HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Ezenachi Rasidi poses for a picture with the chief and the mayor after the swearing in ceremony. This is not the Houstonian's first time meeting Chief Art Acevedo, that happened back in Austin when Rasidi was lost in the rain. He asked Acevedo for directions, not knowing who he was. Acevedo offered him a ride instead.
“I did not know and it was so exciting to find out about his transition to Houston and to find out our new chief is a down to earth guy,” Rasidi said.
It's that personal touch that Acevedo hopes to bring to Houston. He will stress community policing, viewing each interaction between police and the public as an opportunity to connect. He says he also plans to survey all the officers and employees to get input about any needed changes. He says there will be no dramatic shifts, but he's on board with District Attorney Elect Kim Ogg's proposal to not arrest people for low-level marijuana possession.
“Taking a guy to jail for two ounces of marijuana, in the meantime, while you are booking that person spending an hour or two booking him, we have a home invasion robbery going on. We're going to prioritize saving lives.” Acevedo said. However he does plan to crack down on the kush epidemic.
Acevedo praised this generation of officers saying they are more scrutinized now than ever. He says 99 percent of them are good, but the one percent that's not can do a lot of damage and they won't be tolerated. He says when HPD patrol officers hit the streets, hey won't go alone.
“I still work patrol. Some critics will say 'he's just hot dogging'. No. I work patrol because I want to stay close to what matters most,” Acevedo said.
Despite friction between the police departments around the country, Acevedo insists the police system in this country isn’t broken, He says it’s imperfect, but not broken.