Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland surprised much of the city Tuesday afternoon when at a special news conference, Mayor Sylvester Turner announced that the 39-year police veteran would hang up his blues on February 26.
"I have given all I can emotionally, physically, pschologically, mentally," McClelland told the small gathering at City Hall. "It's time for someone else to pick up the mantle and go forward. I think I deserve a little bit of a break." The police chief turned 61 on Monday.
The mayor had no immediate announcement on an interim police chief.
McClelland began his career with HPD in 1977 and was sworn in as chief, under Mayor Annise Parker, in 2010.
When asked why he was retiring at this time, McClelland recalled his answer when asked years earlier about retirement. "I said I would wake up one morning and while tying my shoes, I would know it was time. And that's pretty much how it happened."
And, no, he has no plans for political office. "I'm not running from anything. And I'm not running for anything," he said, adding that consulting on law enforcement issues was a likely path.