HCDO News and Updates
The Harris County Deputies’ Organization takes great pride in advocating for the membership. Stay up to date on HCDO news with the HCDO newsletter that the Board publishes to inform members of the ongoing changes in Harris County and other things happening at HCDO.
Additionally, this page will be updated with the latest in Harris County law enforcement news and HCDO press releases.
Fallen HCSO Sgt. Raymond Scholwinski laid to rest
Today, May 14, 2020, we laid to rest our brother in blue, Sgt. Raymond Scholwinski. He is remembered by many for his kindness, sense of humor, and He was a beloved colleague and friend who we will miss dearly. We will continue to pray for healing his family and for the department.
Several Officer involved shootings in past weeks
Everyday Deputies and Officers put their lives on the line to protect the community and law enforcement has to be ready based on their training and the rule of law. "No deputy goes to work wanting to have to take someone’s life,” HCDO FOP President David Cuevas said. “Sometimes, based on the circumstances, we have to use deadly force.” This is not something any Deputy wants to have happen. Please everyone be safe during these times of national emergency. Read full article here.
Fallen HPD Officer Jason Knox laid to rest
HPD Officer Jason Knox was laid to rest today, May 9. He died in the line of duty May 2 when a HPD helicopter he was in crashed in Houston. We at HCDO FOP honor our brother in blue and will continue to pray for his family.
Sgt. passes after COVID-19 exposure
It is with heavy hearts that we have learned of the passing of HCSO Sgt. Ray Scholwinski. He was a colleague and friend to many of us and will be missed dearly. We will continue to keep his family in our prayers during this difficult time. Blessed are the Peacemakers.
COVID-19 worry for jail employees
"It's an enemy we can't see and it's kind of ground zero inside our detention facility," said David Cuevas, President of Harris County Deputies' Organization. "We have to take the advice from Harris (County) Health and our common sense and take all precautions necessary." He appeared on ABC13KTRK to speak about the Harris County Jail during this COVID-19 crisis. Cuevas said the top concern he hears from employees assigned to the jail, like detention officers and deputies, is that they are going to get infected and take it home to their families. Read full article here.
HCDO FOP providing subs at Lodge
HCDO FOP is providing Firehouse Subs lunches at the Lodge to first responders today while supplies last. You can also drop by and refill hand sanitizer and pick up a PPE mask. Lodge will be open until 6.
Harris County Commissioners' Court meets and discusses the new payroll software
HCDO FOP President David Cuevas addressed Commissioners' Court yesterday about the ongoing PeopleSoft payroll system. The clip here is the discussion before the Commissioners including exchanges between Court members and speakers. Someone before the Court isn't being truthful, listen and you be the judge. (Hint: It isn't us.).
Akers Firm donates 100 pizzas to 701 jail
HCDO FOP delivered 100 pizzas to the hardworking employees at the 701 jail night shift courtesy of The Akers Firm. Thank you to Cordt Akers for the donation! Detention Officers and Deputies are working 12 hour shifts as this crisis continues and their hard work and dedication is always appreciated
Texas Governor states no fines for not wearing masks
We, at HCDO FOP, were very pleased to hear that Governor Abbott stated that local governments cannot impose a fine for failure to wear a mask. We do encourage everyone who is able to wear a mask, to please wear a mask and continue to protect yourself, your families, and your community. Law enforcement throughout Harris County will, as always, work to keep everyone safe throughout this crisis. Stay safe and Harris County Strong.
Pizza provided to Pct. 6 Deputies
It was great to provide Deputies with Constable Pct 6 with pizza, sanitizer, and PPE. The HCDO FOP lodge will be open all week to first responders from 8-6.
Mandatory mask fines will not be enforced
Due to the advocacy of HCDO and HPOU, the HCSO and HPD have chosen a common sense approach to the mandatory mask order issued by the County Judge. Deputies and Officers will be handing out masks instead of citations. We do encourage people to wear masks when they can and to work to keep themselves safe. Murders are up 60%. Deputies need to focus on preventing and solving violent crimes, not enforcing a mandatory mask order. Read full article here.
Thank you for the BBQ lunches!
Thank you to the Spagnoletti Law Firm for donating Brookstreet BBQ to HCDO FOP and Harris County First Responders today at the Lodge. We have had many first responders come by throughout the week to pick up good food, refill their hand sanitizer and pick up other supplies. A special thank you to our HCDO Board Members and volunteers that have put together care packages for HCSO personnel, first responders, and their families.
BBQ Lunch at HCDO FOP Lodge
We would like to send a huge thank you to Connectivity Source and Demeris Bar-B-Q for generously donating lunches to first responders today at the HCDO FOP 39 Lodge. The Lodge will be open until 6 today for first responders to grab a bite, fill up their hand sanitizer, and pick up a PPE mask. We will be open 8-6 tomorrow as well.
Harris County debates mandatory mask order
President David Cuevas has spoken to many about the Harris County Proposed Mask Order including State Senator Joan Huffman and with Attorney General's Ken Paxton's office. He has also interviewed with KPRC, channel 2, about the idiocy of the order and with the Michael Berry show KTRH. The KPRC article can be watched here. We wear a mask to protect ourselves, our families, and our community. People should not be fined or threatened with jail time for not wearing a face covering. We currently live in a county where people who break legally passed laws get no punishment by the elected judges/officials but hard working citizens walking in their neighborhoods without a mask get shaken down for a $1000 fine. Law enforcement is stretched too thin as it is and mandating these confrontations with the public will just erode the relationship we all in law enforcement work hard to build with the community.
Thank you Aguila Ammo!
Thank you Aguila Ammo for donating lunches from Katz's Deli to HCDO FOP 39 for County Employees. County First Responders can come by the Lodge and pick up a lunch as well as refill hand sanitizer and pick up PPE masks.
Press release issued by HCDO FOP about the mandatory mask order
Lunch delivered to 1200 Baker
HCDO FOP 39 provided meals to 1200 Baker 2nd shift employees from Jimmy John's. We appreciate all the hard work our Detentions has done during the emergency declaration. HCDO FOP will continue to work and help the hard working law enforcement employees of Harris County.
