Originally founded on October 21, 1937, towards the end of the Great Depression, Houston Police Credit Union was created by Houston police officers to establish a financial institution that was owned and operated by the local police force—a financial cooperative. Their mission was to provide reasonably-priced loans and a safe place for life savings for Houston Police Department employees and their families.
The credit union had 14 charter member-owners and in the beginning, was a meager operation. When a member-owner wanted to apply for a loan, an appointed officer would take the paperwork in his squad car to the member-owner and then return the forms to the credit union, which was originally a small office in HPD's Property Room. Alex Laux was the first approved loan. The loan limit was $25.00.
In 1966, with over 2,150 member-owners and $2.5 million in total assets, the credit union grew large enough to warrant moving out of HPD headquarters and into a separate building. Located at 1600 Memorial Drive, it is still in use as the main branch today.
Membership, assets, and product and service offerings have continued to increase over the years. With a board of directors comprised of HPD executives and officers, the credit union has continued to remain relevant to the lives of its member-owners, even adapting the drive-up at the main branch to accommodate various official vehicles including SWAT trucks and helicopters.
As our membership has grown, so has the credit union. As of 2022, the credit union serves HPD staff, employees, and their families in three locations. Membership has grown to over 31,700 and assets have reached over $961 million. From serving academy recruits with equipment loans to retirement savings and planning, our credit union has become a vital part of our member-owners' lives through every stage of their career.
14 Charter Member-Owners
R. R. Simmons
D. G. Turner
W. N. Daut
H. E. Keller
D. E. Drennan
Y. D. Mayes
M. G. Raney
L. C. DeWeese
S. H. LeStrange
J. G. Irwin
A. A. Fowler
C. A. Williams
Lily Guinn Owen
J. E. Murray
1966 Office Staff
R. F. Gaudin, Manager/Assistant Treasurer
Margie Harris, Assistant Treasurer
Ann Tardy, Loan Officer/Cashier
Mary Bruce, Clerk
1966 Board of Directors
G. L. Seber, Chairman
S. M. Laird, 1st Vice Chairman
Earl E. Kirkland, Secretary-Treasurer
L. C. Colley, Assistant Secretary-Treasurer
Leroy Mouser, Member
O. H. Vahldiek, Member
J. E. Goodman, Member
Houston Police Credit Union exists to promote the financial well-being of its member-owners. We will maintain the financial strength of the credit union through a broad range of innovative financial products, prudent management of member-owners' resources and the excellent service provided by a dedicated, well-trained staff.
Wayne Stafford, Vice President/Chief Information Officer
Willie Porter, Assistant Vice President
Patty Brennan, Assistant Vice President
Claudia Flores, Assistant Vice President
Gerasia White, Assistant Vice President
Kimberly Wooden, Assistant Vice President
Chris Hassig, Chairman
Teresa Curry, Secretary
Jennifer Baldwin, Member
Steven Jolivette, Member
Bridgett M. Taylor, Member
About The Credit Union Movement
Credit Unions are unlike any other financial institution. They are unique in that they are not-for-profit cooperatives and are owned by their member-owners. Credit Unions were built upon a cooperative movement more than 150 years ago. To this day, this cooperative philosophy of "People Helping People" continues to drive the credit union movement. This page is a brief summary about credit unions and will help you understand "the credit union difference."
What Are Credit Unions?
A credit union is a member-owned financial cooperative. The concept of a financial cooperative is simple. Credit Unions are owned and operated by their member-owners who pool their savings and lend to each other. Serving member-owners is the reason credit unions exist. Every credit union operates democratically and each member-owner has voting rights—one member-owner, one vote.
A Credit Union Is Not-For-Profit.
A common credit union adage is: "Not-for-profit, not for charity, but for service." Since all credit unions are owned by the people who save and borrow there, they have no outside shareholders. Earnings are returned to member-owners in the form of lower rates on loans, higher returns on savings, fewer fees and better service to member-owners. Their not-for-profit status distinguishes each credit union as a business existing for a purpose other than enriching its board member-owners.
A Credit Union Is Volunteer Driven.
The active involvement of volunteers is the cornerstone of the credit union philosophy. A credit union's policy-making board of directors and some of its committees are made up of individuals elected by and from the member-owners. Volunteers work—unpaid—for the member-owners' benefit.
Why Were Credit Unions Created?
The first credit union was created in the mid-1800s in Germany, during a crushing depression. Poor farmers got together to pool their money to escape the hold of local moneylenders. Interest rates were financially crippling and credit unions offered a good alternative. The credit union idea soon spread to other parts of the world, and in 1900 the first credit union was organized in Canada. Nine years later, the first U.S. credit union opened its doors in New Hampshire. With the passage of the initial federal credit union law in 1934, credit unions were soon organized in all parts of the country. From the beginning, credit unions demonstrated that ordinary people could organize cooperatively to provide for their own financial safety and security. The same is true for credit unions today.
Who Really Owns The Credit Unions?
All the people who are credit union member-owners own that credit union. Serving member-owners is a credit union's sole commitment.
How Are Credit Unions Different From Other Financial Institutions?
A credit union is a financial institution where people conduct their financial transactions, but it is not a bank. It is important to understand the fundamental differences, especially as banks continue to challenge the credit unions' cooperative ways of doing business.
Who Can Join A Credit Union?
Credit Unions can only serve specific groups of people, within their field of membership. Member-owners are made up of people who share something in common, such as where they live, work, worship or go to school.
How Do Member-Owners Participate In Their Credit Union?
Credit Union member-owners are welcome to participate in decisions affecting their credit union by electing their board of directors or serving as a volunteer themselves. Each member-owner has an equal voice, regardless of the amount of money they have in their accounts. This "one member-owner, one vote" practice helps ensure that all credit unions operate in the best interest of everyone involved. Some duties performed by volunteers may include establishing policies, setting rates, determining new services and ensuring the credit union's continuing financial soundness.
Where Do Credit Union Profits Go?
Back to the people who own them—their member-owners. How? The profits at the end of a financially sound year can flow back to its member-owners in a number of possible forms, such as more or better products and services offered, or in an exceptional year, sometimes in the form of a year-end dividend or bonus sent directly to all current member-owners.
Supporting the Community
In keeping with the seventh cooperative principle, "concern for the community," Houston Police Credit Union works to support the Houston Police Department and aid the police community in many ways. HPCU is involved in a multitude of community outreach programs and charitable events, some of which include:
Stars and Stripes Charity Golf Tournament
Wounded Warrior Reception
Severe Weather and Emergency Preparedness
Look Good, Feel Good Event
9/11 Heroes Run
Christmas Social and Gift Giving Event for Disadvantaged Seniors
Crime Prevention for Senior Citizens
HPCU’s board of directors, management team and staff also generously volunteer their time to support the credit union movement and HPD and police community initiatives.