Houston Police Chief Departs Amid Inquiry Into Suspended Cases

The chief of the Houston Police Department retired abruptly amid an investigation into more than 260,000 incident reports since 2016 that were not investigated, including sexual assaults and other felonies, because of a “lack of personnel.”

The departure of the chief, Troy Finner, was announced by Mayor John Whitmire during a City Council meeting on Wednesday. He praised the chief and called him a “friend” but said that “new information” related to the suspended cases was distracting the Police Department.

After the council meeting, Mr. Whitmire told reporters that the retirement had come after he had discussions with Mr. Finner on Tuesday.

“I dealt with it because it was a distraction to the mission of the men and women in H.P.D.,” the mayor said.

The Houston Police Department has been under intense scrutiny since February, when the chief announced a review of more than 4,000 sexual assault cases that had been suspended because of a purported lack of personnel to pursue investigations. That inquiry soon ballooned to include a large number of felonies as well as misdemeanors, which had been given the same internal code — “SL” — meaning they had been suspended for personnel reasons.

A 2014 analysis of the department’s staffing found tens of thousands of cases that were not investigated, including thousands of assault cases. Mr. Whitmire has said the code for suspending a case because of a lack of personnel was created soon after.

Back to top button