HCDO FOP Lodge open for first responders
Thank you to the Shipley's family for generously donating to the Harris County Deputies' Organization FOP 39. Stop by today, April 21, 2020 and get your Jimmy John's lunch pack at the HCDO FOP Lodge while supplies last! Special thank you to CTC Contractors for this donation and all their support to law enforcement.
HCDO FOP speaks to KPRC about disastrous new payroll system plaguing employees
HCDO FOP President David Cuevas and retired member Tim Lloyd spoke out today to KPRC, Channel 2, about the continued payroll fiasco facing Harris County employees. Cuevas was adamant that employees expect the "errors" to be fixed and Commissioners Court should hold those responsible for this disastrous new system accountable. President Cuevas will be addressing Commissioners Court at their next meeting regarding these issues. President David Cuevas, speaking about the disastrous payroll system launched by Harris County stated, “Some are getting paid, some haven’t gotten paid, some have gotten overpaid,” Cuevas said. “It’s incompetence at the highest level and those that are responsible should be fired.” Watch full article here.
HCDO FOP gets critical shipment
Today, April 16, 2020, HCDO FOP received a shipment of hand sanitizer. We are expecting a shipment of masks tomorrow. We will announce online and on the county intranet the times next week when we will be distributing supplies at the Lodge to our members and all County first responders. Food and drinks will be provided. A special thank you to Marty Lancton and the Houston Fire Fighter's Union for helping us find this needed equipment. The Lodge will be open starting Tuesday, April 21, 2020 from 8-6 and then Monday through Friday thereafter. Check out our Facebook page or Twitter for up to date information on supplies and special lunches provided by the Union to the hardworking first responders serving their communities.
Harris County launches new payroll system filled with issues
HCDO FOP is aware of the ongoing payroll issues for County employees. Thank you to all the members who have contacted us. President David Cuevas has had several productive talks with Chief Edison Toquica as well as HC Auditor Mike Post and Executive Director Bruce High this week of March 25. He has expressed the outrage of the membership in the continued errors. Chief Toquica has taken an active leadership role in ensuring the ongoing payroll issues are resolved quickly. President Cuevas will continue to pursue this matter until all issues are satisfactorily resolves. If you have had an issue with your check, the Union suggests you send one email per payroll period to your payroll clerk outlining in detail the payroll issue. The County Auditor's Office is aware of the issues and the staff is working diligently to resolve all errors. David Cuevas has also spoken with County Judge Lina Hidalgo's Chief of Staff, Joe Madden, on this issue. They have assured us that they are working with Universal Services to remedy the paychecks of all employees and that they are keeping up with the issue.
As the issues continue, we are now asking that if you are a County employee and you have had an error in your paycheck since the switch to the new payroll system, please email the County Commissioners and tell them that errors do exist in your paycheck, these errors have real impact on your lives, and it needs to get fixed. This failed payroll system is another virus they are asking us to endure while pretending they are not aware of the problems.
County debates the release of jail inmates during COVID-19 pandemic
Violent criminals or burglary suspects should not be released in the shadow of this pandemic. It will only put the public and our Deputies in danger when contact is made with them again out on the streets. 1307 Baker Street (Little Baker) must be utilized and brought up to jail standards in order to be utilized in the flight against this pandemic.
Texas allows for Workers Comp presumption for COVID-19
Thank you Gov. Greg Abbott for this measure. This is a relief to all in law enforcement. HCDO FOP lawyers will be examining the orders to best know how it will impact our members in Harris County. This order will allow employees to have the protection that they need during these uncertain times. Governor Abbott has mandated that first responder claims for Covid-19 related treatment be covered through workers compensation. It is imperative for all law enforcement, that if you are ordered or sent to go get a test or other medical treatment related to exposure or possible exposure to Covid-19, you must follow up with your supervisor to ensure a workers compensation claim was filed for you as they would for any other on the job injury or follow up and file the injury report yourself. Read full order here.
HCDO FOP was proud to purchase Rudy's BBQ for Patrol District 4 evenings. Thank you Rudy's for also donating to the order and helping us get it together. Rudy's BBQ is a proud supporter of law enforcement.
A huge thank you to Kathleen Wall for donating hand sanitizer to HCDO FOP and to HCSO Patrol District 4!
Thank you NACC Disaster Services for their Donation
HCDO FOP sincerely appreciates the donation of water to Harris County Sheriff's Office from NACC Disaster Services. Thank you! Their leadership and commitment to law enforcement is always appreciated.
HCDO FOP calls out Sheriff's Office HR for failing to protect employees
HCDO FOP is profoundly disappointed and frustrated in the Sheriff's Office Human Resources Leadership for it's conflicting communications in regards to this ongoing COVID-19 crisis and the rights of employees impacted by the virus. HR is continuing to misapply the law to employees who are risking their health maintaining the peace during this pandemic. Each Sheriff's Office employee is putting themselves on the line for the community and we demand that their rights be upheld. HCDO FOP President David Cuevas has been in talks with the Harris County Attorney and they do not agree with the policies implemented by Sheriff’s HR and it's statement of the law. Once again, Sheriff's Office HR has failed the Department and its employees. Any employee that contracts the virus should receive worker's compensation benefits and employees ordered to quarantine should not be forced to burn their own time. More needs to be done.
Hotel accommodation set up for First Responders to Quarantine safely after COVID-19 exposure
HCDO FOP President David Cuevas has been working with Chief Navarre and the Command Staff to set up hotel accommodations for employees that are ordered to isolate and must remain away from their families. He is also working with the County Attorney’s office to ensure that county employees who are ordered to isolate do not loose time or benefits because of the order.
COVOID-19 supplies should be divided equitably
HCDO FOP President David Cuevas has met with the Sheriff command staff and CJC to about the fair and equitable distributions of cleaning supplies and safety equipment. He has also spoken with county officials about pay discrepancies that have occurred for numerous law enforcement county employees. Things are very fluid and evolving and the Organization is working to create contingencies for our members. We are working hard to make sure county law enforcement can concentrate on the safety of our communities.
