METRO Installs New Police Chief
Wednesday, May 18, 2011 5:00 PM
A former captain in the Houston Police Department became METRO's new police chief today, ending a six-month search.
Victor Rodriguez was sworn in this afternoon as new chief of police at MPD's annual awards ceremony.
METRO President & CEO George Greanias said that not only do METRO police have to protect a major transit authority and perform traditional policing skills; they must also be customer-focused.
"It's a very difficult balancing act of judgment, cool heads, quick-thinking...it's a challenging job. It's a job you do extraordinarily well," said Greanias, speaking to the roomful of police officers.
Greanias joked that he had "stolen" Rodriguez from HPD, adding it was a "theft well thought-out."
"This is a man who is not only able to work with the rank-and-file police officers, this is a man who knows how to work with the community," said Greanias.
Rodriguez earned a law degree from the University of Houston Law Center in 1996, along with a bachelor's degree in public management from the University of Houston at Clear Lake. He joined HPD in 1985, starting out as a police officer in the Southeast/Eastside Patrol Division. By 2009, he had become a captain in charge of the North Patrol Division.
His accomplishments at HPD include:
* Creation of a Warrant Executive Team that focuses on repeat and violent offenders.
* Refocus of Divisional Tactical Unit operations from a "hot spot approach" to a crime analysis approach, targeting crime trends and serial criminal activity.
* Initiation of a Frequent Pawner Program to quickly pinpoint prolific residential, commercial and motor vehicle burglars for immediate attention.
The new chief said he loved going to work every day at HPD - and he wanted that experience duplicated at METRO.
"One of my goals is to make sure you feel good about coming to work. I know I have the talent and ability and professionalism in this division to meet that challenge," said Rodriguez.
He said he plans to initiate accountability-based leadership, starting with holding himself accountable.
Click below to view a short excerpt of the swearing-in ceremony. Runs 36 seconds.