Houston Police Department
Police Chief McClelland Supports Naming Headquarters in Honor of Distinguished Officer

June 15, 2015 - The Houston Police Department has proposed naming HPD Headquarters in honor of retired Senior Police Officer Edward Alfred Thomas.

HPD Chief Charles A. McClelland, Jr. has requested this change to honor the lifetime of service Mr. Thomas provided to the Houston Police Department over his 65 years of service of as an officer.

The vote is proposed to take place in City Council on Wednesday (June 17). Executive Order 1-47 allows for the naming of city facilities and “Mr. Thomas,” as he is affectionately known throughout the department, has far exceeded the requirement for Police Headquarters to bear his name.

Retired Officer Edward Alfred Thomas

Retired Senior Police Officer Thomas served HPD from January 12, 1948 until his retirement on July 23, 2011. During that time, he was named as The 100 Club Officer of the Year, was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by both HPD and The 100 Club, a Chief of Police Commendation and received many letters of appreciation from citizens and supervisors.

“It would be only fitting that a man of his stature, character and outstanding ethics and morals be given this honor,” stated Chief McClelland. “He is the epitome of what every police officer should be. I don’t think there could be any better tribute to a patrol officer, who was a patrol officer for 65 years that underwent intense, systemic discrimination, to have his name on this building as a role model for others.”

Mr. Thomas exemplified the words perseverance, diligence, duty, service and pride to all HPD officers and officers throughout other jurisdictions. He was one of the first African-American police officers to integrate into HPD, though he had served nearly 20 years with HPD prior to the Civil Rights Movement. He endured challenges and difficulties most cannot imagine, but persevered through it all.

“His more than six decades of hard work and courage paved the way for other African American and other minority officers to follow. He has, and will always, remain the most revered and respected police officer in the City of Houston,” added Chief McClelland.

This proposal to name Police Headquarters in honor of Senior Police Officer Thomas is supported by the Houston Police Officer’s Union (HPOU), the African American Police Officer League (AAPOL), Houston Police Organization of Spanish Speaking Officers (OSSO), and the Houston Organization of Public Employees (HOPE).

Those who know Mr. Thomas personally know him as a humble man who has dedicated his life to HPD and to the citizens of Houston. Giving this recognition to Officer Thomas will also honor all patrol officers for the work they do in putting their lives on the line each and every day, which often times goes unrecognized. “I think that all of our employees will be filled with pride when they walk in this building with his name outside the front door,” said Chief McClelland.

The raw video and complete remarks of Chief McClelland can be found for broadcast use on the HPD YouTube Channel at http://youtu.be/CAtbgLE5KZY.

JKS/JFC 6-15-15

For additional information, please contact the HPD Public Affairs Division at 713-308-3200.