent weeks, only a handful of  people have taken part in the local occupation.

Mayor Annise Parker and the Houston Police Department have decided it’s time to move out the occupiers and cleanup the park in time for the beginning of the city’s spring festival season.

According to the news release from the Mayor’s office, the City of  Houston has reinstituted the dawn to dusk limits on activities in Tranquility Park.  As a result, those participating in the Occupy Houston encampment have been asked to peacefully pack up their belongings and leave the park at dusk tonight.  The Houston Police Department’s Homeless Outreach Team will be on hand to provide transportation to shelters, if needed.  The move comes approximately four months after Occupy Houston movement began.

“I told Occupy Houston leaders in January they need to decide the next phase for their effort,” said Mayor Annise Parker.  “I support their right to free speech and I’m sympathetic to their call for reform of the financial system, but they can’t simply continue to occupy a space indefinitely.  We have to get the area ready for the spring festivals and that necessitates their leaving.”

What did it cost taxpayers?  According to the city, providing a police presence at the park for the last four months has cost the Houston Police Department a total of $54,917.68 and $287,268.00 in overtime and regular salaries, respectively.  The end to the encampment will free those officers for assignment elsewhere.

The Houston Parks Department estimates it will cost more than $13,000 to clean up and lay new sod in the park.

Houston Police Arrest Man in 30 Year Old Unsolved Murder
September 22, 2011

Suspect Arrested 20 Years After Male’s Death at 6575 Ashcroft

Houston police have arrested a suspect charged in the fatal shooting of a man at 6575 Ashcroft on August 1, 1981.Jose Alfredo Gomez (H/m, DOB: 4-20-48) is charged with murder in the 185th State District Court.  He is accused in the death of Jose Rodrigo Aguiler, 37, of the above address, who suffered multiple gunshot wounds.  A photo of suspect Gomez is attached to this news release.

HPD Homicide Division Sergeant D. Ferguson reported:

Mr. Aguiler answered the door when Gomez visited him to apologize for an argument that had occured earlier in the evening.  According to witnesses, as the two spoke, Gomez pulled a pistol and shot Aguiler.  Aguiler began to fall but was caught by his wife, who then observed Gomez running down the stairs.  Gomez ran back up the stairs, shot Aguiler a second time in the chest and then fled the scene.

Additional interviews with witnesses identified the suspect and charges were filed against Gomez for murder.  Shortly after the murder, investigators attempted to locate and arrest Gomez, but were unsuccessful.

Recently, an investigator with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office Fugitive Apprehension Section was able to locate the suspect living in Houston.  Gomez was then arrested, with the assistance of the Gulf Coast Violent Offenders Task Force, in the 200 block of Heaney without incident.  Following his arrest, Gomez admitted to his role in the death of Aguiler.

Houston Police Honor The Best and Brightest
May 16, 2011

Mayor Annise Parker and Police Chief Charles McClelland, Jr., handed out awards during the local commemoration of National Police Week.

During the ceremony, twenty-nine police officers and civilian workers were honored for their contributions to public safety.

It is during Police Week that officers remember and honor those who have given the ultimate sacrifice of their lives so others may live in safety and peace.

Some officers couldn’t be identified because they work undercover investigations.

The awards ceremony was held at the Downtown Aquarium.

Mayor Parker Announces New Police Oversight Initiatives
February 18, 2011


Mayor Annise Parker has made a major announcement that she hopes will restore trust between the some members of the community and  the Houston Police Department.

This follows the public outrage over the controversial videotape which showed several Houston police officers beating and stomping on teen burglary suspect Chad Holley. 



Mayor Annise Parker today unveiled a sweeping package of new initiatives aimed at restoring public trust in the Houston Police Department.  The mayor is putting in place two new independent oversight panels, creating an ombudsman to provide confidential assistance to citizens alleging police misconduct and retaining the services of an independent organization to conduct an investigation into the culture at the Houston Police Department. “This plan will allow for increased public input on matters of public safety,” said Mayor Parker.  “It will also help address the community concerns raised in the wake of the release of the videotaped beating of Chad Holley.  As both the leader of this city and the mother of three children, I cannot condone the physical abuse of a child or any citizen of this city.  The vast majority of our men and women in blue protect and serve in an exemplary manner.  But, if a culture exists at HPD that contributes to the behavior displayed in that video, we will root it out and put in place best practices that will identify and prevent police misconduct.”

