New HPD Chief Art Acevedo welcomes 70 new officers to department

HOUSTON – Seventy men and women are the newest officers for the Houston Police Department after being sworn in Tuesday evening in front of the mayor, the department's top brass, and hundreds of family and friends.

Also in attendance was new HPD Chief Art Acevedo. Class 227 is the first group of cadets to graduate under the leadership of Acevedo, who has been on the job for only several days now.

"It is an absolute honor to, as a guy who's been doing this for 30 years, to be able to welcome some new, hard-working, hard-charging folks that want to make a difference," Acevedo said.

In a city that has more individual ethnicities than any other in the country, Mayor Sylvester Turner says having a force that is reflective of the city is one of his goals.

Turner believes Acevedo's ability to lead such a force was just one of his attributes.

"I wanted someone who would be a good administrator, a good manager," Turner said. "Someone who understood diversity and understood community policing, and someone who could take policing to the next level in keeping our city safe."

Acevedo has been long known as "a cop's cop" but says he will always hold his officers to his core values of honor, respect and integrity.

"I reminded them earlier in a private meeting, 'Listen, somebody in this room might not make it because you're not going to follow the values that we're swearing to today," Acevedo said. "But I have a feeling that all 70, 25 years from now, are going to leave with the same sense of accomplishment. That's my hope for them."

The 70 new officers join a force of about 5,200 other officers.

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