Houston officially has a new top cop.
On Monday morning, Houston Police Chief Troy Finner was sworn in at City Hall, just a few hours after his predecessor Art Acevedo was sworn in as Miami’s new chief of police.
In his first speech as chief, Finner said he wants to get right to work, and called on the community to cooperate with police to help keep Houston safe.
“Yes, there’s a lot of crime out there right now,” Finner said. “But you know what? I never walked away from a challenge, never in my life. (It’s a) great challenge and we’re going to do it together.”
Three generations of Finner’s family stood on stage as he was sworn in, including his father, his mother and his 10-year-old son, who got the honor of attaching the new chief’s badge to Finner’s uniform. His wife was holding the Bible on which Finner took his oath of office.
Finner succeeds Acevedo, who in announcing his departure last month blasted Harris County leaders for not doing more to help curb violent crime in Houston, which during Acevedo’s tenure skyrocketed over the last year. Acevedo served as Houston police chief since November 2016 before being recruited by the Miami PD.
The new chief on Monday said he hoped to have a good working relationship with the county.
“We got some tough roads ahead of us and everybody knows it. But we’re going to bring it together,” he said. “Houston can’t function without Harris County. Harris County can’t function without Houston. That’s all I’m going to say about that today. It’s time to go to work. It’s time to get everybody in this fight.”
U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, also in attendance, presented a congressional resolution acknowledging Finner as Houston’s new police chief.
Finner was born in Houston’s Fifth Ward and grew up in Hiram Clarke. He has been with the Houston Police Department for 31 years, working his way through the ranks from patrol officer. He most recently served as Acevedo’s executive assistant chief.
Mayor Sylvester Turner thanked the City Council for unanimously approving his appointment of Finner, who he called the right person at the right time for the job.
“That unanimous demonstration of support and trust for his leadership is symbolic of the support he has in neighborhoods throughout our diverse community,” Turner said. “And in fact, that is what it’s going to take as it moves forward.”