HISD names Houston law enforcement veteran as new police chief

The Houston Independent School District has named Pedro Lopez Jr., a Houston Police Department assistant chief with 32 years of experience, as the new chief of the HISD Police Department.

Lopez has spent 29 of his 32 years in law enforcement with HPD, moving up the ranks from patrol officer to his current position as the assistant chief for Patrol Region 1. He has also served with the Harris County Sheriff’s Department and Texas Department of Corrections.

“We are fortunate to have a law enforcement veteran with the experience, training and expertise of Chief Lopez join our district and lead our police department of more than 200 officers,” HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “We know he will do a great job protecting our students, staff and campuses as we work to educate, train and support our global scholars.”

Lopez completed law enforcement training at the FBI National Academy. In 2017, he led the police response to Hurricane Harvey and the city’s first-ever disaster relief mission to Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

“Joining HISD is a great opportunity,” Lopez said. “I look forward to working alongside the diligent, devoted professional men and women of the HISD Police Department. I plan to cultivate relationships with staff members districtwide and reach out to our students to build bridges of mutual trust and respect.”

Lopez thanked colleagues at HPD for decades of support and friendship.

“HISD couldn’t ask for a better person for the job,” HPD Chief Art Acevedo said. “Chief Lopez is dedicated, hardworking and extremely qualified. He will do a stellar job in his new role at HISD.”

Lopez also thanked outgoing HISD Police Department Chief Paul Cordova for his leadership of the department. Cordova is leaving HISD to become the new chief of police for Aldine Independent School District.

Lopez assumes his new role with HISD on May 25.