Former Houston Police Chief Harold Hurtt, who has been a vocal critic of a controversial program at Immigration and Customs Enforcement, has taken a high-profile job at the federal agency.
At ICE, Hurtt will act as the new director in charge of outreach with local and state law enforcement and non-governmental organizations.
Hurtt, 63, said Wednesday that he accepted the position as director of ICE's Office of State and Local Coordination, which is primarily tasked with outreach efforts, not oversight of ICE's partnerships with local law enforcement. He will officially start the job, which he said pays about $180,000 a year, on July 6.
Hurtt, who served as chief in Houston until he resigned in December, criticized one of ICE's key programs involving local law enforcement during his tenure here and in his former role as head of the Major Cities Chiefs Association.
He said in his new role, he plans to focus on providing accurate information on illegal immigration to law enforcement partners to "avoid emotional responses" to the issue. He also said he hopes to create a stakeholder group to help improve ICE's outreach efforts.
Hurtt and former Mayor Bill White faced harsh criticism during their tenures over the city's role in immigration enforcement. Much of the conflict during the past year focused on HPD's participation — or lack thereof - in ICE's 287(g) program, which trains local law enforcement to assist ICE with immigration screening.
Former HPD police chief takes job with ICE | Houston & Texas News | Chron.com - Houston Chronicle