Historic careers follow reported Houston chief picks

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Two Latinos, both praised for their distinguished careers and community service, could soon lead Houston's police and fire departments.

Sources tell Eyewitness News that Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner has chosen Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo and El Paso Fire Department Chief Sam Pena to protect the safety and security of America's fourth largest city.

VIDEO: Sources say Austin Police chief appears to be Turner's pick for HPD
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Sources say Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo will be Houston's new Police Chief

Both men have shown great promise in their abilities to lead, according to their respective departments.

Acevedo became the first Hispanic to lead the Austin Police Department in 2007 after a career which took him from the California Highway Patrol to the Texas capitol.

He was born in Cuba and immigrated to the United States in 1968.

He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of La Verne in Calif., and began his life in law enforcement as a field patrol officer.

Acevedo found himself climbing the ranks to chief of California Highway Patrol in 2005 before ending up in Austin.

Sam Pena, meantime, has served as El Paso Fire Department chief for the last three years, and was the youngest fire chief in the 133-year history of EPFD.

Pena has fought fires for 20 years, and has a vast array of experiences in the medical and firefighting fields.

He reportedly began his career as a firefighter and went on to become a paramedic. He then rose through the ranks to become chief in March 2013.

Pena was born in Los Angeles, according to the EPFD website.

He also served four years in the U.S. Air Force.

Both men are expected to be at Houston City Hall this afternoon as Mayor Turner announces his picks.
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