More than 250 HISD staff and police officers, Houston Police Department officers and local elected officials gave HISD Assistant Chief of Police Robert Mock a standing ovation after he was sworn in Monday as the district’s new police chief.
“I am very honored and humbled to be in this position,” Mock said. “It’s been a journey and personal goal of mine to be a chief of police. But (the journey) doesn’t stop here.”
HISD Superintendent Terry Grier administered the oath to Mock, 52, with Mock’s wife, Charlene, and two children by his side at a special ceremony at the High School for Law Enforcement & Criminal Justice. The ceremony included remarks from Grier and outgoing HISD Police Chief Jimmy Dotson, who will retire from the district after serving five years as its police chief.
“I’ve always been very proud of the work you do,” Grier said about the officers. “We can’t have school without having safe schools.”
Mock has served as the district’s assistant chief of police since 2008 and has more than 27 years of experience in law enforcement in the Houston area, including 22 years at HPD.
Mock holds a Master Peace Officer Certification through the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education (TCLEOSE), a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership, and a Master of Arts in Criminology. He is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy and a member of the American Leadership Forum.
“The man that will have this badge is qualified. Not only is he qualified, he’s a great father, and a good strong leader,” said Dotson, who will have a retirement party at HISD on Jan. 24 before his last day with the district on Jan. 31.
Dotson recently passed on a devotional book to Mock that a fellow officer gave to him when he started his career at HISD. Mock called Dotson an inspiration. “Your guidance has been appreciated, and I will be calling you,” Mock teased.
During the ceremony, Mock encouraged the officers in his department to not take what they do for granted, telling them they have a responsibility to better schools and students across the district.
HISD’s police department responds to more than 81,380 calls per year, and covers more than 300 square miles in the Houston area. HISD boasts the only accredited public school district police department in the nation.
“It’s about keeping our schools safe, so our kids can learn” said Mock, whose children attend school in HISD. “We interact with tomorrow’s leaders every day. To have this opportunity to change their life is phenomenal.”