City council confirms McClelland as HPD chief

April 14, 2010 3:24:34 PM PDT
Houston's new top cop, Charles McClelland, was sworn in to his new position after the city council voted in favor of his appointment this morning. The vote and swearing in was basically a formality. It's been known for quite some time that Mayor Annise Parker's appointment would be approved. Chief McClelland was surrounded by his family as he was sworn in by Mayor Parker in the city council chambers.

Now the tough job begins. For the past few months, the chief, along with other city department heads, have been working on their respective budgets.

In the police department, the focus is on putting more officers on the streets. The chief is looking at a number of creative solutions. McClelland told Eyewitness News he's considering combining some divisions within the department to cut down on paperwork and perhaps free up more officers to be on the streets.

"Maybe aligning some divisions, combining some divisions, do more resource sharing so we don't have as many separate divisions that may be duplicating some things in the organization," Chief McClelland said.

McClelland didn't specify what kind of consolidation and reorganization will occur, but council members have some ideas.

"Obviously, there are services that are provided by civil servicee, and not officers.. and sharing.. like IT.. if we can share IT within departments," Councilman Stephen Costello said.

"I know that redoing juvenile crime is something that we can be looking at," Councilman Ed Gonzalez said.

Whatever Chief McClelland decides in the next two months, college professor and Houstonian Elliot Glazer says he just wants our leaders to remember their priorities.

"I think the first responsibility of a city is taking care of people against crime," he said.

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