Police departments across the country are still having a difficult time recruiting new officers and retaining their current ones. Doug Griffith, the president of the Houston Police Officers’ Union, says morale remains fairly low. One year ago, the murder of George Floyd by an ex-Minneapolis cop sparked protests across the country. Griffith says good cops are being unfairly lumped in with the bad ones.
“We have heroic acts every day in this nation by our officers,” Griffith said. “Yet, [the media] tend[s] to focus on the one or two a year that are horrific in nature. The George Floyd incident is one of those that everybody looks at it and goes ‘Wow, this one officer crushed our profession.’”
Griffith predicts they'll lose some local 250 officers to retirement by the end of this year. He says the Union and the Houston Police Department offers peer support programs and mental health classes. However, he believes the biggest morale boost comes from citizens thanking officers personally.
“The profession will survive. Our officers will do what we’re expected to do. We just want some acknowledgment for people to understand it is a difficult job. It is a human job. Mistakes are going to be made, but that doesn’t mean they’re dirty cops. It means we have some training issues we need to address,” Griffith explained.
He says the vast amount of officers in the Greater Houston area and across the country are working hard every day. He says he thankful to community for their support.