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Houston Mayor Promises New Chief

December 14, 2009  | 

Chief Harold Hurtt presents an award to Lieutenant Timothy Kubiak in 2007. Image via Houston Police Department.

Houston's mayor-elect Annise Parker, who had routinely criticized the police department's leadership on the campaign trail, has promised to shake up the leadership, the Houston Chronicle reports.

Parker will likely replace Chief Harold Hurtt. The new mayor has said she would like to modernize the department with new technology and a decentralized policing style used in New York and Los Angeles for the nation's fourth largest city.

The department's budget has increased 40 percent in the past six years without the hiring of new officers, according to the report.

The department has also been beset by two high-profile scandals within its crime lab. Earlier this month, an audit revealed fingerprint evidence was mishandled in half of 548 randomly selected cases.

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