Two Harris County Sheriff's Deputies contract COVID-19
First Responders put themselves on the line everyday for the safety of the community and now we have learned that two deputies have tested positive for Covid-19. HCDO FOP President David Cuevas addressed the media saying, "The deputy I spoke to is in good spirits. Myself, the department, and the union support her in anything she needs, and we are family and we're praying for her and her recovery."
"Obviously we want to make sure everyone in the law enforcement community is COVID-19 free," he continued. "But we understand there are going to be circumstances where people test positive. We want the public to be reassured we are prepared and ready to continued to provide law enforcement services in the county."
We urge everyone to take social distancing seriously which will help first responders continue to protect our community. Full article Here
Harris County implements new Payroll Software; issues Continue
HCDO FOP has been inundated with complaints concerning the recent implementation of the PeopleSoft payroll system County wide. We know that employees are not receiving their pay and benefits as expected. On March 20, HCDO FOP President David Cuevas is currently in talks with the County Commissioners to ensure that employees will be adequately compensated for their comp time, vacation time, and benefits. HCDO FOP will continue to monitor the issues and work with Harris County officials to fix the issues and advocate for the employees.
Hard Working Deputies Getting Lunch
HCDO FOP was happy to provide food for the hard working Sheriff's Deputies at District 4 nights. A special thank you to Los Cucos on 249 and Spring Cypress for assisting us with this order! We will continue to work to help our law enforcement get through these trying times.
HCDO FOP addressed Commissioner's Court regarding planned study of the Contract Deputy Program
HCDO FOP 39 addressed Harris County Commissioners Court today, March 10, to address the proposed study of the popular Contract Deputy Programs. After many comments from the community including from HCDO FOP 39, the proposed resolution was pulled from the agenda and will not be implemented. Video of Vice President Eric Batton addressing the Commissioners is posted to the right.
HCDO provides lunch to Detention Night Shift
HCDO FOP 39 delivered 350 pizzas and drinks to the detention staff tonight in appreciation of all their hard work and dedication. Special thanks to Papa John's Pizza for helping us to fill this order. We are always happy to have events for all law enforcement.
29-year-old man gets second DWI and a third PR Bond
Magistrate Judge Lionel Castro gave Anthony Luhring a third PR bond after he was arrested for the third time in ten months. He has a previous conviction history and has shown his refusal to comply with court orders by being arrested for DWI while on PR bond for DWI where he was under court order to not drive or consume alcohol. We are lucky this man hasn't killed anyone. When will public safety be a factor in setting bond? The bond reform experiment is a failure. Vote for change in 2020. #JudicialReform2020. Read Full Article Here.
Harris County approves place for Deportation Defense Fund
We do not support using taxpayer funds for Illegal Immigrant Deportation Legal Defense. As the violent crime rate skyrockets here, the public is in fear and this is how tax payer money is spent? Public safety is grossly underfunded and everyone needs to think about if this is the best way to spend taxpayer funds. Remember to vote in Primary elections on Tuesday and in November. Read article HERE.
Harris County Bail Reform Experiment is Failing.
We NEED change.
The public was lied to about bail reform and community safety has declined because of it. This disaster of bail reform needs to be rolled back, not expanded, and we need to vote in change in 2020. Watch a video here. In case you missed it on Channel 13, Gerald Washington was put on Deferred Adjudication for burglary (x2). Violated those conditions. Still given BOND for murder and agg assault (x2) by Judge Franklin. He removed his ankle monitor and committed murder and agg assault. Now he's on the run with 7+ felony warrants. The TV article can be viewed here. In another example, Sergio Lopez was seen on video assaulting a 13 year old student with special needs by inappropriately touching and kissing her. Bail reform deal set by judges and county automatically triggered and his bail was set at $100 with no thought about the danger he can pose to kids. Judges don't care about victims or the citizens they serve. Read full article here.
Many Harris County police agencies decline to sign onto DA Ogg's Brady Program.
We applaud Sheriff Ed Gonzalez and other department heads that have stood up for their peace officers and are demanding that the DA fulfill their own responsibilities. The full story can be read here. We do not agree that police agencies and departments should hand over all personnel information to the District Attorney to be used against Deputies and Officers.
Harris County starts Cite and Release Program
Harris County has moved to institute a cite and release program for a wide range of misdemeanors. HCDO FOP believes that if you don't break the law, you don't have to worry about cite and release or to be warrants.
HCDO FOP 39 Sponsors COPS Blue Santa
HCDO FOP 39 is proud to sponsor the Concerns of Police Survivors Blue Santa Party for the families of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. COPS is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the family of fallen law enforcement officers throughout the country. We are always honored to help out such a worthy and dedicated cause. #NeverForget #HonortheFallen
HCDO FOP hosts another successful SHOP WITH A COP
This week, HCDO FOP 39 was proud to sponsor 20 children for Shop with a Cop! All the children had a great time and we are blessed that we were able to bring some Christmas cheer to these kids. Every year, Deputies volunteer to escort underprivileged children as they get to pick out gifts for themselves during the holidays. This event is very popular and we strive to accommodate as many children as we can every year. Please contact our office if you are interested in donating to this cause.
A hero's funeral: Goodbye Sgt. Kaila Sullivan
On December 11, 2019, Sgt. Kaila Sullivan of Nassau Bay PD was tragically killed in the line of duty. We were honored to participate in such a moving ceremony to honor a hero.
Press Release issues about the murderer of Sgt. Kaila Sullivan
Another Hero laid to rest; Sgt. Christopher Brewster honored
On December 7, 2019, HPD Sgt. Christopher was shot and killed while responding to a domestic violence call. Today, the community paid tribute to him in a ceremony befitting the hero that he is.
Nationwide, 5 Officers were killed in the line of duty in 5 days
Tragic slayings of five police officers in 5 days has shaken the nation, including two in Harris County. Overall, violence against police officers is on the rise. HCDO FOP 39 stands united with our partners in law enforcement to address this head on and to fight for every brother and sister in blue. We send prayers out to each of these heartbroken families and departments. Blessed are the Peacemakers.
