LEAGUE CITY — The city’s police chief took to social media Friday to commend an officer for his “restraint and professionalism” with a man who approached an officer after a traffic stop.

In a post on the League City Police Department’s Facebook page, Chief Michael Kramm described a July 10 incident in the 4400 block of West Main Street. Around 9 a.m., Officer Henry Gonzalez was using radar to track the speed of cars, Kramm said.

The police chief wrote that a man, “someone I will assume is a citizen of our fair city,” approached Hernandez and used a cellphone to record the officer in what Kramm described as an apparent “attempt to catch wrongdoing by the officer.”

“This man crossed a busy four-lane roadway on foot to chastise the officer for enforcing the speed limits and running radar,” Kramm wrote. “He then ridiculed the officer by telling him he was wearing a costume and implied the officer was arrogant because he was doing his job.”

The man earlier had been seen holding a sign to inform passing motorists an officer “was working speed enforcement just up the road,” Kramm wrote.

Hernandez thanked the man for cautioning motorists to drive within the speed limit.

“This officer could have issued a citation to this man for illegally crossing the road,” Kramm wrote. “He could have escalated the situation. But he made a choice not to.”

Kramm said he wrote the social media post to bring attention to the professionalism of the League City Police Department. 

As chief, I get the occasional accolade for the work done by our officers, but the thing that gets out most is the negative publicity,” he said.

He said the incident had resonated with him because of the apparent antagonism of the man who spoke with Hernandez.

“I was taken aback at how this officer was belittled for working radar in a school zone,” Kramm said.

Kramm said Hernandez’s handling of the situation demonstrated the professionalism he expects from all League City officers.

The vast majority of the time, police officers respond with restraint and professionalism, Kramm said. Hernandez’s interaction with the resident on July 10 served as a good example of that, he said. 

Kramm said League City police respond to thousands of  calls a year, as well as conduct thousands of traffic stops.

“There were numerous opportunities for their professionalism to falter,” Kramm said.  

In 2013, the department received 50 complaints, and 39 of them were filed internally, he said.

“Perhaps part of the reason for this low number of external complaints is that we police ourselves so demandingly,” Kramm wrote.

Police declined a request to release patrol car video of the incident that spurred the Facebook post.

Kramm said that was largely to protect the identity of the man he said antagonized Gonzalez. Kramm said he did not want League City residents or supporters of the police department to potentially harass or shame the man.

“You should be able to speak your mind without fear of retribution from fellow citizens,” he said.

 

Contact reporter Alex Macon at 409-683-5241 or alex.macon@galvnews.com.

(10) comments

Miss Priss

I agree with Kramm on his comments in this article. Good work behavior needs to be reinforced by recognizing / pointing it out.

I assume it's not everyday that someone has a screw loose enough to brazenly approach a cop in this manner. I'm sure the cop was surprise thus paralyzed.

I do disagree with the last comment Kramm said about not worrying about what you say .... If you want to survive as a leader in the community you better care and worry how the public takes your comments.

George Croix

The mouthy clown didn't just 'speak his mind', now, did he.
Our Police officers deserve better than such stupidity from a member of the public...

Keith Gray

i find it disturbing that this new breed of folks stalking and trying to find fault with our police. I think it comes from a pandemic of non-accountability IMHO.

Being an occasional speeder (no I am not perfect by any means), I have found the police officers in Galveston and Harris Counties to be quite professional. Thank you for what you do.

Kevin Lang

I cannot fathom what motivated that "citizen" to act as he did. That was ridiculous behavior. FM 518 is not an Autobahn, and especially not around school zones. Sure, it's inconvenient to have to slow down in those zones, but, I doubt that even the speeders would rather have little kids run down while trying to go to school. Some people just won't think beyond their own selfishness. No problem with him holding a sign about the speed trap, after all, the idea is safety. But, berating an officer and trying to bait him into some kind of altercation is stupid. You make a fool of yourself, and hope to see if you can lure the officer down the same road? I hope he's proud of himself. I guess someone needs to be proud of him....

Kevin Lang

One question, though. Is the officer's last name Gonzalez or Hernandez. The article discusses both surnames, but the only two full names are for Henry Gonzalez and Michael Kramm.

J. Shaffer

Good eye for detail, Kevin, but I will point out that school is not in session yet.

We have seen more and more of this 'sovereign citizen' movement, people harassing or failing to acknowledge government authority. Think along the lines of Cliven Bundy.

George Croix

Or, the 'Occupiers'...[wink]

Kevin Lang

Summer school, perhaps?

JBG JBG

I finally got the proper opportunity to say this and I have waited a long time to do so. We have many young officers coming out of the various police academies every so often, and I would like to stress that in this day and time, NEVER, should an officer allow a citizen or anyone else to approach him in a position where that officer can be summarily executed without even having a chance to draw a weapon and firing back!
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I was in a certain city, and approached a certain officer, who was in a sitting position, coming at an angle detrimental or which could have been an angle where a hidden weapon could have been pulled and fired on that officer with no opposition. That officer saw me coming, but did not adjust his position at all. We talked and I left, but what if I was some deranged fool who had a score to settle, or who meant evil toward the law? What if I was an individual off his medication? It is no different that when an officer is standing writing a citation in the presence of a suspect! They are trained to approach a certain way! They are trained to stand a certain way! They are trained to park a certain way too!
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It does not take but one careless mistake, to make an officer dead. I got "HOT" before I got to him, and started to go off on him, but I didn't! I asked my question, he answered it, and I thanked him and left! I felt worse after I left than I did when I walked up on him!
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So I would say this to all of you young officers out there on the job, we need you, YOUR families need you too! So be sober, be vigilant, for you know not when, some fool might seize the opportunity to try to gun you down! Stay focused at all times, by practicing good life preserving tactics and professional job behaviors. God Bless all you peacemakers.

Doyle Beard

one day this guy may need an officer and guess who might show up on the scene. Things like this has a way of making one eat crow if anyone gets my drift.

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