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Police Chief Charles McClelland Gives Exit Interview

In a farewell interview on Houston Matters, the 61-year-old McClelland said it was not an emotional or rash decision to retire.

Charles McClelland in uniform speaking at the podium
Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland

After more than 38 years on the force, Houston’s police chief retires in just over a week. Charles McClelland was appointed chief six years ago.

In a farewell interview on Houston Matters, the 61-year-old McClelland said it was not an emotional or rash decision to retire.

“You know, I wanted to leave on my own terms, and I also wanted to leave the department in good shape, good hands, where there’s no controversies. And the new mayor can pick his own police chief and it’ll be relatively a smooth transition.”

McClelland has been a proponent of community-based policing. He hopes that continues.

“The next police chief has to understand that the community is a partner with law enforcement. They’re not separate and it’s very, very important that we are accountable to the people that we’re sworn to protect.”

The chief has been a proponent of outfitting officers with body cameras. Only about 100 are in service now, but more are arriving.

“And it’ll probably be about a 12-month process, but when that process is completed we’ll have about 4500 officers with body cameras.”

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, although two eventually regained their jobs.

 

Listen to the Houston Matters conversation below: 

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