^
Keep Houston Press Free
4

HPD Chief Will Resign at the End of the Month

Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland on Tuesday announced his resignation after 39 years with the department and six years as top cop.

Mayor Sylvester Turner broke the news at a press conference, saying the resignation would be effective at the end of February. McClelland was appointed by Turner's predecessor, Annise Parker.

According to the Houston Chronicle, "McClelland said he turned 61 on Monday and that it was 'not an emotional or rash decision' to retire."

In a video on the department's Facebook page, McClelland said, "I want to tell all the citizens, thank you for your support of me and also the men and women of the Houston Police Department. I ask that you continue to pray for them and support them, they are certainly committed to keeping you [and] your neighbor safe, and they need your support."

McClelland was at the helm during some high-profile cases, including the videotaped beating of teenager Chad Holley his first year on the job. The chief fired seven officers after the incident, but two eventually regained their jobs. 

At a mayoral press conference held in February 2011, in which Mayor Parker announced the creation of an independent police oversight board, McClelland showed his cool by performing CPR on a freelance photographer who collapsed. (The swift action also helped distract from the fact that the independent review board would basically have no teeth.) 

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

In December 2014, McClelland joined the growing ranks of other big-city chiefs who have criticized the failure of the "war on drugs." That month, he went on Dean Becker's KPFT radio show Cultural Baggage and said that strict sentencing has disproportionately affected minorities.

"It has a trickle-down effect, that a lot of young men who are minorities, in their early twenties, have a felony conviction on their résumé, and now they're unemployable," McClelland said. "And we wonder why they don't have jobs, they're not working....but we've put them in a position to where the odds are stacked against them." 

The Center, Texas, native joined HPD as a beat cop in 1977, according to his bio on the department's website, which also describes him as "a proponent of community-based policing and enhanced crime reduction strategies with the use of technology." (This apparently includes "Stingray" cell-tower simulators, which HPD doesn't need a warrant to use. How's that for community-based policing?)

McClelland has also pushed for outfitting officers with body cameras. 

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.