HCDO FOP 39 Honored by Sweats IV Vets for sponsorship
HCDO FOP 39 was presented with a plaque and certificate from Sweats IV Vets, a non-profit organization serving veterans as well as providing employment opportunities for wounded and disabled veterans. HCDO FOP 39 was honored to once again help sponsor this important annual event.
Bail Reform in Harris County Approved by Federal Judge
HCDO FOP 39 opposed the proposed settlement deal on bail reform in Harris County because the costs were too high and we believe the deal violated state law. Now that Harris County has agreed to open up its purse strings for these bail reform measures, hopefully they will be as supportive of the law enforcement pay raise next year
ADA fired after refusing charges due to the victim's legal status
Commenting on ADA John Denholm and allegations that he refused charges based on a victim's immigration status, HCDO FOP President David Cuevas stated “He historically has been challenging to law enforcement and refuses to accept solid charges. It’s appalling and he should be fired immediately.”
Murders given bail in Harris County
Suspects charged with serious, violent, felonies are routinely given bond in Harris County on the promise of not breaking more laws. This highlights murderers being out on bond, commit other felonies, and then receive another bond. It states that there are about 3000 defendants on bond for murder/aggravated assault. When is the safety of the community going to be a factor in these decisions? #JudicialReform2020
Precinct 5 Deputy shot in arm
A Harris County Constable Precinct 5 Deputy was shot in the arm on October 16 while working security. The Deputy is expected to make a full recovery and we
One Dollar Bond Given to Burglary Suspects
Judge George Powell of the 351st Court gave defendants $1.00 bond who were caught inside a stranger's house causing over $2000 worth of damage. Just know the new Harris County Criminal Judges think the sanctity of your home is worth less than a cup of coffee. #JudicialReform2020
Full story: ABC13 Article
Capital Murder Suspect out on bond given new bond after being arrested for carjacking; back out on the streets
Justin Archangel was charged with capital murder for killing a man in the course of a robbery. He was given bond by Judge Amy Martin in March. He has now been re-arrested for committing a carjacking. This is bail reform in Harris County. #judicialreform2020
Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal murdered in the line of duty
On September 27, 2019, Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal was killed while conducting a traffic stop. Deputy Dhaliwal was a trailblazer, a hero, and a friend to us all. A memorial service will be held Wednesday October 2, 2019 at the Barry Center starting at 10:30 am. Outpourings and grief have flooded in from across the world. Deputy Dhaliwal had a heartfelt and true impact on his community and he will never be forgotten. He left behind a wife and three young children as well as being a role model to many in the community.
Ways to help the Dhaliwal family: Donations should be given to a trusted organization such as the Sheriff's Benevolence Fund or the Deputies' Relief Fund. Most go fund me pages have not been vetted and are not verified.
Additionally, Papa John's Greater Houston will donate all profits from orders on October 1. Adriatic Cafe will donate 30% of proceeds on orders on October 2nd and 3rd. Texas Roadhouse on 1960 and 290 will donate 100% of the money raised from a special lunch benefit on October 11.
HCDO file Amicus Brief in Harris County bail reform lawsuit
Today, August 20, 2019. the Harris County Deputies’ Organization FOP 39 filed an Amicus Brief in ODonnell v Harris County. Law enforcement takes bail reform very seriously, but we believe it must be done within the parameters of the law with public safety as a factor. We filed this brief because we do not believe the settlement agreement reached by the Parties follows state law and is contrary to the Fifth Circuit. The Fifth Circuit stated that what made the automatic money bail system in Harris County unconstitutional was the Judges not using their discretion in issuing bonds. Creating an automatic PR bond system does not fix that problem, it just harms a different set of people. Judges need to follow state law and use their discretion when issuing bonds. They must weigh the individual’s interests with the interests of the community. The County should not be allowed to bargain away their responsibilities to the Community like this. Nothing in the bail rules they intend to implement is about public safety. A stranger can point a gun in your face and punch you in the stomach and he would get an automatic PR bond without any Judge utilizing his or her discretion in determining if that person is a danger to you, the community, or himself.
Harris County has made a settlement that goes far beyond what is required by law. If the Commissioners want to enact programs to help people make court dates, they should do that through the regular political process and the voters can let them know if they like their tax dollars being spent in that manner. It is impermissible for the County to constrain the taxpayer in this way and the Fifth Circuit specifically told them that. We are tired of this lip service by the County that this is about public safety. The settlement agreement should be thrown out by Judge Rosenthal and Harris County should start over remembering that they serve all the people of Harris County. Find the full Amicus Brief HERE
18 people shot in violent incidents in Harris County this Weekend
As we get closer and closer to the census, there is a lot of speculation if Houston can overtake Chicago. Based on stats like this over the weekend, Houston may be overtaking Chicago in more than just overall population. We cannot go any farther down this road. Criminals are empowered when sweetheart deals are given out like candy and judges let them skate with no bonds and promises of reform. Article Here.
Harris County Officials Settles Bail Reform Lawsuit
This "reform" states that only non violent offenders will be given low or no bonds but too often we have highlighted cases where violent and dangerous individuals have benefited from this reform only to terrorize our communities. Law Enforcement does not have a say in people's bail but we have to deal with the consequences of political decisions that put people in danger. We strongly advocate that if someone commits violence or has a history of committing violence, they should not benefit from this "deal." Article Here.
Man who terrorized North Harris County, was out on Deferred
Eduardo Galvez terrorized a North Harris County neighborhood today and has now been charged with multiple violent acts, including aggravated assault on a public servant for firing at a Deputy, Aggravated Assault for domestic violence for beating a pregnant woman, and felon in possession of a firearm. He should never have been out on the streets. With a rap sheet going back over a decade to include violent assaults, he was given deferred adjudication for another violent assault by Judge Chris Morton in the 230th. This is not how we keep Harris County safe! People are looking to create bail reform but what we need is judicial reform for judges like Judge Morton who favor violent criminals over law abiding citizens! #JudicialReform2020
Sheriff's Deputies Injured, Man Killed when Hit by DWI Driver
Last night a patrol car carrying two deputies and an arrestee was struck by a drunk driver. Driving is one of the most dangerous components of a Deputy's job. There is never an excuse to drive after drinking. We send prayers for those in the patrol car and may God protect law enforcement as they drive and patrol in pursuit of keeping our communities safe. Article Here.
