2018 Great Immigrants Recipient

Art Acevedo
Chief of Police, Houston, Texas
Born in:

“You can be an ostrich as a leader, and bury your head in the sand, or you can be forward-thinking and be scanning the environment constantly for threats or for opportunities to do better,” Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said in a 2016 interview with “The Guardian.” That year, Acevedo became the first Latino to lead the Houston department, managing one the nation’s largest police forces, with more than 5,000 officers. In a review of his first six months in office, “The Houston Chronicle” describes Acevedo as “hands-on, decisive, outspoken, a bit unorthodox and likely to show up in unexpected places” as he works to overhaul the department.  He has met with civil rights groups and civilians, promising transparency and accountability, as he created a new unit to investigate officer-involved shootings, prioritized investigations of gun crimes and revamped the department's command structure. Acevedo advocates for "relational policing," believing that officers should view every interaction with residents as an opportunity to create and develop rapport. Prior to joining the department in Houston, Acevedo served for nine years as Chief of the Austin Police Department. Updated July 2018