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Houston Police Chief Troy Finner Steps Down, Larry Satterwhite Appointed Acting Chief

Acting Houston Police Chief Announced Following Troy Finner’s Retirement

Mayor John Whitmire has appointed Executive Assistant Chief Larry Satterwhite as the acting Houston police chief after Troy Finner stepped down from the position. In an email sent to HPD employees, Whitmire expressed his confidence in Satterwhite’s abilities to lead and uphold the department’s high standards. Satterwhite, who previously served as an executive assistant chief, has extensive experience in directing the department’s field operations, particularly in addressing crime and traffic issues in the city.

Finner’s retirement comes amid questions about his awareness of a code that suspended over 260,000 cases years earlier than he had publicly stated. In February, Finner revealed that thousands of sexual assault investigations were suspended due to a lack of personnel. These cases were marked with “Suspended-Lack of Personnel” or “SL” coding. However, it was later discovered that over 264,000 investigations had been suspended since 2016. ABC13 pressed Finner on when he became aware of the cases and what actions he took to resolve them.

During a news conference, Finner stated that he first became aware of the code in November 2021 and immediately ordered his leaders never to use it again. However, a 2018 email obtained by 13 Investigates contradicts this claim. The email, which was addressed to high-ranking HPD leaders including Finner and former chief Art Acevedo, mentions a specific road rage case that was marked as “Suspended-Lack of Personnel.” Finner responded to the email, expressing his disapproval and requesting further investigation. This raises questions about Finner’s knowledge of the code and how frequently it was used.

In response to the report, Finner released a statement asserting that he had no recollection of the email until it was shown to him on Tuesday. He maintained his commitment to an independent and thorough investigation and emphasized his lack of knowledge of the email as evidence of his independence. Acevedo, on the other hand, stated that he had no knowledge of the code and expressed sympathy for Finner’s situation.

This recent development follows a series of leadership changes in the Houston Police Department over the past three years. The appointment of Satterwhite as the acting police chief marks another shift in leadership for the department. Mayor Whitmire’s decision reflects his confidence in Satterwhite’s ability to lead and maintain the department’s high standards. As the Houston Police Department continues to address the suspended cases scandal and restore public trust, the appointment of a new acting chief signals a fresh start and renewed focus on accountability and transparency within the organization.

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