Deputy Aaron Brown Honored by NAMI
Congratulations to Deputy Aaron Brown for receiving the NAMI Houston Deputy of the Quarter Award. We were honored to be a part of the ceremony and to help celebrate this heroic Deputy.
Another Victory for HCDO FOP 39 Attorneys for the Membership
Attorney Joshua Normand had another civil service victory today overturning a one day suspension for a Deputy. This is a great result for this Deputy and the attorneys of HCDO FOP 39 are honored that they can fight everyday for the brave men and woman of the membership.
Capital Murderer of Jazmine Barnes out on bond in Harris County
Judge Nikita Harmon lowered the bond amount of Eric Black, Jr, allowing him back on the streets. He is charged with indiscriminately shooting into a family vehicle, killing 7 year old Jazmine Barnes. When will judges start working for the community and think about public safety? #JudicialReform2020
HCDO and HCSO mourns the loss of one of their own
Our condolences and prayers go out to the family of our HCSO Deputy Omar Diaz that passed away July 6, 2019 after suffering a medical emergency while at a crime scene. May the Lord's blessing be with his family in this sorrowful time and guide his soul to eternal rest. We ask that everyone keep our HCSO brothers and sisters in your thoughts and prayers. Funeral services for him will be Thursday, July 11, 2019 at Champions Forest Baptist Church Jersey Village (16518 Jersey Drive). Viewing is at 10 a.m. and the service begins at 11 a.m. Interment follows at Forest Park Lawndale (6900 Lawndale). Blessed are the Peacemakers.
Woman pistol whipped by violent man out on bond for capital murder
Again and again we see these headlines. Horace Marquese Harris was out on bond on a capital murder charge dating back to 2017. The district attorney's office asked the judge for no bond for Harris, but he was granted a $100,000 bond for the capital murder case. When are the judges in Harris County going to get the message? #JudicialReform2020
Judge Luong sets Low Bond for Violent Offender putting County in Danger
This suspect was released on a $40,000 bond out of the 185th District Court, Judge Jason Luong presiding, after multiple gun charge violations, being a documented gang member, shooting another person at a party, and a request by the State for a minimum $100,000 bond. Unfortunately for Eric Starr, Judge Luong did not protect the public from this suspected murderer. We need to make sure this suspect is put behind bars to keep our county safe. #JudicialReform2020
Another Victory for HCDO FOP 39 Attorneys for the Membership
Attorney Robin McIlhenny won another complete overturning of discipline for a member, including backpay, of a one day suspension. This member will no longer have this discipline in his file. The HCDO FOP 39 legal team is always fighting for the rights of its members.
HCDO FOP 39 Releases Statement Concerning Ongoing Bail Reform
Gov. Abbott signed Bill to give Student Loan Relief to Law Enforcement
This Bill, signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott, is a huge victory for TLEC that includes the Dallas Police Association, HCDO FOP 39, Texas Fraternal Order of Police, Hpou-Houston Police Officer Union, and TMPA. This Bill will help law enforcement and recruiting. #BackTheBlue #TheVoiceOfHarrisCounty. Follow us on Twitter in order to stay up to date on HCDO news. HCDO will monitor the implementation of this Bill in order to keep the membership up to date to use this new law.
HCDO FOP 39 Annual Scholarship is now open.
The yearly academic scholarship is now open. The Harris County Deputies' Organization FOP 39 has a continued mission to help promote education opportunities for members and their families. The applicant must have been accepted to a college or university and be a current member in good standing or have an immediate family member that is a current member of HCDO FOP 39 to be eligible. The applicant must also complete and turn in the Scholarship application by the deadline of June 28 at 2 pm. The Scholarship must be turned in to the HCDO FOP Offices on or by the deadline to be eligible. Awards will be announced before the start of the Fall school term. Download the scholarship application HERE. Good luck to all the applicants.
HCDO Victory for Central Records and Warrants Clerks!
HCDO Attorney Robin McIlhenny has won another grievance, this time representing Central Records and Warrant Clerks. These clerks are hardworking woman and men and it has been recognized by Commissioners Court that they are asked to do more in the position than other designated clerks. These clerks have been reclassified as records specialist but, at the initial roll out, most of the clerks lost their seniority status, putting them on a lower pay step. Robin helped several HCDO members file grievances citing Civil Service Rules on reclassification. After meetings and discussions with the head of HR and the Command Staff of the Sheriff's Office, it was announced today that all reclassified clerks in Central Records and Warrants would retain their seniority rank and on average will receive a 30% pay raise under the new classification. Congratulations to all the hard working woman and men in Central Records and Warrants on this Victory.
HCDO Proud to Sponsor Events for Texas Peace Officer Memorial
HCDO FOP 39 was proud to participate and sponsor events at the 2019 for Texas Peace Officer Memorial Day in Austin and a special shout out to the Harris County bike team that participated in the Texas Peace Officers Memorial Ride. We are always proud to sponsor events for the Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) including the survivor luncheon and anything we can do to help the survivors. All of us must never forget those that have given their lives in the line of duty and we must find ways to honor them everyday through our own service.
HCDO says Bail Reform endanger community
Daniel Hoskins was charged with aggravated assault on a peace officer after Hoskins shot at a Sheriff's Deputy while fleeing. Hoskins, 17, was released on a $75,000 bond on March 6, days after a grand jury indicted him on the first-degree felony charge. On April 17, Hoskins was arrested after committing four armed robberies in Harris County. This is Bail Reform in Harris County. Judge Hilary Ungar bonded out an attempted cop killer so he could then commit multiple violent, armed robberies. This doesn't even factor in the armed robberies referenced in the chronicle article he did in 2018 while he was a juvenile. Criminals should rejoice in Harris County Bail Reform because it is definitely not designed to keep law abiding citizens safe.
