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Mayor Turner selects the new HPD Chief

Congratulations, Chief Finner.

Houston’s next police chief will be Troy Finner, Mayor Sylvester Turner said Thursday afternoon.

Finner is one of outgoing Chief Art Acevedo’s two top assistant chiefs.

Turner’s decision comes just days after Acevedo abruptly announced that he was resigning to lead the Miami Police Department.

[…]

Finner’s career took him on patrol assignments in Southwest Patrol and South Gessner; he also handled assignments in Communication Services, Internal Investigations, Criminal Investigations and Public Affairs. Finner spent 12 years working as a patrol officer before being promoted to sergeant in 2002. He spent five years in that role before becoming a lieutenant, and then was promoted directly to assistant chief in 2014.

After Acevedo arrived, he tapped Finner to be one of his two top subordinates. Finner now oversees the department’s Field & Support Operations, which includes all of the department’s patrol commands, as well as the property room, fleet maintenance, the joint processing center and the traffic enforcement division.

[…]

The day Turner was set to make his pick, criminal justice reformers sent him a letter asking him to conduct a “transparent” hiring process of the next chief, and make changes to the mission for the role.

Noting that criminal justice reform and police-community relations are at a “critical moment,” members of the Right2Justice coalition called on Turner to conduct a national search for a new chief.

“This past summer demonstrated that the people in Houston want you and the city council to lead,” the letter’s authors wrote. “Sixty-thousand Houstonians decried brutal and racist policing practices, including those in Houston.”

In the letter, the coalition members urged Turner to focus on reducing disproportionate arrests of Black Houstonians within a year; implement changes recommended by the mayor’s previous task forces on criminal justice reform; to reduce unnecessary police interactions on low-level offenses and mental health calls, and host community meetings to gather input from residents about qualities needed in HPD’s next chief.

See here and here for the background. The Right2Justice webpage is here but I couldn’t find the letter quoted in the story; their Facebook page hasn’t been updated in months and I didn’t find a Twitter page for them. I agree broadly with their goals, and I hope Chief Finner will take steps to achieve them, beginning with those task force recommendations that we’re all still waiting on. The Houston Press reports that he is committed to doing that, which is encouraging. I wish him well in the new job, and I look forward to him getting started on that project.

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7 Comments

  1. Bill Daniels says:

    I have no opinion of Finner, but I’m glad HPD chose to promote from within, vs. another national BS candidate search. How demoralizing it must be for city departments to have a constant parade of outsiders roll on in. That strategy certainly didn’t seem to help HISD now, did it?

  2. David Fagan says:

    I’m glad they hired from inside their own department.

  3. Jason Hochman says:

    I hope that this Finner is more empathic and prepared to do something than Acevedo. That Acevedo could not get out of the spotlight, and wasted all his time racing to the camera. And also he has done nothing about the out of control murder demic. I believe that Houston is up at least 90 murders this year to date, well on the way to surpassing last years total of 400. Those are real deaths, but the Democrats who run the show don’t care. They would rather take away funding from the police.

  4. Paul kubosh says:

    Jason the murders are directly tied to bail reform. How is he going to convince a real demon from killing another Human being.

  5. Bill Daniels says:

    Paul,

    The answer to high crime is…..defunding the police and hiring more social workers. Also, flooding the city with illegals helps, too, because illegals are much less likely to commit crimes (other than supporting drug cartels by paying them to be smuggled here, but we won’t talk about that). Where have you been lately? Get with the program. Also, learn how do duck.

  6. Lobo says:

    HOMICIDE INCIDENCE (Response to Kubosh)

    “How is he going to convince a real demon from killing another Human being”

    – Good question (taking ‘demon’ metaphorically). How is anybody? Most homicide are, after all, private acts by private actors. That said, killings by police and by soldiers in combat are, at least in theory, under governmental control, and therefore more amenable to public policy choices/solutions, and therefore also amenable to various alternatives approaches (reforms) that can reduced the incidence and bring down the body count.

    Executions pursuant to court order/warrant are also an exception. Those are actually under the complete and exclusive control of public authority. So, a moratorium or outright abolition of the death penalty – as already in place in the greater part of the civilized and democratic world – would bring down the absolute number and the incidence of homicides (rate) in the U.S.. But not by much, since there aren’t that many executions. The vast majority of inflicted deaths are by guns fired by private actors who are not controlled by government. Therefore, it cannot seriously be asserted that government (or any particular policy) is the culprit. Which brings us to the other claim posited by Kubosh:

    “The murders are directly tied to bail reform.”

    This is a dubious proposition and sloppy in formulation: What does “tied to” mean? Is it a causal assertion or are not? Assuming the former, is there any evidence that after bail reform murders are committed by individuals released on noncash bonds that would not have been committed, had they remained in jail due to inability to post bond?

    And are there proper controls for other factors in the before/intervention/after research design? – Note that this is an empirical question and we can’t have an intelligent opinion on in the absence of pertinent data. And someone in the bail biz can hardly be considered an objective authority on the topic, given the pecuniary interest in procuring more business without bail reform. Vested interest, conflict of interest, to the extent the claim (as to effects of bail reform) is premised on subject-matter expertise.

    Second, the proposition that bail reform is the culprit is incompatible with the other, more reasonable assertion directed to Jason, namely, that the government cannot prevent each and every one out of ca. 30 million human beings to limit it to Texas (or the applicable population figure for the local jurisdiction, such as City of Houston or Harris County) from killing another human being. Just about any one could be/become a killer, and you can’t put them all in a straight-jacket. That approach is incompatible with an open society.

    So, to state the obvious: You can’t lock everyone up to physically prevent them from killing, and releasing those that have the means to make bail does not guarantee that they won’t kill either.

    Lingo note: https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/homicide

  7. Bill Daniels says:

    “So, to state the obvious: You can’t lock everyone up to physically prevent them from killing, and releasing those that have the means to make bail does not guarantee that they won’t kill either. ”

    Knowing that grandma or auntie will lose the house they put up as bail to get your happy ass out of jail is a real incentive not to go out and commit more crimes while you are out on bail for your previous crimes. Even hard core (corpse?) gangstas love they aunties, yo’.