40th Anniversary

40th Anniversary

September 17th 1981, The Pasadena ISD Police Department came into being with the oaths taken by Chief of Police, Lee Oliver, and Investigator, Louis Enderby. Since then, the Pasadena Independent School District and the PISD Police Department have grown considerably. One of Texas' 30 largest school districts, Pasadena ISD Police patrol and serve over 85 square miles and 83 campus including additional district properties.  The primary focus of the Pasadena ISD Police Department is to insure the safety and security of our students and staff. This shows through with the Department’s motto “Protecting Our Future”.  A simple statement, however it is not a reference to personal protection or job security. It is about protecting the future of our students, community and country. Since its beginning, PISD Police Department’s duties have moved from general safety and security to have the capability of in depth criminal investigations and emergency response.  

During the last 40 years the scope of police work has changed radically. Although still responding to emergencies, four decades of technological advancements have made police work quite different than the crimes of 1981. These changes would lead the department to maintain the highest levels of training, recruiting, and expectations for our officers. Pasadena Independent School District Police Department has developed a reputation for being well equipped, well trained and upholding the highest professional standards.

Three different Chiefs of Police would helm the department through these 40 years of service. Chief Lee Oliver would lay the foundation of standards and core values he learned from his military service. Chief Oliver would also begin many of the traditions still upheld today by our department.

Chief C.L. Ellis, established the PISDPD as a fully functional, 24/7 department, and would oversee the development of our Emergency Response Team. Chief Ellis, a former City of Pasadena Deputy Chief of Police, would develop the policy and procedure manuals we follow, many of which are included in our present-day manual.

Our current Chief, Stewart Russell, started with the department 29 years ago as a patrol officer. Chief Russell was sworn in by Chief Oliver and later would be promoted to the rank of Sergeant by Chief Ellis. Chief Russell’s experience with the department has been instrumental in preserving the vision of his predecessors while navigating the changes of modern policing.

Chief Russell met the biggest obstacle any of our agency's previous leaders faced in their careers. That was to adapt a 20th Century Police agency to meet 21st Century community policing needs. Radical technological and procedural changes in the criminal justice system would require significant changes to the people we hired, how they were trained, and what content was important to include in their training. Chief Russell sought the personnel, equipment, and training to take our agency into the new millennia while maintaining a safe learning environment. Current officers have investigative experiences and abilities with hardware, software, and technology that did not exist or were not available at the agency’s inception. This is not just replacing typewriters with word processors. Department members have computer and cellphone forensic training, Advanced Analytical and Reid Interview training, comprehensive officer safety training, community relations and communication training, and serve as campus-level subject matter experts on safety and security.   

We celebrate our department’s 40th anniversary, continuing to build strong relationships with our Pasadena Independent School District family and our community. We look forward to future benchmarks and the challenges we will face. We will continue to build our department’s legacy by maintaining the standards of past Chiefs and follow the direction of our current chief, providing the best way to “Protect Our Future”.