McClelland’s street experiences and long-time friendships Enabled him to work well with Labor (his HPD troops)

Tom Kennedy

THE HIGHLY PRAISED TENURE OF POLICE CHIEF CHARLES McCLELLAND undoubtedly underscores the unquestionable reasons why he ends almost 40 years with HPD on a positive note.

Chief McClelland gained experience as a seasoned street cop who rose through the ranks of the nation’s fifth largest police department. He survived two life-threatening experiences on the streets of the city he’s sworn to protect. When one of his troops was wounded or killed in the line of duty – as three have been during his almost six years in the big chair – McClelland didn’t have to “imagine” what the personnel involved (including survivors) were going through; he knew from personal experience. It is no small wonder that this manager at the top worked well with labor, always taking the high road of frank communications when dealing with often emotional Union matters.

When then-Mayor Annise Parker appointed him police chief in 2010, McClelland knew HPD personnel from bottom to top. This was crucial in a large police department where the bonding factor rises to the top of the priority list in a successful management operation. Right now, as the chief’s retirement is effective by the end of February, McClelland can look back on his management experience and know that common bond he had with his troops served HPD and Houstonians well.

Fortunately, Mayor Sylvester Turner – who is carrying on a nationwide search for McClelland’s successor – knows the importance of selecting a chief who will be supported by the troops and a chief who will continue working with Labor instead of against it.

At this point in history we congratulate outgoing Police Chief Charles “Chuck” McClelland and wish him well in his new endeavors. His advancements in policing technology and those that led to other changes such as body cameras, new uniforms and the black and white patrol cars will be lasting contributions to a department that remains underfunded and understaffed.

You did a good job coming up the HPD ladder over the past four decades. We wish you the best in the future, Chief.