HPD officers call for paired up officers in wake of threats

Tuesday, December 30, 2014
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HPD's officer's union says recent threats against some of its officers should be taken seriously

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Shots reportedly fired at an HPD officer Tuesday morning, combined with a growing list of threats toward local officers, sparked another call from the Houston Police Officers Union for the Houston Police Department to pair officers up.

"We have a local individual after the Texas City shooting that made a comment, said assassinations are going to start next week," says union president Ray Hunt.

Hunt also described a post calling New Year's Eve "kill a pig night," a threat against police nationwide. And Tuesday morning in southwest Houston, an officer reported being shot at while making a traffic stop.

"We're not sure at this point whether the shots were directed at the officer or up in the air," says Officer Larry Crowson. "We've been unable to locate any shell casings or other evidence at this time."

But Ray Hunt doesn't want to take any chances. With calls from local gangs for their members to shoot police if they see them at a red light, and the two NYPD officers assassinated after their murderer posted about killing cops on Instagram, he says HPD needs to pair their officers up for their safety.

"(Chief McClelland) doesn't have to mandate it. But if he tells his captains 'I urge you to pair up units,' every single captain is going to do it," Hunt says.

HPD sent a statement from Chief McClelland: "Our officers' safety will remain the highest priority while they are performing their duties. We accomplish this each and every day through various deployment strategies."

Hunt believes protesters are partly to blame for the threats and why the officers need to be paired up.

"We don't care about people who are peacefully protesting. But we just want them to know that sometimes those peaceful protests encourage the nut cases on the fringe to come forward and do something tragic like what happened in New York."

Hunt is asking protesters to contact police if they hear of any threats among them.