Man’s Best Friend

In March 1960, Officer R.D. Whitcomb and his German Shepherd became the first members of the K-9 Corps. Officer Whitcomb and his dog picked up a burglar’s scent and followed him for four blocks. They found the suspect hiding behind a chicken coop.


The Central Intelligence Division was created in 1960 to track “hoodlums.”

JFK Recognizes Law Enforcement

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a law that designated May 15 as National Peace Officer’s Memorial Day.

Chief Short Serves Long

Mayor Welch appointed Herman B. Short as chief of police in 1964. Chief Short holds the record as the longest-serving chief of police with tenure of 9 years and 10 months.

The Department Grows Again

In 1966, HPD had 1,337 officers, patrolled 446 square miles and served a city population of 1,152,000. That same year the department’s first bomb squad was established.

The Highs and Lows of 1967

In 1967, HPD received a 22 percent pay raise spread out of a 3-year period. That same year the department formed the Community Relations Division.

Rioting erupted at Texas Southern University in May, 1967. After much gunfire, the turbulence finally ceased. However, during the course of the riot, HPD Officer Louis Kuba was killed and 488 students were arrested. It was the newly formed Community Relations Division that provided a communication by bringing together small groups of police officers and minority leaders for discussions. The Community Relations Division has been credited to aiding in the improvement of the police and minority relations in Houston.

Changing HPD Requirements

By 1969, HPD had grown to 1,577 classified officers and 223 civilian personnel with a budget of $19,400,000. With this growth it was decided to lower the entrance requirements.

Minimum weight for males was dropped from 150 to 140 pounds. The requirement that women applicants would not be eligible if they had pre-school aged children as also changed. Women were now eligible if their children were on year of age of older. The visual requirements were also reduced.

1969 Pay Scale

In 1969, the monthly pay for police personnel was as follows:

Officer (4 years) $725
Sergeant $800
Detective $800
Lieutenant $875
Captains $950