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Mayor Turner Names Martha Montalvo Houston’s Interim Police Chief

The 36-year veteran will serve until a permanent police chief is selected.

Montalvo Press Conference

Mayor Sylvester Turner announced Thursday afternoon that Martha Montalvo is his choice for Houston’s interim police chief.

Montalvo will hold the position temporarily until a permanent predecessor is found. She said she’s interested in applying for the position.

She joined the Houston Police Department in 1980.

Turner says that Montalvo is an “excellent officer.”

In a statement, the mayou said:

"Chief Montalvo has a wealth of experience that will serve the department and the citizens of Houston well. She also understands that all City departments will need to pitch in to help balance the budget for the coming fiscal year. I look forward to working with her on solutions that will generate the cost savings we need without impacting the police protection our residents need."

Charles McClelland, who held the position for six years, announced his retirement earlier this year. McClelland was on the force for more than 38 years.

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, and of outfitting 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.

Montalvo rose through the ranks to assistant chief of police. Some career highlights include coordinating the development and implementation of the Crime Analysis System Enhancement GIS mapping system that is still used today, implementation of technology upgrades and serving as incident commander for the 2004 Major League Baseball All Star Game and the 2006 NBA All Star Game.

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