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Houston Police Department (Images of America) by Tom Kennedy (Author), Lee Brown PhD (Foreword)
Houston Police Department (Images of America) by Tom Kennedy (Author), Lee Brown PhD (Foreword)

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The Houston Police Force was established by the naming of a city marshal in January 1841. Houston Police Department historian Denny Hair wrote, "As befitted a frontier community, the meeting of justice in Houston was swift and uncompromising. Trials were conducted in an informal manner with little attention paid to formal rules of evidence and legal procedure." Eventually, conditions changed and law enforcement became more sophisticated. The "Bayou City" population went from 44,633 in 1900 to almost 1 million by 1960. "Houston" was the first word spoken from the moon, thus it became "Space City" and, ultimately, the nation's fourth-largest city. Its police department weathered decades of mayoral appointment for every officer before state civil service reform in the 1940s. It also met the civil rights years better than most cities and saw dramatic change with the 1982 appointment of Lee Brown as the first African American police chief of a large American city.

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