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Who might succeed Acevedo?

Names are floating about.

With Police Chief Art Acevedo announcing his departure from Houston, law enforcement insiders say they believe Mayor Sylvester Turner is likely to select one of Acevedo’s two top assistants — Executive Assistant Chiefs Troy Finner and Matt Slinkard — as the next chief.

Acevedo named both in his farewell letter, saying the two chiefs are “ready and highly capable” of moving the department forward. Houston Police Officer’s Union President Doug Griffith said the union supported both men.

“From a union standpoint, I think anyone inhouse could do the job and be very effective,” Griffith said. “I think our two executive assistant chiefs would be a benefit to the department and do phenomenal job. They possess the skills to lead our organization.”

Law enforcement veterans say one factor they believe may prompt Turner to choose one of the two is that if he picked someone else within HPD, it would amount to an obvious vote of no-confidence in the two men, with whom he has worked for the last five years.

At the same time, Turner’s remaining time in office — his second term ends in January 2024 — is another consideration. Given the custom of new mayors choosing their own leadership when they take office, outside candidates are presumably less interested in a job that they know has an obvious expiration date of just a few years from now.

See here for the background. What the story says makes sense, but it’s not what I’m interested in. I want to know who is going to prioritize the reforms we’ve been talking about, or at least who isn’t going to stand in their way. I don’t know what criteria Mayor Turner will use in picking a new Chief, but I sure hope he’s got that on his mind, because this is a golden opportunity for that.

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One Comment

  1. Jason Hochman says:

    I thought that I might apply, but, I know that as a progressive I have no chance.

    I had applied for the administrator of the county jail but I was not hired for that job. They just want to do the same old thing. When I worked at my jail, I had the idea that we would have a “family jail.” In fact, I wanted our county to start a program called “certified family jail,” which would review and certify jails around the US as family jails. We would round up the parents, spouses, kids, and other relatives of the inmates and bring them in. We would crack down on inmates who used bad language and went shirtless in the cell blocks, because of the kids who would be there. I was ridiculed and even the inmates didn’t want to have the rules enforced. Many wanted to escape from critical parents or the nagging “old lady” and didn’t want family staying with them. Although I was ridiculed I had the last laugh, as I was a witness when my biggers and betters were sued by a family whose son died from medical inattention. The county had to settle and pay up. The attorney for the family had reviewed my personnel file and said that the county should have taken my advice about refusing to accept mentally ill inmates from the hospital until they were evaluated and treated for their conditions.

    I was against separating families by incarceration well before the furore arose. Of course that moment has passed as President Biden is gleefully re-opening the Obama era programs of separating families and locking kids into the cages that were built. Of course now they are rebranded as “akin to a jail” and the separated children are called “unaccompanied minors.” So now separating children is a good thing.

    As chief of police I would focus the department on the violent crime and vehicular crime that is killing so many. I would impound all of the cars with expired registration. Then, I would have officers walking a beat on foot, and on bicycles, in order to engage with the communities. I would have elegant uniforms with the 8 point hats and brass buttons. None of this allowing tattoos to show. It’s not how you look in the uniform, it’s how you wear the uniform.

    Although I am compassionate and supportive of constitutional rights, the protection of the good people of our society requires a strong hand and diligent work. The bad guys love to get over on society’s rules.