The Houston Police Officer’s Union (HPOU) has sent out a dire request for aid. Hundreds of officers and their families have been displaced by Hurricane Harvey, and tragically Sgt. Steve Perez (a 34-year veteran of the Houston Police) drowned in his patrol car while responding to assist. With the flood waters from Harvey likely to remain for weeks, and with the potential for more rain in the forecast, the recovery efforts in Houston will likely take years instead of months.
With a very long road to recovery ahead, the Houston Police Officer’s Union has requested donations to their 501(c)(3) non-profit organization (Assist the Officer) to provide more immediate assistance to their officers that have already lost homes, vehicles, and property. If you are able to assist please go to www.assisttheofficer.com and look for the link to donate under “Harvey Relief.” Donations can be made through PayPal.com or with a Debit/Credit card. In addition, the HPOU Assist the Officer Harvey fund will accept checks to the following address:
Assist the Officer
Attn: Executive Director
1600 State Street
Houston, Texas 77007.
Houston Calls for Aid
Southeast Texas, including a large section of Houston, has been devastated by what some are calling the “500-year storm.” Houston is the 4th largest metropolitan area in the United States, with 2.3 million residents within the 667 square miles of the city limits. That number nearly triples when the Houston Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) is taken into account. So far the southeastern quadrant of the Houston has been flooded and severely impacted by the damaging Hurricane Harvey.
The Houston Police Department consists of 5200 sworn officers and 1200 support staff personnel. Despite the massive numbers of employees, and a budget of $825 million, the City and Police Department have been overwhelmed by this massive storm. Houston Mayor Turner, Texas Governor Abbott, and President Trump have all declared a State of Emergency for the affected areas of southeast Texas and southern Louisiana.
With the declarations of emergency Federal, State, and Local funds have begun to pay for the resources and materials needed for the ongoing rescue missions, shelters, food–water–clothing and supplies for the displaced citizens and aid workers. However, the initial push of these funds will deal more directly with the rescue and response of the thousands of government and civilian workers in the area. The disbursement of funds for those displaced by Harvey will be a much slower process as claims are made, vetted, and then paid out.
Due to the immediate need of so many police officers and their families in the Houston area, the BlueSheepdog Crew is requesting our readers to donate now to the HPOU Assist the Officer fund. Having served in the Joplin, Missouri area after the EF-5 tornado devastated half of the city several years ago, we fully understand the need for the officers, aid workers, and volunteers to know their families are being taken care of behind the scenes.
The amount of work is daunting and can easily be overwhelming when an officer’s mind is worried about the safety of their own family. Knowing their family is being taken care of can provide the boost of energy and commitment needed right now to continue the rescue and recovery operations that will likely take several more weeks to complete. Once those are done, there will still need to be a massive police effort to patrol the areas to prevent wide-spread looting, arson, and other criminal activities – let alone the need to be alert for natural fires and hazardous conditions.
So please take time to donate, so the Houston police officers can work with full purpose and energy knowing their families are safe and receiving aid.
Hurricane Harvey – “The 500-year Storm”
When Hurricane Harvey entered into the Gulf of Mexico, there were already serious concerns about the damage potential from the then Category 3 hurricane. For those living along the Gulf Coast, the real dangers and damage potential from hurricanes is just a part of life. However, most hurricanes come in with rain, high winds, and some flooding. Harvey was not the strongest hurricane to threaten the Gulf Coast, but he did reach the lower ends of Category 4 with sustained winds of 130 MPH at landfall. Downed trees and limbs, power outages, and some damage to businesses and homes are commonly expected during a hurricane. Harvey did much more than that.
Hurricane Harvey was the first major hurricane to hit the United States in 10 years. Houston is no stranger to hurricanes, despite being dozens of miles inland. Houston is also remembered for the major response in accepting displaced people from Hurricane Katrina, the Category 5 hurricane that nearly obliterated New Orleans from the map. Tens of thousands of people relocated to Houston after that massive storm.
Part of the problem with Harvey was not the only weather system effecting the United States. Just as Harvey was hitting land with its warm weather low-pressure system, a massive cooler high-pressure system was pushing its way down from Canada crossing nearly the entire Plains area. This large high-pressure system acted like a blocking wall for the path of Harvey, in effect trapping Harvey over the Houston area where its rain and flood waters simply continued to pound Houston with no relief.
In some areas of the greater Houston area nearly 50 inches of rain fell (over 4 feet). Instead of Harvey systematically decreasing in power as it traveled across land, the hurricane was able to continue to gain power and water as its massive storm clouds spun back over the Gulf of Mexico over and over and over again.
So far Hurricane Harvey has claimed over 50 lives, and the early estimates place property damages in the range of $70-190 billion. We ask that you to continue to pray and support all those affected by Hurricane Harvey, and especially the rescue workers (both government and citizen) that have been tirelessly working around the clock for days and weeks to come.
Unfortunately, the rescues and clean-up will only be the start of problems for Houston and the law enforcement officers in the area. Despite the desperate humanitarian crisis, natural disasters like these always draw out the scum of the world. In the short hours after Hurricane Harvey started, the thieves and looters had already climbed out of their dark shadows. While some stores and homes have fallen prey to these evil-doers, at least two have been removed from the earth permanently when they chose to enter the wrong place and were promptly shot.
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