Troy Finner, a native Houstonian who’s served more than 30 years as a member of the Houston Police Department, is now set to become the new chief of police.
In a press conference on Thursday (March 18), Finner was announced as the replacement for former chief Art Acevedo. Acevedo is leaving Houston after a five-year stint as police chief for the same job in Miami.
“He has earned — and I underscore that — the trust and respect of people in every corner of our diverse community,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said. “He is strong, he is a decisive leader and he is someone people follow.”
Finner graduated from Madison High School and for 31 years has served in various capacities at HPD. He was a patrolman for 12 years before being promoted to sergeant in 2002. He was promoted to lieutenant in 2007 and was assistant chief for former police chief Charles McClelland. Recently, he was the executive assistant chief to Acevedo, often seen by his side and speaking directly to individuals during protests for social justice, press conferences for missing children and more.
His first words after his introduction centered on the rise in violent crime in the city. Houston has already seen over 100 murders in 2021, a steep rise from the same period in 2020.
“It’s time that everybody take some responsibility and everybody come together, and stop throwing stones at one another,” he said. “Let’s sit down.”
Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg voiced her support for Finner. The two worked together to help fight crime in the Gulton area of the city in the mid-’90s.
“I have full confidence that we can combat crime and treat the community fairly in the future on a citywide basis,” Ogg said.” He is well liked and well respected and can bring a sense of unity and public safety to the community.”
Other officers, such as new top executive chief Matt Slinkard praised his work.
“We’ve been in the trenches together for many years helping the city,” he said. “I will continue to work tirelessly day in and day out to support you. … I’m proud of you.”
Acevedo, who was present at the press conference, touted Finner as a “phenomenal crime fighter.”
“Do not confuse kindness for weakness,” he said. “He’s going to be tough as nails, but he has the empathy and the compassion, having been raised in this community, to understand the pain of the community and the challenges of the community.”