HPD, city officials say goodbye to pioneering Houston police officer

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Friends, family and fellow officers honored the life and dedication Tuesday in a funeral service for a former Houston police officer.

The service was held at Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church, and there was no shortage of Houston police and city officials paying their respects to retired Officer Edward A. Thomas.

'Mr. Thomas,' as he was known, passed away at the age of 95 last week. He was considered a policing pioneer, breaking barriers in the department and serving Houston for more than 60 years.

Officer Thomas was also one of the first African American police officers to join HPD, who was known for his dedication and hard work. At the time of his retirement, HPD says he was the most revered and respected officer within the Houston Police Department.

He helped transform HPD for all minorities who would serve after him.

"Mr. Thomas understood the fact that he was opening doors for us and failure was not an option for him, or it was going to take longer to open the door for minorities," said HPD Chief Charles McClelland. "It wasn't because of Mr. Thomas' weakness that he endured unfair and unjust treatment. When you think about it, it was his inner strength."

Chief McClelland went on to call Mr. Thomas the Jackie Robinson of HPD.
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