Improving Student and Police Interaction on Historically Black Colleges and Universities Speaker Bio: Chief Vicki King

Chief Vicki King- Assistant Chief of Police,  

Ret. Houston Police Department

With a law enforcement career spanning more than 30 years, Vicki King has broken barriers, developed innovative crime reduction strategies, and commanded police operations the fourth largest city in the United States. She began her career in 1985, working the night shift on Houston’s southeast-side. Women were still relatively new to street duty, but Chief King soon earned the respect of her colleagues, earning a position on the Field Training Administration staff. After promoting to sergeant, Chief King became the driving force behind HPD’s new Crime Analysis capability. Leveraging new and emerging technology, her team was credited with reducing crime in targeted areas of the city by focusing efforts on parole violators and career criminals. As a lieutenant, Chief King managed the largest criminal investigation of police misconduct in HPD’s history. Her exhaustive inquiry was lauded by the Citizen’s Review Committee, the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, and the United States Justice Department.

In 2004, Chief King again made history becoming the first person in HPD’s history to finish first on the written and assessment portions of the captain’s exam.  Upon her promotion, she also became the first woman in HPD’s history to assume command of a patrol division.  As a captain, Chief King strengthened community ties with a large immigrant population while reducing the crime rate.  Her accomplishments prompted Chief Hurtt to appoint her to his Executive Staff as Assistant Chief over Criminal Investigations, overseeing the Homicide, Robbery, Auto Theft, Burglary/Theft, Crime Stoppers, Victim Services, and Juvenile Divisions.  C

hief King worked tirelessly to improve HPD’s response to crime, implementing the first of its kind, Gang Murder Squad.  Working collaboratively with the community and other law enforcement agencies, Chief King saw homicide clearance rates improve from 62% (2005) to 94% (2008).  She also pioneered the Houston Men against Family Violence campaign, Houston Police Foundation, Homicide Intervention Counsel, Copper Theft Reduction Team, and Domestic Violence Coordinating Council. After assuming command of HPD’s Tactical Operations, Chief King reengineered HPD’s traffic response plan with SafeClear, the Aggressive Driver Program, No Refusal Nights, Digital Downlink for Helicopter Patrol, and the UASI Homeland Security Digital Network. Before retiring from HPD, Chief King helped develop the regional plan for the Harris County Forensic Science Center. 

Post HPD, Chief King traveled for two years with the Saudi Royal family serving as their emissary in the United States and France. Upon returning home to Houston, she briefly served as the LaMarque Chief of Police before accepting a position over the Threat Management Unit for MD Anderson, UT Health, and the Harris County Psychiatric Center. Her innovative approach to threat management has made Chief King a highly sought after speaker on threat mitigation, crime prevention, and active shooter deterrence. In less than one year, her team has been credited with saving three lives and interrupting one potential active shooter scenario. 

Chief King has been formally commended 42 times, with accolades that include the Meritorious Service Award, Chief of Police Commendation for bravery, Chief of Police Commendation for industriousness, Mayor’s Commendation, Unit Citations, Officer of the Year by the Texas Women in Law Enforcement, and HPD’s Lifetime Achievement Award.  She has also written a number of nationally published articles on sexual harassment, the HPD Crime Lab, and Family Violence.

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