Met with whoops and applause, Troy Finner stood with his wife, children, and parents at City Hall as Mayor Sylvester Turner announced him as Houston’s newest police chief on Monday, April 5.
The Houston native knelt at the podium as his young son, Wyatt, pinned his badge on his father’s chest.
“Did y’all get that moment?” Turner asked the crowd of the poignant father-and-son exchange.
Finner then took the podium and thanked his god, the mayor, city council, and “great, great, great citizens of Houston” in his acceptance speech.
“We got some tough roads ahead of us,” the new chief declared. “Men, women, stand up,” he called out, pleading for “good citizens.” Finner, who was an executive assistant chief for the department, was approved by a unanimous vote from the city council last month.
He faces a daunting task: reducing crime and a rapidly escalating rate of homicides in the city. As of April 5, Houston has seen 103 homicides, CultureMap news partner ABC13 reports.
But the 31-year veteran brings a certain swagger to the role, notably, as he is a homegrown find. Finner was born in the Fifth Ward and raised in Houston's Hiram Clarke area. He graduated from Madison High School in 1985 and later obtained his master’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Houston Clear Lake.
“He’s not just from Houston, he is Houston,” Turner previously declared. “Chief Troy Finner will do everything in their power to reduce crime across Houston.”
Houston’s newest chief inherits a police force of more than 5,200 officers and a 671-square-mile jurisdiction. He takes over for the departing Art Acevedo, who now helps the Miami Police Department.
In typical big-city fashion, Finner’s work has already begun; he concluded his speech by joking that Turner “didn’t want a long press conference,” and that Finner is “on the clock.”