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Senator John Cornyn Tries To Help HPD Hire More Veterans

He is a filing a bill that would provide $25,000 in grants to the local police department for each veteran it recruited.

HPD Chief Art Acevedo, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and U.S. Senator John Cornyn met at HPD’s headquarters with other staff of the department to talk about Cornyn’s bill, the American Law Enforcement Heroes Act.
From left to right: HPD Chief Art Acevedo, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and U.S. Senator John Cornyn during a meeting they had at HPD’s headquarters with other staff of the department to talk about Cornyn’s bill, the American Law Enforcement Heroes Act.

As the Houston Police Department (HPD) is dealing with what some consider a critical shortage of officers given the size and growth of our city, the department is looking into new strategies to expand its workforce.

One of them involves the help of a top member of the United States Senate.

HPD currently has about 5,200 officers.

Mayor Sylvester Turner wants to increase that workforce by adding at least 600 and U.S. Senator John Cornyn (Republican-Texas) is filing a bill that could help the department, specifically with hiring veterans.

Through the American Law Enforcement Heroes Act, HPD would receive 25,000 dollars for each veteran it recruited.

“In thinking about the great experience and qualifications and training that men and women who served in the Armed Forces get, it just seems like a no brainer to make a transition from the military to law enforcement,” Cornyn said during a press conference held at HPD’s headquarters, located in downtown Houston, after a meeting with Mayor Turner and HPD Chief Art Acevedo.

Acevedo agrees with the Senator in that veterans can make ideal recruits for local law enforcement agencies because they have learned values that are important when it comes to policing, like discipline and team work.

“We’re excited about the opportunity with this legislation, should it pass, and with your leadership I’m sure it will,” Acevedo noted at the press conference “to increase our ranks from our typical 20 at each academy class and we’re hopeful for the next fiscal year to increase it to 33 percent.”

Senator Cornyn, who is the Majority Whip –the second highest ranking position in the Senate Republican Conference— says he is confident there is bipartisan support for the bill.

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Alvaro ‘Al’ Ortiz

Digital News Producer

Alvaro ‘Al’ Ortiz is originally from Madrid (Spain). He worked for several years in his home country and gained experience in all platforms of journalism, from wire services to print, as well as broadcast and digital reporting. In 2001, Al came to the United States to pursue a Master’s degree...

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