The new Independent Police Oversight Board (IPOB) will replace the existing Citizens’ Review Committee.  The new panel will consist of 20 members appointed by the mayor and will reflect the demographics and geographic diversity of the city.  Its members will consist of experts in criminal justice, including retired judges and prosecutors, civil rights attorneys and academic experts or scholars.  The IPOB will have unfettered access to all records and police department data and the full cooperation of HPD.  It will review all internal affairs investigations involving allegations of excessive force or the discharge of firearms and other major incidents.  It will also have authority to review all disciplinary cases and make its own recommendations to the chief of police regarding discipline.  A faculty member from the Criminal Justice Department at the University of Houston – Downtown will provide independent advice and counsel to the panel. 

IPOB will also review and make recommendations to the police chief and mayor regarding the hiring of new police officers, training on proper treatment of citizens, evaluation of officer conduct and community concerns relating to police misconduct.  It will produce regular reports to inform the public of its findings.

In addition to the IPOB, the existing Police Advisory Committee will be re-named the Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC).  The PSAC will hold monthly meetings in various locations throughout the city to obtain citizen input, meet quarterly with the police and fire chiefs and the local Office of Homeland Security to discuss issues affecting public safety and periodically meet with City Council’s public safety committee.  Its members will be representative of all City Council districts as well as civil rights organizations and public policy organizations.

The City’s Office of Inspector General and members of that office, all of whom are not employed by HPD, will serve as confidential ombudsmen to assist citizens in filing of complaints of misconduct against police officers. 

Mayor Parker is also supporting several legislative proposals that, if enacted, will bolster the reforms she unveiled today. 

The mayor’s plan will be implemented by mayoral executive order.

Backing The Men And Women in Blue
October 3, 2010

What do Elvis and  heavily armed SWAT officers have in common?

They both joined the party in a dramatic fashion as many of  our community’s movers and shakers  gathered to show support for the Houston Police Department.

The 3rd annual “True Blue Gala” benefitting the Houston Police Foundation was held Saturday night in the beautiful backyard of  Tilman and Paige Fertitta’s River Oaks home.

Houston Police Foundation Gala

(Tilman is pictured here with executive board member Bill Nelson and executive director Charlene Floyd)

The luau party theme was a fantastic backdrop for the entertainment which included “Elvis”,  island dancers and Polynesian style food.

Party goers also had a chance to see a demonstration of SWAT officers taking control of a “hostage” situation and get a hands – on – feel of what it’s like for officers to shoot a taser and administer a breathalyzer test.

In case you didn’t know, the Houston Police Foundation serves a vital role – connecting private investment dollars with effective public safety solutions.  The Foundation is engaged in an effort to leverage private resources to fund high priority law enforcement needs.

According to its website, since its inception the Houston Police Foundation has provided more than $1.5 Million for equipment and training in the Houston Police Department.

I took plenty of pictures at this spectacular event. You’ll have to wait until Monday to see the rest of them on the main Channel 2 website,, and click on “slide shows.”

 To make a contribution and learn more about the Houston Police Foundation:

Unprecedented Anti-Gang Effort Launched in Houston Today
September 23, 2010

(From HPD media office)


At a news briefing today  Houston Police Chief Charles A. McClelland Jr, Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia, Harris County District Attorney Patricia Lykos, members of the Houston area Multi-Agency Gang Task Force (MAGTF) and other federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies announced a new public crime fighting tool. 

Also in attendance at the news conference were First Assistant United States Attorney Jeff Vaden – Southern District of Texas, Chief Deputy U. S. Marshal Charles Paulette and U. S. Marshal Elizabeth Saenz, United States Marshals Service – Southern District of Texas, Special Agent in Charge Richard C. Powers of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Special Agent in Charge Dewey Webb of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Acting Assistant Special Agent in Charge Thomas E. Hinojosa of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Assistant Special Agent in Charge Patrick McElwain of Immigration and Custom’s Enforcement – Homeland Security Investigations, Warden Annette Gordon of the Federal Bureau of Prisons – Southern District of Texas, Commander Terry D. Cobbs of the Office of the Inspector General – Texas Department of Criminal Justice Special Operations Division, Major George E. Rhyne, Jr., Texas Department of Public Safety – Criminal Investigations Division, Chief Jimmie Dotson of the Houston Independent School District, and Director Patricia Harrington, City of Houston – Mayor’s Anti-Gang Office. 


The website was created to inform and educate the public about criminal gangs and provide a way for residents to report anonymous tips about potential criminal gang activity.  This community policing initiative was designed to help keep our communities safe from gangs and the related violence they bring. 

The website is a measure that utilizes technology to partner with the community and increase awareness through education regarding the threat of criminal gang activity.  Residents can also access information about prevention and intervention programs. 

