METRO Promotes First Female to Top Police Post

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Release Date:      
November 04, 2014

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The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO) is the region’s largest public transit provider, offering safe, reliable and affordable transportation services about 370,000 times per day. Besides operating more than 1,200 buses, METRO is currently expanding its 13-mile Red Line with two new lines under construction. METRO’s services also include: Star Vanpool, METROLift, HOV lanes, HOT lanes, Bikes-on-Buses/Trains program, Park & Ride, and road improvement projects. Learn more about METRO services at where you will also find information about our T.R.I.P. app and the new digital, interactive rider tool METRO 360 [take a seat].


METRO Promotes First Female to Top Police Post

Vera Bumpers, pictured below, is METRO's first female promoted to all levels of command at MPD. She is also the first African-American to serve as Chief of Police.

Vera Bumpers joined METRO before the agency had a police force. "I started in 1981 and at that time, it was a security department," said Bumpers. "There were no more than 30 of us; like a little family. It was overwhelming for me coming to a big city; I came right out of college."

The San Antonio native earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Texas State University - the same institution where former MPD Chief and now President & CEO Tom Lambert attended. The two were university colleagues at the time, but didn't cross paths until the two joined METRO. 

Bumpers received her graduate degree from Prairie View A&M University and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy

Over her 30-plus year career at METRO, trail blazer Bumpers has held posts at every level of command - and was the first female to do so - officer, sergeant, lieutenant, captain and assistant police chief.

"I went into law enforcement to help and protect, be involved in the community, bring change and uphold the law," said Bumpers. "I've been able to do that for our transit customers, our employees and the public. I look forward to my new role and I hope to be as instrumental in the development of future leaders at MPD as the agency has in my career."

As police chief, Bumpers plans to turn her focus on:

  • Communication
  • Cooperation
  • Commitment

Bumpers replaces Tim Kelly as chief. Kelly now has a new role at METRO.

"Bumpers has been a dedicated employee, and will ensure we stay focused on providing a safe and secure system" said Tim Kelly, METRO's executive vice president of Operations, Public Safety & Customer Service.