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Community Conversation with Local Police Chiefs

The May 5, 2021 event has passed.

University of Houston-Clear Lake at Pearland
1200 Pearland Parkway, Pearland, TX 77581
Health Science Classroom Building

Fewer than 10% of Texas municipal police departments are led by people of color. Please join us for a celebration of accomplishment and learn about the biographies of Galveston Police Chief Vernon Hale, Hitchcock Police Chief Wilmon Smith and Seabrook Police Chief Sean Wright. The conversation will be led by UHCL Professor of Criminology Dr. Everette Penn. Download the Event Flyer.


Galveston Chief of Police

Vernon Hale

Vernon Hale

Vernon Hale began serving as Galveston's police chief in February 2018. Chief Hale is only the 3rd Chief in history to be selected from outside the agency.  Prior to joining the Galveston Police Department, Hale served as a Deputy Chief with the Dallas Police Department. Chief Hale received both a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Science degree with an emphasis in Criminal Justice, Emergency Management, and Dispute Resolution and a Master of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of North Texas. Chief Hale is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and the Police Executive Research Forum Senior Management Institute.

Hitchcock Chief of Police

Wilmon Smith

Wilmon "Smitty" Smith

Wilmon Smith was appointed Chief of the Hitchcock Police Department in January 2019. Prior to becoming Chief, he served as an Investigator with the Harris County District Attorney's Office, having retired in 2016 from the Department of Public Safety as a Lieutenant in the Criminal Investigations Division of the Texas Anti-Gang Task Force.  Smith holds a Master Peace Officer Certificate, and he is a certified hypnotist, defensive tactics instructor, and licensed private investigator. He is also a proud United States Army Veteran.

Seabrook Chief of Police

Sean Wright

Sean Wright

Sean Wright was appointed Chief of Police in May 2014. He has been with the Seabrook police department for 28 years and has served as a patrol officer, a field training officer, and a community policing officer, where he established a neighborhood watch program and a Citizen's Police Academy for the Seabrook Police Department. He has also served as a patrol sergeant, a Detective Sergeant in the Criminal Investigations Division, and he promoted to lieutenant in 2004. He was then promoted to Captain in 2011 and became chief three years later. Chief Wright has a Master Peace Officer Certificate from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement. He holds a B.S. Degree in Criminal Justice from Sam Houston State University and a Juris Doctor degree from Thurgood Marshall School of Law. Chief Wright is also a licensed attorney in the State of Texas.

Discussion Leader

Everette B. Penn

Everette B. Penn, Ph.D.

Dr. Everette Penn is a Professor of Criminology at UHCL. He earned his doctorate degree in criminology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Penn works with nine programs in Behavioral and Cultural Sciences, and he is the Principal Investigator for the Teen and Police Service Academy, Department of Justice/COPS Office funded program (TAPS). Dr. Penn has authored dozens of publications on juvenile justice, race and crime, and homeland security. In 2005, he was named a Fulbright Professor of American Studies in Egypt. He is on the Board of Directors for the Fulbright Alumni Association and Chairs the Diversity Task Force. He continues to teach Race and Crime and the Criminology Seminar and Internship at the graduate level.


  • Pearland Campus

    Phone: 281-212-1700

    1200 Pearland Parkway
    Pearland, TX 77581