The Kingwood Positive Interaction Program (PIP) meeting June 20 was devoted to introducing Kingwood’s newest police captain for the Kingwood station of the Houston Police Department (HPD).
Officer D.P. Von Quintus made the introduction and said, “I think this is the fourth time in 10 months that we are going to introduce a new captain. So this is Capt. Jacob Atkins.”
“Yes, I am the fourth captain in 10 months. One retired 10 months ago, one lasted a few months and got sent to Northeast and one lasted a couple of months and got sent to downtown. I have been here for two weeks and promoted for five days. I have 16 years in service. I started at Northeast Patrol for five years; went to an assistant chief’s office and learned how to do budgets, administrative and behind-the-scenes stuff; and did a little time in burglary and theft and was promoted to sergeant. I went to Westside and trained for a little while and went downtown to special ops for a while and got pulled into the jail [division] where I worked and got to know [Kingwood’s] Lt. Salazar in 2009. From there, I went to civilian employment and started learning how our civilian employees work because they are hired much differently than our classified officers,” Atkins said.
Through the people he met and worked with along the way, he ended up being assigned to Homeland Security for several years. There he was promoted to lieutenant. While at special operations downtown, he worked in the special response group for about one-and-a-half years.
“We did the NRA Convention in 2013 and the All-Star Game and we also worked about 200 protest demonstrations in those years involving things like Planned Parenthood protests and all the rest,” said Atkins.
Atkins then went to Houston Intercontinental Airport. During that time, he attended the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va. for 10 weeks.
“I got sent to Kingwood two weeks ago yesterday, so right now I am still trying to get my feet under me. I am planning to make these PIP meetings whenever I can,” Atkins said.
Atkins explained his thoughts about the rapid turnover in Kingwood and why he hoped it would be more stable. He described how the HPD has been undergoing major changes due to the pension reforms.
“We had three executive assistant chiefs and 10 assistant chiefs nine months ago. Since then all three executive chiefs are gone. As of now there are only two and they are different. Of the 10 assistant chiefs, it is down to eight and every single one of them is different than seven months ago. We have had a total changeover,” Atkins said.
He explained that 29 captains had been promoted in the last 11 months due to retirements and promotions and there are only 44 in the entire department. Almost 50 percent of the captains now have less than a year in rank. Because of other retirements throughout the ranks, HPD is a down by a couple of hundred officers.
“So there is a lot of adjusting going on,” said Atkins. He noted the deadline to retire under the old pension rules was the end of June 2017. “Hopefully that will stabilize the jobs,” he said.
When asked what enticed him to go into law enforcement, Atkins paused and looked toward the back of the room where an older man sat. “I am a second generation officer because of a previous, evening shift lieutenant here in Kingwood. Don Atkins is my Dad,” he said.
He explained that not only did he grow up in a law enforcement family, he was always interested in the security aspects of things. He earned a criminology degree at Sam Houston State University and did graduate work at the University of Houston. Retired Kingwood HPD Lt. “Duke” Atkins sat quietly in the back of the room with a big smile of pride on his face. Not many in the room had put two and two together until the end of the meeting. Kingwood has a new captain but the name on the badge is a familiar one in the Kingwood station.
The Kingwood PIP meets the third Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Kingwood Church of Christ, 2901 Woodland Hills Dr. It is open to the public and all are welcome.
Before you go …
… we’ve got a small favor to ask. More people are reading The Tribune than ever. Advertising revenues across the media spectrum are falling fast. And unlike many news organizations, we haven’t put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as open as we can. So you can see why we need to ask for your help. The Tribune's independent, investigative journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we believe our perspective matters – because it might well be your perspective, too. If everyone who reads our reporting, who likes it, helps to support it, our future would be much more secure. Support the only locally owned, locally produced news product in the Lake Houston area. And thank you!