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Mayor Turner's agenda hurts Hispanics/ Spanish speaking Officers and citizens with the elimination of IFR

          Houston’s Mayor Sylvester Turner agenda eliminates an opportunity for Hispanic and other minority officers when Intern COP Montalvo eliminated the Investigator First Responder Division (IFR). My perspective on the elimination of IFR is that the Intern COP does not have the whole picture on the effectiveness of IFR and what the citizens of Houston are losing. I will offer the “Real Picture”. The elimination of IFR from the Houston Police Department is one less opportunity for an OSSO member to work in their community. Keep in mind, there are more spanish speaking investigators in IFR than there are in most investigative divisions and Mayor Turner wants to fight Human trafficking! IFR Spanish speakers could have been one of those investigative divisions that could have helped at the local level.

How do you square the “Real Picture” with the following:

  • Not a single Hispanic officer has been promoted to the rank of Captain since August 2011!!!

  • There are only 2 Hispanic Captains in the whole of HPD!!!

  • None of the 2 Hispanic Captains oversee an investigative division!!! 

  • All divisions have been understaffed for years! except the Command Staff!!

  • The parking lots at Travis are over flowing so much so that they gotta park their cars at the Milam garage


         You think without IFR crime will not skyrocket? You think citizens will not complain that no investigator followed up their case? So their answer is to remove 70 plus highly trained investigators with HPD advance tools from the mean streets of Houston! Consider this!!! I never observed for myself that a Chief, Executive Chief, or Assistant Chief come by and visit an IFR detail and observe the due diligence involved in IFR investigations.

Here are the “Data Points” of IFR’s success and while being understaffed at the same time:

  • 2011 77% clearance rate after working 6,562 cases & clearing 5,085

  • 2013 68.48% clearance rate after working 5,962 cases & clearing 4,083

  • 2014 61.5% clearance rate after working 4,590 cases & clearing 2,823

  • 2015 59.75% clearance rate after working 5,145 cases & clearing 3074

  • Total  68% clearance rate after working 22,259 cases & clearing15,065

            Here is more of the Real Picture

  • Possible 1000 officers taking off this summer and fall for promotional exams how do you square that with removing 70 plus uniformed investigators from the street

  • Burglary and theft clearance rate 6.2%

  • No real study of the affects of the loss of IFR

  • No real leadership change at the top so the problem cannot get solved

  • Not the OSSO members fault that opportunities are rare and IFR offered an opportunity

  • Not the fault of the staff of IFR they are hard workers

  • No appreciable gain from all of this and there will be law abiding tax paying citizens who trusted

        HPD to follow up on their complaint and there will not be enough investigators to come to their aid

And their answer is to eliminate IFR, a place where many OSSO members are focused on their job building their careers.  This brings me back to the concerns I have about our department. I believe the promotional system needs to be turned upside down and inside out and mirror our U. S. armed forces.

In the military in order for you to get promoted it helps that the candidate take an assignment in a combat zone and the more zones the more chances for promotions. In our department that would translate into extra points for patrol or investigative assignments on the mean streets of Houston. This can be the opposite of what we observe in HPD where many candidates for promotion hope for an administrative position to have more time to study for the exam. If you think Im kidding observe the cafes in the tunnel system near 1200 Travis after the elimination of IFR and before the study periods. I believe they will be full of administrative officers and remain full. The IFR  offices will be empty. When the promotional exams get announced the cafes near 1200 Travis will be empty, the IFR offices will be closed, and the patrol red books will hardly change. The streets will be understaffed, that bullet point data (understaffed) will not change for years to come possibly a decade.


         This should not surprise OSSO members one bit, this is the reality that Hispanic/ Spanish speaking officers live with within HPD. This is how we are treated, no IFR, no Hispanic/ Spanish speaking Captains.  You may wonder how is OSSO fighting back well lets look: our member Sgt Christopher Zamora  has just won his battle with his chain of command in the  U. S. Supreme Court!!! Yes thats right, the most conservative court in the country came to the aid of a Hispanic Sergeant in one of the most progressive police departments in the country. Another member, is preparing to challenge the Houston Police Department’s Method B system because of a history of favoritism, cronyism, and nepotism involved in his career effort to be a member of an investigative division. 


        OSSO is there supporting them, telling their story and offering support. I invited many OSSO members into IFR over the years to help build their careers hoping to give them a chance to be invited into a more advanced unit after building their skill sets. Those chances are still a long shot. But IFR gave them a shot. You know how to help OSSO, if your a member bring a new member, if your not a member join OSSO, OSSO needs you.

Domingo Garcia

OSSO President

Pray for IFR, !!!Que Viva!!!

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