Tuesday, June 28, 2022 by Samuel Stark
The Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s board of directors has approved Eric Robins, the former police chief of Sugar Land, Texas, to become the new chief transit police officer for Capital Metro.
Robins will serve as chief administrator beginning Aug. 1, until the fledgling Transit Police Department is certified by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement. At that point, Robins will become the department’s first chief of police, Capital Metro chief security officer Gardner Tabon said at Monday’s board meeting.
Born in Houston, Texas, Robins has worked in law enforcement for over 30 years. He has served as police chief in Sugar Land, a city of just over 100,000 people outside of Houston, since 2018. He retired earlier this month.
Robins holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Houston-Downtown and a master’s degree in criminal justice from Sam Houston State University. He is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives and the Texas Police Chiefs Association.
“He far exceeded our expectations in terms of qualifications (and) background checks, which were numerous…. We are very happy to have Mr. Robins on board,” said Tabon.
Members of Capital Metro’s board of directors have expressed their excitement for Robins to take on this new role.
President Jeffrey Travillion noted Robins’ excellent reputation. “He has a long history in law enforcement and is passionate about working and building trust with members of the community,” he said in a statement.
“I had the opportunity to engage with him and ask him pointed and detailed questions,” said board member Eric Stratton. “I’m really looking forward to him joining the team with his vision for what (the police department) is and what the community wanted.”
The council approved the creation of the Transit Police Service in August 2021. The decision to create the service was met with opposition from some community members concerned about excessive policing.
Darrell Sorrells, a bus driver who is the vice president of the local transport union, said in the public comment section ahead of the board meeting: “Coming from the perspective of an operator with a career 20 years, I was a victim who was assaulted on the bus… I think it’s the perfect time to have a police force.
Now that Capital Metro has its chief of police, the next steps are to write policies and begin the search for senior officers. The hiring of junior police officers will begin in 2023.
Photo by WhisperToMe, own workPublic domain.
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