HCDO President David Cuevas is quoted in the Chronicle as saying: "Daniel Hoskins had the intent to murder a Sheriff's Deputy in January. It was his goal. People who commit violence or intend to commit violence should not be released into the community to commit more violence. We are fortunate he didn't succeed but he was then able to bond out and perform additional armed robberies. We in law enforcement protect the community and protect the victims of crimes. The so-called bail reform discussed in the County does not factor in the victims of crime but merely pacifies political supporters. Where is the compassion for the victims? It is clear the real reform needed in Harris County is Judicial Reform in 2020."
HCDO Endorses Katy Mayor Brawner in his Reelection Bid
HCDO Publishes Letter to HFD Cadets and Personnel
HCDO Files Suit Against Harris County
Harris County Deputies’ Organization, in a joint venture with the law firm of Moore and Associates, has filed a Federal Lawsuit against Harris County for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This case is entirely about the County not wanting to pay certain supervisors overtime but still wanting to treat them as hourly employees. The lawsuit alleges that Harris County has improperly classified Lieutenants and Captains as exempt employees and has refused to pay all Lieutenants and Captains in the Sheriffs Office overtime at the time and one-half rate of pay.
We asserted that Lieutenants and Captains are not exempt employees based on their job description and responsibilities under the law. HCSO has treated these supervisors as hourly employees while treating them as exempt employees in their budget books.
In addition to seeking a judicial ruling that these supervisors are not exempt employees, a claim for back damages going back two years has been filed for the employees who have agreed to be named in the lawsuit as well as a claim for liquidated damages and attorneys fees.
Melissa Moore is the lead attorney in this suit. She is an attorney with approximately 20 years of experience in labor and employment law. She has been honored as a Texas Super Lawyer.
With this lawsuit, HCDO is continuing to fight for the equity of all Harris County law enforcement employees. This lawsuit is important because Harris County cannot be allowed to skirt established legal norms and one of HCDO's main purposes is to fight the inequities between the employees and the County. We are sending a message to the County that they cannot have it both ways. A link to the lawsuit can be found here.
HCDO Board Members, (including Paul Bruce pictured above), have traveled to Austin, taking vacation time, to advocate for the HCDO Legislative Agenda.
HCDO Introduces Bill to Texas House -- HB 3610
After many months drafting, meeting with members of the legislature, and advocating for Harris County Law Enforcement Employees, HCDO, with the help of Representative Armando Walle, introduced a bill in Austin to allow HCDO to bargain for benefits directly with the County. These benefits include, salaries, rates of pay, and hours of work. HCDO strongly believes that by uniting together, all employees will be benefited. Full Text of the Bill can be found HERE.
This Bill is a continuation of the work HCDO is doing everyday here in Harris County to increase wages, improve working conditions, and decrease overtime. The raise we received last year for TCOLE certified employees was a direct result of this advocacy. We are campaigning both here and in Austin to continue the trend and we hope to achieve an additional increase for all law enforcement employees in the coming months.
Fundraiser for Sgt. James Smejkal and Captain Wes Hensley
HCDO is co-hosting a fundraiser for Sgt. James Smejkal, a 28 year veteran on HCSO and Captain Wes Hensley of AG Police. Sgt. Smejkal and Captain Hensley were shot in the line of duty on December 11. Both have a long road to recovery. Please pass the word along about this event. Donations can be given directly to Sgt. Smejkal at www.hcdo.com at the donate to the deputies' relief fund button at the bottom of the page (please indicate Sgt. Smejkal on the donation) or follow the information on the flyer below. We hope to see everyone there!
Victory for HCDO Member in Workers' Comp Case
HCDO Attorney Joshua Normand has won another workers' comp contested case hearing for a HCDO member. Joshua takes pride in helping members get the county benefits they deserve. The County's workers' comp has a history of abuse and denials. HCDO is the only group that takes them on and wins. We are sending the County a message that on the job injuries must be taken seriously and Employees must be taken care of..
HCDO Monthly Meeting Moved Due to County Holiday
HCDO President David Cuevas will be on ABC News 13 at 4 pm, January 9, talking about Harris County’s gang problem. Harris County law enforcement is not adequately funded to handle the gang epidemic. This is in light of he murder of Jazmine Barnes and other senseless killings in Harris County. The criminal history of the murderers of this precious 7 year old tells the story of Harris County's weakness in criminal prosecution. Harris County is weak on crime and has failed the citizens again.
HCDO Monthly Meeting Moved Due to County Holiday
The HCDO Monthly Membership Meeting for January has been moved to January 8 from January 1 due to the New Years Day Holiday. We invite all members to join us at the monthly meeting.
HCDO Christmas Party Hotel Deadline Extended
The deadline for special discounted room rates at the JW Marriott Galleria for the HCDO Christmas party has been extended to November 28. Act fast to lock in those rates for the December 15 Christmas party! Call the HCDO offices to RSVP at 713-659-0005 or email us at email@example.com.
Judge's have a responsibility towards public safety
Judge Glen Devlin allegedly released juvenile defendants with violent criminal history after loosing reelection on the condition that they "don't kill anybody." It is extremely important for the safety of the public that the bonding of violent criminals be taken seriously and the process be done professionally. "We don't condone any judge releasing anyone charged with a violent crime carelessly," said David Cuevas, President of the Harris County Deputies' Organization. Read more from the news article here.
Election Day is more that National Races
Tuesday is Election Day. HCDO would like to remind everyone to vote and to remember that the local elections have a great impact on Harris County Law Enforcement. We urge everyone to vote for County Commissioner candidates that will work with us on pay raises and benefits as well as for judges that will follow the law. These elections will have a big impact in Harris County and you can look at our website or Facebook for our carefully selected endorsements.
After HCDO action, courthouse garage rates to remain unchanged
HCDO was informed that the HCFCU garage did away with the early bird special raising the daily rate from $6 to $8. We feel that is a big burden on the employees and HCDO Vice President contacted Commissioner Jack Morman on the issue. Commissioner Morman listened with compassion and took swift action. Starting this Monday, the Early Bird Special will be reinstated. Thank you Commissioner Morman for your swift response.
