Frequently Asked Questions
When are the HPOU membership meetings?
The HPOU monthly membership meetings are held on the firstÂ ThursdayÂ of every month atÂ 11am. The meeting takes place in the main hall at 1602 State St.
(Note: There is no meeting in the month of July)
What are the qualifications to become a Senior Police Officer?
The qualifications are an officer who is currently classified as a Grade III Officer and presently holds or obtains from TCLEOSE a certificate of Master Police Officer and who has a minimum of twelve (12) years of service with HPD. For purpose of determining years of service, a probationary officer who completes his/her period of probation, will began his/her first year as a police officer. This date is traditionally referred to as the “anniversary date.” To determine what qualifications are required to obtain a certificate of Master Police Officer, download the document found at the following link: http://www.tcleose.state.tx.us/content/training_mandates.cfm
What is Paid Time Off (PTO) and how can I use it?
Effective September 1, 2001, Paid Time Off (PTO) is a new leave program that replaces the present sick and vacation leave banks. It specifically excludes Compensatory Time bank (AOT) and all holiday leave. Accruals are bi-weekly and based on years of service as a police officer with the department. Officers may schedule and take up to 320 hours of PTO within a benefit year (September 1 – August 31). If the officer timely request leave to prevent a loss of accruals and the Department did not allow the officer to take leave, the officer shall be allowed to carry over the 120 hours plus any additional hours of leave he/she requested but was not allowed to utilize. To prevent any forfeiture of hours, the officer must request time off at least ninety (90) days before the end of the benefit year in which the PTO hours were received. A leave event is unscheduled if the leave is requested less than twenty-four (24) hours prior to the start of the leave being requested unless approved by a supervisor. More than eight (8) unscheduled leave events in a leave year may require a physician’s statement to be compensated as PTO.
What is the Strategic Officer Staffing Plan (SOSP) and does it affect my overtime rate?
This is the voluntary straight time program that mirrors the fire departments extra board. This all came about as part of the FLSA lawsuit filed by the HPOU because many officers, especially those in patrol, were never allowed to use the compensatory time they had accumulated because the “Red Book” was always full. The program does not affect your overtime rate. Officers court pay and late calls are still time and one-half in pay or comp time just as it is currently being done. Again the key word here is voluntary when it comes to the SOSP. Any time you are mandated to work beyond your eight-hour shift is still time and one-half.
When can I use my Compensatory Time Bank (AOT)?
At least two times a month an officer cannot be refused the use of his/her comp time. A system will be put in place (SOSP) that will allow other officers (who qualify) to voluntarily work at a straight time pay (base and longevity) rate for officers that want to take off.
How does an officer qualify to work SOSP?
The Fair Labor and Standards Act (Federal Regulation) allow a person to work eighty-six (86) hours in a 14-day work period without paying overtime. With that regulation in mind, each police officer may work up to six (6) hours of SOSP in a pay period on a voluntary straight time pay (base & longevity) basis or time and one-half comp. In addition, if you take a day or any additional amount of hours off in that pay period you may also work those hours taken off, in an SOSP program. Again, this does not mean that police officers will not be compensated for any work beyond their eight (8) hours. That has not changed no matter how many days an officer takes off from work in a fourteen (14) day time cycle.