Gulf Coast Criminal Investigators Association

Association History


The Gulf Coast Criminal Investigators Association was formed in the late 1970’s by a small group of law enforcement investigator personnel from the Houston Police Department, Bellaire Police Department, Harris County Sheriff’s Office, and the FBI.  Security representatives from a few local corporations, including Exxon, Texaco, Stop-n-Go Stores, and other businesses with multiple sites experiencing armed robberies were invited to participate as sponsors.

The principal aim of the organization was to establish and coordinate a closer working relationship between area law enforcement agencies in an effort to provide a means of information exchange to assist in the solution of armed robberies then plaguing banks and convenience stores.

Annual dues, paid only by the business sponsors, were established on two tiers dependent on the number of sites each maintained in the Greater Houston area.  This area was to include Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Montgomery, and Waller counties.  The dues payments would be used to defray most of the cost of law enforcement officers’ meals at the meetings which were to be held approximately every six weeks at a central Houston location.

As initially proposed, the aim of the organization was the solution of robberies, particularly armed robberies.  The corporations sponsoring the group were restricted to those experiencing this type of crime.  Meetings were informal with no speaker and little business discussion.  Attendees discussed robberies under investigation and exchanged notes on suspects and solutions.

As word spread, investigators working other types of crimes began to attend, and corporate sponsorship was enlarged.  Then in 1988, the organization was incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation under Texas law and has continued to meet and exchange information ever since.  The group has now grown to approximately 350 law enforcement members and 20 sponsoring businesses.

Annual dues for corporate sponsors are still based on the number of locations each maintains in the Greater Houston area.  Businesses having eight (8) or more sites pay $495.00 per year, and those with fewer than eight (8) pay $200.00 per year.

The organization has a Board of Directors consisting of officers from both the law enforcement and corporate membership.  The Co-Chairman from the law enforcement membership is J.J. Freeze, Chief Investigator with the Galveston County District Attorney’s Office.  The Vice-Chairman is Mike Burdick of the Houston Police Department.  The Secretary is Gary Finkelman, retired from the Spring Valley Village Police Department.  The Co-Chairman from the corporate sector is Chris Schkade of the Walgreen Company.  The Treasurer is Daniel Cano of H-E-B.  The Communications Director position is currently open.  The Membership Director is Brett Wass of Verizon.  

The group meets eight times per year, approximately every six to seven weeks.  All meetings are held on Wednesdays starting at 11:30 a.m. and running until 1:30 p.m.  Meetings are held at the Houston Police Officers’ Union building located at 1602 State Street near downtown Houston, 77007.  Meals are catered, and free parking is available for attendees.  Meetings are still restricted to the exchange of information as well as occasional award presentations for meritorious work by law enforcement and corporate security personnel.

Meeting notification is made by E-mail (Evite) to all current and prospective corporate members as well as all law enforcement agencies and investigator personnel approximately seven days prior to each meeting.  All members are requested to maintain a current E-mail address with the Secretary for this purpose.  Attendees are asked to respond to the Evite or to phone in reservations to the Treasurer no later than two days prior to the meeting.  Meeting costs, covering the charge for catered food, are $10.00 per person.  Non-members are charged $25.00 per person.


Website Builder