Suspect with pistol fires on Deputies
At the end of a long police chase yesterday afternoon, a suspect crashed his vehicle and fired at deputies through the driver side window with a pistol. Deputies responded and returned fire. An HCDO attorney made the scene. No Deputies were injured. The suspect was deceased.
HCDO Issues Public Statement
HCDO President David Cuevas meets with Budget Office and Commissioner Jack Morman on Pay Raise
HCDO President David Cuevas met today with the budget office and Commissioner Jack Morman about employees receiving a pay raise in the next budget. Even though a pay raise was gained this September through negotiations by HCDO, we are still working to achieve higher salary for Harris County Employees. David Cuevas will continue to have frequent meetings with the budget office and the County Commissioners to achieve our goals.
HCDO President David Cuevas meets with Commissioner Jack Morman
Jack Morman, County Commissioner Precinct 2, has pledged his commitment to first responders. He and HCDO President David Cuevas have had ardent and productive discussions about the need for a pay raise. Commissioner Morman echoed his dedication to Harris County employees and their success. The Harris County Deputies’ Organization is on the front lines of the fight for a pay increase for Harris County Deputies. Pay raises are a fight HCDO is passionate about and Commissioner Morman is committed to making sure the citizens of Harris County have dedicated and well trained first responders. It will take several phases to ultimately achieve the goal of making Harris County law enforcement salaries more competitive. HCDO believes there is abundant common ground between the objectives of HCDO and the goals of Commissioner Morman’s office.
2018 recipients of the HCDO Scholarship announced
HCDO is proud to announce the award of 8 scholarships to members and the dependents of members. We are very proud of all the recipients and are honored and humbled by their academic goals and successes. The scholarships are a yearly award given by HCDO. The application process for the 2019 scholarships will be announce Summer 2019.
HCDO having productive meetings about pay raises
HCDO President and Vice President have met with members of the Commissioners Court, and the outlook is positive for a vote on raises in September.
Press Release issued by HCDO concerning Safety
HCDO Scholarships Applications now being Accepted!!
HCDO's annual scholarship is now open and applications will be accepted until July 1. To apply, download this FORM, fill out all information, and follow the listed instructions. To be considered for an award, all scholarships must be submitted to the HCDO office on or before the deadline of July 1. The HCDO Board looks forward to looking over all the wonderful applications submitted. Scholarship awards will be announced at the July 10 Board Meeting. Thank you to all the great candidates.
HCDO hosts HCSO Patrol Deputies for DA OGG Q&A
It was a great turnout at the District 1 and 5 roll call. Thank you to DA Kim Ogg and her team, Jim Leitner, Ruben Perez, and Stephen Clappart, for coming out and speaking to the patrol deputies. The Deputies, DA Ogg, and her team had over an hour of questions and answers and frank discussion. They were straightforward, candid, and informative. This is the first of many such events HCDO will be planning in the County over the next several months.
HCDO will conduct membership gatherings with DA Ogg
HCDO President David Cuevas has had a couple long and productive discussions with District Attorney Kim Ogg about the working relationship between law enforcement and the District Attorney’s Office. HCDO will sponsor several events after the first of the year with HCDO members of the Sheriff’s Office with DA Ogg so she can speak directly to rank and file members of HCDO and inform them about her direction for the District Attorneys Office and also address any concerns from our members regarding the DA’s Office. We feel these sessions between HCDO members and DA Ogg will be highly productive and further the well being of Harris County. Look for additional posts in the next couple weeks for dates and locations. Merry Christmas, God Bless, and stay safe.
HCDO Board Nominations have been received
Nominations for the HCDO Board positions are: President David Cuevas, Vice-President Eric Batton, Secretary/Treasurer Stuart Campbell, Board Position 1 Paul Bruce, Board Position 2 Curtis Brown. None of the board positions were contested and the election committee chair has certified that the HCDO ballot is uncontested. According to HCDO bylaws, no election is to be carried out when the ballot is uncontested.
The date of the HCDO Annual Christmas Party is fast approaching and it promises to be a lot of fun and a great opportunity for members to interact. RSVP for the party today by calling the HCDO offices. We looked forward to seeing everyone there.
There have been many questions about reserving rooms at the Hotel Derek for the night of the party. Hotel Derek is one of the premiere hotels in Houston and HCDO has secured a special room rate for HCDO members. To reserve call 1-866-292-4100 and you MUST state you are with the Harris County Deputies' Organization (not abbreviated).
HCDO Issues Press Release
The Harris County Deputies' Organization has issued a press release concerning Shannon Miles, murderer of Deputy Darren Goforth, who plead guilty this afternoon to capital murder with a sentence of life without parole. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Goforth family. We will forever stand with and support Kathleen Goforth and Kathleen and Darren's children. Blessed are the Peacemakers. A news article relating to this case can be read HERE.
HCDO Receives Donation from United Sikhs
The HCDO would like to extend its most heartfelt thanks to the United Sikhs for donating $1.2 million dollars worth of cleaning supplies and building material to Harris County first responders that were impacted by Hurricane Harvey. These supplies will go a long way to restoring the homes of our brave first responders!
Chronicle Article Highlights First Responders Sacrifice during Harvey
This Houston Chronicle article brings to light the heroic HCSO Deputies who risked their lives saving others as they knew their own homes were being inundated with flood waters destroying everything they had. Eric Batton, vice president with the Harris County Deputies' Organization, said more than 100 Harris County sheriff's deputies and deputy constables had been seriously impacted by the storm. "We had deputies who were helping people out of their flooded homes, and they themselves had lost their homes," he said. The deputies' organization accepts donations on its website homepage. HCDO asks everyone who follows this page to spread the word about the Deputies and Deputy Constables in need after Hurricane Harvey and to think about ways to help our brothers and sisters in Blue.
