TO MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN BLUE –
I want to reach out to each and every one of you in a way that would hopefully lift your spirits in these uncertain times. Like most of you, we here in Houston have been hit hard and fast by the COVID-19 Virus. We found out all too quickly how fast hand sanitizer and disinfectant can fly off the shelves.
We at the Houston Police Officers Union, FOP Lodge 110, were scrambling to find masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant as a wave of uncertainty took over. Like most other city governments, ours was not prepared for this type of disaster.
WE HAVE EXPERIENCE
In Houston, we are accustomed to hurricanes or flooding events, but this COVID-19 is much different.
Some of you may remember me from the article I wrote after Harvey. I recall how the community came together and as the good Lord said, He blessed us abundantly.
During Harvey, we had so many donated items that we were able to become a clearing house that helped every outlying agency. We even were able to send items to Florida and Puerto Rico, where they had had a nasty hurricane come through right after Harvey.
THIS IS A DIFFERENT BALL GAME
This COVID-19, is a much different battle for most of us. Unlike a Hurricane which will be gone and over relatively quickly, even though Harvey lasted a week, there was a light at the end of the tunnel. With this virus, there is no true end date and it will more than likely last for months. This being said, we will all be in dire need of supplies as this continues into the coming months.
Lucky for us, we have a very talented team of officers and staff who have worked pretty much around-the-clock to find new and innovative ways of getting our members what they need. We have had several breweries that we have reached out to. Several that have stepped up and modified their production lines to make us hand sanitizer.
In one facility they were unable to get a specific chemical that they needed. So, one of our board members was able to contact a second company to purchase that chemical. He had it sent to the distillery so that the sanitizer could be produced.
To date, we have handed out over 500 gallons of hand sanitizer, and 400 gallons of disinfectant to our stations and members. As during Harvey, we have been blessed enough to help many of the smaller outside agencies around us to provide much needed supplies.
EXTENDING A HELPING HAND
It is more important now than ever to work with our smaller partners and help. Many of these smaller agencies cannot battle with the buying power of larger agencies and therefore, they go without. To our large departments: please do the right thing and share!
Our citizens are again going the extra mile and helping us out. We have a great friend in the car business who has literally driven around Houston to retrieve every box of masks and gloves he can find. He then delivers them to us.
Shameless plug here: “A special thanks to Allen Helffman for his dedication and support of all law enforcement officers.”
Other members of our community have stepped-up and provided whatever they can. We have had meals sent to us, gloves, masks, and everything you can imagine all in an effort to help our first responders.
I’m also going to brag on our executive board and all board members of the Houston Police Officers Union. Members of the department’s Peer Assistance Unit have been with us all the way, as well.
These members have stepped up in a big way and helped with filling hundreds of bottles of sanitizer and disinfectant for line patrol and investigative divisions to have. We were literally pumping sanitizer out of three fifty-five-gallon drums from a distillery in Port Author.
Please check with your community partners, I can guarantee that they will be there, ready, willing and able to help. And remember, there are a lot more people out there that love and respect our people, than those who don’t.
To all of my Brothers and Sisters in BLUE, stay safe, wash those hands, and keep your distance. We will get through this together, 6 feet apart!
Houston Police Officers Union / FOP Lodge 110
“Above all, it’s about going home at the end of the shift … “
We couldn’t agree more.
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