Houston’s new top cop says he’s working to combat the city’s increasing homicide record

Troy Finner said he met with the FBI on Tuesday to discuss solutions

On Wednesday, City Council approved Troy Finner as the next HPD Chief

HOUSTON – The Houston Police Department’s incoming chief sat down with KPRC 2 on Wednesday to discuss his priorities during his term.

The Houston City Council voted unanimously on Wednesday to confirm Troy Finner as the city’s next police chief.

The current chief, Art Acevedo, is leaving the city for a job in Miami. Finner, who has served as an executive assistant chief, will be promoted to top cop on April 5. He started as a patrolman with HPD in 1990.

Finner said he’s overwhelmed by the outpouring of support he’s received since the announcement last week, and he’s looking forward to leading the Houston Police Department and continuing to serve the community.

“The main priorities to me are crunching crime, building trust and being transparent,” he said.

Dr. Karla Brown with Houston Justice says she supports Finner and thinks he has a vested interest in Houston being that he’s from the city. She said she just wishes the community was included in the selection.

“Even though we’re very excited about the choice, we still think that there still needs to be some input,” Brown said. “Just so you know what the community is looking for. What the community sees as a problem.”

A big problem the incoming chief will have to combat is the rise in homicides. There were more than 400 in 2020. Finner said he met with the FBI on Tuesday to discuss solutions, which he can’t disclose as more meetings are needed.

“The biggest crime fighter we have and the most effective weapon we have in dealing with homicides and solving homicides is our public,” said the incoming chief. “That’s why it’s so important for us to be transparent with them and build that trust.”

Johnny Mata of the Greater Coalition for Justice said Finner has a tough job ahead. Mata said he’d like to see the future top cop tackle police reform and help bridge the gap with the Hispanic community.

“Until you have accountability to everyone, for everyone, we’re going to continue to have the problems we have today,” Mata said.

Finner said he plans to set up meetings with leaders in the Hispanic community to help foster those relationships.

“We got to stop fighting (and) get behind some closed doors and have an honest conversation on how can we improve over here,” Finner added. “What can we do to make things better, and how can we work better as a system.”

The incoming police chief says he supports responsible police reform, but he can’t ignore issues with criminal justice reform in the city.

“Reform and true reform was never intended to go lite or be releasing violent criminals,” he said. “I’m not pointing fingers. I’m saying it as a whole system.”

Finner said he also has plans to make updates to the police department’s body-worn camera policy in the coming weeks.