Los Fresnos News


Police Chief Steve Mayer

Police Chief Steve Mayer

The Harlingen City Commission ratified the appointment of Assistant Police Chief Steve Mayer as interim police chief today based upon the recommendation of City Manager Carlos Yerena.

Mayer has served Harlingen as a police officer since 1989. He earned a promotion to sergeant in 2005 and received the appointment to assistant chief of police in 2010.

“I made my recommendation to the City Commission to hire Mr. Mayer as interim police chief because I feel he will provide a continuity of successful leadership based on his record with the effective administration of former police chief Tom Whitten,” Yerena said.

Mayor Chris Boswell said that he’s confident the police department and Mayer will provide an ongoing high level of safety and protection for citizens as the city undergoes the transition process to find and hire a new police chief.

“It speaks very well for the quality and caliber of our police department that the City Commission could look for an interim police chief within the department ranks without looking beyond the city for candidates,” the Boswell added.

Mayer is certified as a master peace officer by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Education. During his time away from the department, Mayer is pursuing a degree in Police Administration and Management and he has completed 114 college hours toward that goal. He has worked for HPD in capacities as a patrol officer, detective, motorcycle traffic officer, narcotics K-9 handler and community policing officer.

Whitten resigned Dec. 6 to accept a law enforcement position in El Paso, where he will live close to his 13-year-old son.

“I have enjoyed my time immensely working for, and with, this beautiful community,” Whitten wrote in his letter of resignation. “… it is with a heavy heart that I leave this organization and community that I have come to appreciate so deeply.”

According to FBI statistics, Harlingen experienced a 20 percent reduction in its crime rate during 2012.

After his arrival in 2011 Whitten guided the department through a structural realignment, promoted high visibility for law enforcement activities in the city and worked well with the police association on collective bargaining issues, Yerena said. The Harlingen Police Department also recently earned honors from the Texas Police Chiefs Association Foundation through its Law Enforcement Agency Best Practices Recognition Program for meeting 100 professional standards.