Houston, TX – The president of the Houston police officer’s union spoke out on Monday after four Houston police officers were shot, and another officer was injured, while serving a narcotics warrant.
Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo held a press conference Monday night outside Memorial Hermann Hospital to offer details of what had occurred at the incident which left five officers wounded and two gunmen dead.
When Chief Acevedo was finished, he turned the podium over to Officer Joe Gamaldi, the police officers union president, with an introduction that implied Officer Gamaldi would be saying what he could not.
“In times like this, sometimes what we can’t do, the Houston police officers union do a phenomenal job of being partners with us, and I’d like to have him say a few comments on behalf of the police officers union,” the chief said.
The union president began by thanking the community for its support, and recognizing the Houston Fire Department and the hospital personnel for their extraordinary efforts on behalf of the wounded police officers.
But then Officer Gamaldi’s tone turned dark and he sounded angry as he continued his remarks.
“But now I want to speak on behalf of the 5,200 brave men and women in the Houston Police Department, and the other 800,000 police officers that are working these streets every single day, putting their lives on the line,” he began.
“We are sick and tired of having targets on our back. We are sick and tired of having dirtbags trying to take our lives when all we’re trying to do is protect this community and protect our families,” Officer Gamaldi continued. “Enough is enough!”
“And if you’re the ones that are out there spreading the rhetoric that police officers are the enemy, well just know, we’ve all got your number now,” the union president warned. “We’re going to be keeping track of all y’all. And we’re going to make sure that we hold you accountable every time that you stir the pot on our police officers.”
“We’ve had enough, folks. We’re out there doing jobs every day, putting our lives on the line for our families. Enough is enough!” Officer Gamaldi reiterated.
Officer Gamaldi, an 11-year veteran of the Houston Police Department, is assigned to night shift patrol at North Station but currently works for the Houston Police Officers Union full time, according to KHOU.
He is chairman of the Education and Ways and Means committees and is part of the contract negotiation bargaining team.
Officer Gamaldi runs all of the union’s social media, and founded the Houston Officers Peer Assistance (HOPA) program, KHOU reported.
Originally from Long Island, New York, Officer Gamaldi got his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice at University of Hartford.
He also earned a master’s degree in homeland security from Long Island University, according to KHOU.
You can see the video from the press conference below: