Tuesday marked Inauguration Day for new Houston Mayor John Whitmire.

The ceremony, held at the Wortham Theater in downtown Houston, began at 9:30 a.m. Then, Whitmire’s first City Council meeting was scheduled for 11 a.m.

At 2 p.m., Whitmire is scheduled to meet and greet Houstonians in the first-floor rotunda at City Hall, which is something he told reporters he planned to do when we spoke to him the morning after he won the runoff election.

Inauguration Day comes after a busy first day for Whitmire, who was officially sworn in at 12:01 a.m. Monday, also New Year’s Day.

His first day in office started with a ride-along with Houston Police Chief Troy Finner to see first-hand some of the issues officers face after campaigning on improving public safety.

Whitmire also said he and Finner plan to meet with other local police chiefs Thursday to figure out how they can help each other keep the city safe.

Whitmire promised to run a tough and smart administration when it comes to crime and said he plans to collaborate better with other police departments.

“We’ve got some serious issues with public safety. We need additional officers. We need to collaborate. I’ll go ahead and announce tonight that the chief has already done an outstanding job of following one of my commitments to a collaborative effort. We are going to meet Thursday morning at 10:00 with area chiefs,” Whitmire said.

Whitmire went on to speak about his commitment to holding violent offenders accountable, saying he’ll push for new laws if that’s what it takes.

Whitmire has also promised to add more police to better collaborate with other municipalities. Houston Police Officers’ Union President Douglas Griffith believes him.

“There are a lot of things going on, a lot of moving parts,” Griffith told reporters. “It’s going to be tough for a new mayor to come in and get everything fixed in one day, but we know that over time, I believe he’s the right guy for the job.

Marty Lancton, the president of the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association, also believes Whitmire and thinks that for the first time in a long time, firefighters will get a contract with the city they’ve been lacking for years.

“Public safety is not just police. Public safety is firefighting, paramedic, rescue, all the things that entail dealing with 911,” Lancton said. “We are down 500 firefighters from where we were in 2010. We’re running nearly twice as many calls as we did in 2010. You cannot not take care of the greatest asset that we have in the Houston fire department, which is the men and women who respond to the citizens on their worst day.”

Sylvester Turner ended 2023 and his 8-year term as Houston’s mayor by being honored with a ceremony at The Community of Faith Church.

“When you serve well, and when you stand firmly on what you believe, you can pick your own time when you say goodbye,” Turner said.

Turner served as mayor for two four-year terms, the maximum allowed under term limits.

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