HCDO Receives Donation of Truck to Deliver Supplies
A big thank you to Nate Murphy with Fred Haas Toyota World who provided HCDO with an additional truck to assist all HCSO employees in the recovery effort.
HCDO Receives Donation of Van to Deliver Supplies
Thank you to Alan Helfman of Helfman Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram, Inc. for providing to HCDO a van for us to haul and deliver needed supplies to storm effected employees and their families.
Big Donation in the Aftermath of Harvey Received by HCSO
A big thank you to Dan and Robin Cogdell for their generous donations of supplies to the Harris County Sheriff's Office to help local flood victims. Their continued support of HCSO, HCDO, and law enforcement is greatly appreciated. If you would like to donate to the Deputies' Relief Fund to help in the Hurricane Harvey recovery, visit our homepage and click on the donate button.
HPD officer dies in flood waters during Harvey
Our sincere condolences to the family of Sgt Steve Perez. Our hearts go out to HPD during this loss. Sgt. Perez and his family will be in our prayers. God bless all the peace makers especially during this time.
HCDO Continues to push for pay raises
Last month HCDO sent to Commissioner's County a letter addressing the needs for better pay and working conditions for Deputies and Detention Officers. HCDO is continuing to keep this cause directly on the minds of the people of Harris County and the County Commissioners. HCDO is the only Union championing better pay, benefits, and working conditions for the HCSO Deputies and Detention Officers. This article published published on August 17th shows that HCDO is the only Union out working to insure these issues are addressed by Commissioner's Court. Only United together can we achieve these goals.
Courthouse Annex named for fallen Constable Clint Greenwood
In a Deeply moving ceremony, the Courthouse Annex in Baytown was renamed in honor of fallen deputy, Assistant Chief Clinton F. Greenwood. This is a fitting tribute to both his life and career. He is gone but will never be forgotten
HCDO Petitions Commissioners for Pay Increase/Working Conditions
The Harris County Deputies' Organization has sent a letter to Commissioner's Court showing the woeful pay received by Deputies and the working conditions of Detention Officers. Read links to the letter, press release, and accompanying research data. This is the first step in a robust pursuit to get our membership the pay and benefits they need as well as ensuring Harris County receives the Sheriff's Office Personnel they deserve. HCDO is the only organization that is working on pay increases and working conditions, and will always serve as the only voice for Harris County Law Enforcement.
The Houston Chronicle has published an article on the subject that can be found HERE.
HCSO Deputies and Detention Officers receive awards
Congratulations to all the HCSO deputies and detention officers who received awards for their exemplary work, effort, and commitment to duty. HCDO was proud to be on hand to honor these outstanding men and woman.
HCDO continues to facilitate dialogue between the Sheriff and Patrol
HCDO was honored to host a roll call with Sheriff Gonzalez at Spring Creek BBQ with District 2 deputies. We had a great frank and open conversation with the Sheriff about resources, logistics, and personnel support. We will have many more events like this in the future.
HCDO helps bring seminar "Bulletproof Mind" to Harris County
The Harris County Deputies' Organization is thrilled to announce its sponsorship with the Sheriff's Office in providing a free joint training session and educational seminar entitled "The Bullet Proof Mind: Psychological Preparations for Combat." Registration is restricted to Sheriff's Office personnel through August 1. Then registration will be open county wide for all unclaimed seats. You can register through the Academy Website today! We encourage all HCDO members to sign up for this seminar that has proven results and will give you tools for the stresses associated with a career in law enforcement. The seminar will be held September 19.
New Memorial Honors Deputy Darren Goforth
A new memorial was unveiled at Woodlawn Cemetery in Houston to honor slain Deputy Darren Goforth. It is a tribute to not only Deputy Goforth but to all fallen law enforcement.
HCDO supports the new Detention Officer graduating class
HCDO was proud to have representatives at the today's detention deputy graduation ceremony. HCDO is dedicated to advocating for detention deputies and was honored to welcome this new class of detention deputies. Thank you to Sheriff Ed Gonzalez and his command staff for implementing the long overdue detention deputy program.
HCDO President David Cuevas is quoted in the Chronicle advocating for Detention Officers and Detention Deputies at the Detention Deputy graduation ceremony on Wednesday. From the article:
Calling Gonzalez's move "a step in the right direction," Harris County Deputies' Organization President David Cuevas said the decision remedied a problem created previously when the department hired detention officers who'd earned peace officers licenses elsewhere but weren't able to transition into a policing role.
"These detention officers need to have ability to fulfill their dream of becoming certified deputies," Cuevas said. "It's not their fault historically our department has not utilized the basic peace officers' training they've earned through outside academies."
HCDO holds District meet and greets
The Harris County Deputies' Organization sponsored a meet and greet between Sheriff Ed Gonzalez and between the Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez and patrol deputies from Districts 1 and 5. It was a great event and everyone got to address their questions and concerns with Sheriff Gonzalez and the HCDO Board. It was great seeing all the patrol deputies come out and we would like to thank Rudy's BBQ for the good food. We plan to host events like this in the future in other districts and departments.
HCDO issues press release
The Harris County Deputies' Organization has issued a press release today, March 30, 2017, concerning the ongoing debate of the appointment of a jail administrator. Please contact the Union if you have any questions.
HCDO President David Cuevas and Sheriff-elect Ed Gonzalez meet in continuing dialogue
The Houston Chronicle ran an article highlighting Sheriff Gonzalez's command staff choices. The Sheriff has made it a point of elevating people through the ranks with 10 of the 15 named staff coming from within the Sheriff's Office. In the article, HCDO President David Cuevas is quoted praising the decision to promote from within.
"Morale has instantly skyrocketed," Cuevas said. "The consensus around the department is we finally have upward mobility and institutional knowledge in place to move the sheriff's office forward and into the future. … The rank-and-file see that if they are on a promotional list and take their time, their hard work and leadership is not going to be stifled because people outside are brought into command positions."
Cuevas said he is particularly pleased with Gonzalez's decision to tap Timothy Navarre, a well-respected captain who will advance to major over the Criminal Investigations Division.
The article goes on to name the individuals selected and their positions.