Houston mayor picks top commander as new police chief

The pick comes after Chief Art Acevedo said he'd be leaving to head Miami's police department


By Jay R. Jordan
Houston Chronicle

HOUSTON — Houston will soon have a new police chief.

Mayor Sylvester Turner announced that Troy Finner, the current executive assistant chief, will be the new head of the Houston Police Department. Chief Art Acevedo is leaving Houston to head to police department in Miami.

Houston Police Department Executive Assistant Chief Troy Finner speaks during a news conference Thursday, March 18, 2021, in Houston.
Houston Police Department Executive Assistant Chief Troy Finner speaks during a news conference Thursday, March 18, 2021, in Houston. (Yi-Chin Lee/Houston Chronicle via AP)

During a Thursday press conference announcing the appointment, Finner said his top priorities will be decreasing homicides and building trust with the community.

"I've had the opportunity to interview potential candidates for what I consider to be one of the most critical roles of any administration," Turner said. "My goal was to find someone who was fully capable, and I underscore fully, capable of leading this department from day one."

Finner is a lifelong Houstonian, having been born in Fifth Ward and grown up in Hiram Clarke, according to N.L. Preston of African American News & Issues. He's worked with HPD for nearly 30 years.

Finner requested that Turner appoint as his number two in the department.

"Troy Finner is not just from Houston," Turner said. "He is Houston."

[READ: Personnel selection for acting positions]

Finner was one of two top contenders for the job, according to St. John Barned-Smith of the Houston Chronicle. Matt Slinkard, who is also ranked as an executive assistant chief, pledged to stay onboard as Finner takes the helm.

"Just as any other city right now: major city, major crime," Finner said during a press conference Thursday. "I know a lot of questions might be asked later, but let me set the stage. When we talk in terms of trust and building relationships and respecting people, we talking about the police department and the community, it's so true. It's just as important in the criminal justice arena."

He urged nearby law enforcement leaders to speak with him about how they can work together to combat crime.

[NEXT: Breaking the blue ceiling: Attracting, retaining and advancing women in law enforcement]

(c)2021 the Houston Chronicle

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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