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HomeGeneralHouston Police Chief Retires Amid Questions About Controversial Department Policy

Houston Police Chief Retires Amid Questions About Controversial Department Policy

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A picture of Troy Finner
Source: Pinterest

In a new statement issued by the mayor’s office on Tuesday night, Houston’s police chief retired. This comes when the police department is engulfed in an elaborate scandal about how the department uses a policy to suspend cases. 

Troy Finner has now ended his 34-year career with the Houston Police Department. He was made chief in 2021, a time when there was an increase in crime and COVID restrictions.

Finner’s retirement announcement was made shortly after an internal email was unauthorisedly revealed. At the time the email was made, he was serving as the executive assistant chief of patrol operations.

In 2018, Finner spoke about an investigation being discontinued as a result of inadequate personnel three years before he said he knew of the policy. Reports suggest that this policy has been used to suspend hundreds of thousands of cases, including sexual-related cases. 

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Finner told the press in February that he had no idea about the practice and policy until he was made chief in 2021. He ordered the SV Division to stop the policy to ensure proper case handling.

In April, Finner said that the police force was making progress in reviewing about 264,000 inquiries that had been suspended since 2016, especially cases that were put on hold because of that policy. 

Allegations of adult-related sex crimes were filed in more than 4,000 of those reviews. However, another committee is also reviewing the case while conducting its own research.

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Finner said he has always been truthful and never planned to deceive anyone about anything, especially with this investigation. The statement was made on Tuesday night, shortly after the report aired. Despite being implicated in the email, the former chief claimed he was unaware of the policy and that the Houston police were using it.

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In his statement, Finner said he would speak with the media and the public after the investigation was fully done. Strangely, the news of his retirement was announced to the city council that evening.

We the People Organization’s founder, Hai Bui, expressed relief after hearing of the chief’s departure and added that his activist group was thrilled about the chief’s decision, which he called the right one.

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Community activists worry about dropped cases following Finner’s sudden resignation as police chief in the fourth-largest city. Organizations are now requesting ongoing accountability.

The mayor appointed Larry Satterwhite as the interim chief of police the next day. He was also the chief executive assistant during Finner’s tenure. The mayor did not comment when asked if he had asked for Finner’s retirement.

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Whitmire, who assumed office this year, stated that he respected Finner’s decision to retire after 34 years of service because the department’s scandal was becoming a distraction. 

According to Finner’s April release, three assistant chiefs resigned and two were demoted as a result of an internal investigation. As of now, the police department has not formally announced a permanent decision on the leadership position.

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