Houston Police Chief Troy Finner retiring: Mayor, Council members respond

After 34 years with the Houston Police Department, Chief Troy Finner’s announcement of his retirement comes amidst a flurry of headlines, particularly surrounding the investigation into the suspension of 264,000 incident reports due to “lack of personnel.”

SUGGESTED: HPD Chief Finner involved in 2018 email using ‘suspended lack of personnel’ code

The development has prompted varied responses from city council members, reflecting on Finner’s leadership and the challenges faced by the department.

Council Member Carolyn Evans Shabazz questioned the evidence suggesting Finner’s prior knowledge of the suspended cases, highlighting an email chain from 2018 in which Finner was involved in a conversation regarding the “lack of personnel” code.

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Council members Letitia Plummer, Edward Pollard, and Martha Castex-Tatum have all weighed in on Chief Finner’s tenure, each offering their perspective on his leadership and integrity.

Council Member At-Large 4, Letitia Plummer, lauded Finner’s character, describing him as a man of “highest integrity.” However, she also called for accountability from former Chief Art Acevedo regarding his role in perpetuating the criminal case suspension scandal.

Similarly, Councilman for Houston City Council District J, Edward Pollard, commended Finner’s leadership during turbulent times. Pollard expressed his belief that Finner did not intentionally mislead the public regarding his awareness of the suspended criminal investigations.

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Council member for Houston City Council Member – District K, Martha Castex-Tatum, praised Chief Finner’s 34-year career with the Houston Police Department, emphasizing his service conducted with the “highest integrity and professionalism.”

However, amidst these commendations, concerns have been raised regarding the handling of the suspended cases. Houston Mayor John Whitmire expressed his dismay upon learning that Finner was aware of these cases three years earlier than previously claimed. Mayor Whitmire fears that the department may have lost focus on reducing violent crime amid the scandal.

During a discussion about crime hotspots in the city, Councilmember Mary Nan Huffman highlighted the challenges faced by Houston. In response, Mayor Whitmire acknowledged the strain on resources, attributing part of it to the distraction caused by the suspended cases.

SUGGESTED: HPD Internal Affairs investigation complete, suspended reports still being reviewed

“I think it would be accurate to say we have more hot spots right now than we can cover with the lack of resources that we have. And as I addressed earlier the retirement Chief Finner, part of the consideration is that the current investigations and suspended cases had become such a distraction that I was convinced that the department had lost some of its focus to address the hotspots, response time. And I could go through a list of things that I think were being interrupted because of the time spent and the new revelations on those investigations.”

The retirement announcement of Chief Troy Finner has sparked a broader conversation about the priorities and challenges faced by the Houston Police Department. As the city navigates these issues, the voices of its council members and leaders will continue to shape the path forward for law enforcement and public safety in Houston.

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