The Houston Independent School District Police Department hosted a ceremony Wednesday to recognize the promotions of one new captain, four new sergeants and to swear in four new officers.
The celebration, which was held at the High School for Law and Justice for the officers and their families, honored the new captain, sergeants, and new officers, all who were sworn in at the event. HISD Police Chief Paul Cordova offered some words of wisdom at the start of the pinning ceremony.
“Before stepping foot on the campus, some of our students deal with challenges and issues that we can’t even imagine,” Cordova said. “You may be the first face they see and let it be with a warm smile and a bit of compassion because it may make all the difference in the world.”
HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan expressed her appreciation to the department and the new officers for their work in keeping HISD schools safe.
“Today’s ceremony is a reminder of the hard work and tenacity of the people working tirelessly for our students behind the scenes,” Lathan told the group. “Because of the dedicated work of the HISD Police Department, our district can provide, and will provide, safety and security for our students.”
Cordova administered the oath of office to the group of nine who then had their badges pinned on their uniforms by a family member or friend.
HISD’s newly promoted captain is Quinten Flannel. Newly promoted sergeants include Jason Austin, Jorge Ascencio, James Cavitt, and Randy Jefferson.
New HISD police officers include Stafford Duff, Gregory Gantt, Steve Silva, and Jesus Villareal.
HISD Board of Education Trustees Daniela Hernandez and Judith Cruz also expressed support and appreciation for the officers.
“I know that you work hard every day to keep our students safe,” Hernandez said. “You are the last line of defense against threats at our school, and we on the Board of Education are so grateful that you are there for this.”
With over 200 officers currently on the force, the HISD Police Department responds to more than 80,000 calls per year, covers more than 300 square miles in the Houston area, and is the only accredited public-school district police department in the nation, a designation awarded by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.