HOUSTON – In a press conference at city hall on Tuesday, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced that HPD Chief Charles McClelland will be leaving his position, effective February 26. That’s after 39 years of service.
The decision on an interim chief has not yet been made.
McClelland said at the press conference that he was leaving due to family due to family issues.
The Houston Police Department took to Facebook to speak of Chief McClelland’s decision by posting:
After 39 years of serving the citizens of this great city – the last six as its police chief – Charles McClelland announced his retirement this afternoon from the Houston Police Department. His last day will be Friday, February 26. Chief McClelland, 61, says he gave everything he had for the past four decades and it’s time to pass over the reins to the next leader of the most professional police department in the U.S. The Chief, who is looking forward to spending time with his daughters and his grandchildren, has this short video message for the citizens of Houston.
Mayor Sylvester Turner accepted the retirement and issued the following press release in regards to McClelland stepping down as Chief.
Mayor Turner Accepts Retirement of Police Chief Charles McClelland
Mayor Sylvester Turner today announced that he has accepted the retirement of Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland, effective February 26, 2016. McClelland was sworn in as a police officer in September 1977. He rose through the ranks at HPD and was sworn in by former Mayor Annise Parker as police chief on April 14, 2010.
“I want to thank Chief McClelland for his 39 years of service to the City,” said Mayor Turner. “He is a respected figure in the community who has served this city well and has many accomplishments of which to be proud. The city’s crime rate during his tenure is lower than it was for the previous six years and citizen complaints filed against our officers are at a record low.”
Chief McClelland managed the fifth largest police agency in the nation with a budget of more than $825 million and a staff of 5200 sworn officers and 1200 civilian employees. Whether it is creating new programs aimed at encouraging positive interaction with Houston’s youth, organizing a town hall where residents have the opportunity to ask questions or simply sharing a cup of coffee with residents, Chief McClelland made it a point to focus on taking HPD to the community it serves.
When asked what he considers his proudest accomplishments, he cites the lower crime rate, HPD’s stewardship of its financial resources and improved community relations. He is also very personally proud of having been able to convince former Mayor Parker and City Council to name HPD headquarters after Officer Edward A. Thomas, one of HPD’s first African American officers and the department’s longest serving officer.
This is a decision that was reached after much personal thought and consultation with my family,” said McClelland. “It was not an easy decision, but I know it is the right decision for me personally. I am leaving HPD in a better place than it was six years ago.”
Mayor Turner has not yet selected an interim chief. That decision will be made in the coming days.