“This is a perfect example of what community policing is all about,” said Chief McClelland.  “If we can improve communications with our residents and stop one act of violence, then it’s a success,” he added.   

Gangs are a community problem that requires a collaborative police and community effort.  Residents of the Houston, Harris County and surrounding area can be reassured MAGTF and other local law enforcement agencies are working together to keep our communities safe.


Fundraiser for Officer’s Daughter Injured in Fiery Plane Crash
August 6, 2010

Houston Police Department Seal

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday (August 7), the public is invited to a fundraiser for a Houston police officer’s daughter seriously injured in an Alaskan plane crash.

Organizers are calling the event “The Rachel Zientek Big Top Fundraiser and Barbeque.”  Admission is free.  There will be live music, food and numerous activities for families and children.

Rachel Zientek, 16, suffered severe burns throughout much of her lower body in the crash on June 1.  She spent nearly two months in a hospital and is continuing her lengthy recovery.  The community and fellow officers have shown overwhelming support for Rachel, her mother, Tammy, and father, HPD Officer Mike Zientek of the Northeast Patrol Divsion.

WHAT:     Fundraiser for Officer’s Daughter Injured in Plane Crash

DATE:       Saturday (August 7)

TIME:       10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

WHERE:   Town Center Park, 8 North Main Street, Kingwood 

Mayor Parker Names Charles McClelland as Houston Police Chief
March 31, 2010



Mayor Annise Parker today named acting Chief Charles McClelland as her choice to be Houston’s next police chief.


 “Chief McClelland is an innovative thinker with the respect of the rank and file and a deep knowledge of the community,” said Mayor Parker.  “His commitment to decentralized policing and his managerial experience and training make him the crime fighting leader Houston and HPD need right now.  I am confident he’ll be able to make the tough decisions and smart choices that will get more officers on the streets patrolling our neighborhoods.”

McClelland has more than 32 years of service to HPD, joining the department as a patrol officer in 1977 and rising through the ranks to his current position as an executive assistant chief in charge of the Investigative Operations Command.  He was promoted to the department’s command staff in 1998.  He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminology and a Master of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of Houston.  He is also a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy and has received numerous awards and commendations. 

“I want to be police chief for the same reason I joined HPD, to make a difference,” said McClelland. “My vision for the department includes strengthening community relations, improved internal communications and more efficient processes.”

McClelland ranks as his major accomplishments the implementation of Tasers and the 24/7 Real Time Crime Center, which allows for enhanced overall crime tracking and analysis 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 

McClelland, 55, was born in Center, Texas.  He has two daughters.  His nomination requires confirmation by Houston City Council.  He will lead a department of approximately 5,400 sworn officers.

Mayor Annise Parker Picks A Police Chief
March 22, 2010

Houston Mayor Annise Parker has reportedly decided on a new police chief for the city of Houston.

She made that announcement Monday afternoon while speaking to a committee meeting of the Greater Houston Partnership.

Tonight, spokesperson Janice Evans has confirmed that the Mayor has made her decision and that person is currently working in the Houston Police Department.

Evans also stressed that the “selection process is not finished and that anything could derail/halt the process.”

The Mayor told GHP members that she would make her decision public by the end of the week, but Evans told 2 on the Beat that the Mayor is still on track to decide by the end of the month.

Houston has been without a permanent police chief since Harold Hurtt left the department.

Executive assistant Chief Charles McCllelland was named interim chief in December, and was expected to apply for the top job.

Other names under consideration, according to sources, include Assistant Police Chief Vickie King, Executive chief Rosie Montalvo, Executive Assistant Chief K.A. Munden, Executive Chief Tim Ottemeir and assistant chief G.T. Buenik, who is over internal investigations.

Gary Blankinship, President of the Houston Police Officers Union, said he is happy that Mayor Parker is staying in house and choosing the next chief from within HPD’s ranks.  “I have a good relationship with the finalists for the job,” said Blankinship.

Those finalists are reportedly McCllelland, and the remaining executive chiefs, Ottemier, Montalvo and Munden. McClelland and Ottemier are considered the leading candidates by some.

A Blood Drive To Help Houston Police Officers
December 18, 2009

From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday (Dec. 21), members of the public are invited to donate blood in support of police officers and their families. 


The blood drive, to be held at the Houston Police Officers Union Building at 1602 State Street, will benefit active and retired officers and their families from various law enforcement agencies. 

WHAT: Blood Drive for Active and Retired Officers and their Families 

DATE: MONDAY (Dec. 21) 

TIME: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

WHERE: HPOU Building, 1602 State Street (Key map 493-K)