Houston Police Officers lost a brother this week. Wilfred Navarro, Jr, 87, a resident of Houston, passed away from natural causes on August 2, 2016. Mr. Navarro was born in Houston, March 27, 1929, to Wilfred Sr. and Betty Navarro. A childhood resident of Houston's sixth ward, Wilfred grew up within sight of the Houston Police Department (HPD) Headquarters, located at 61 Riesner St. at the time, where he would go on to serve a lifetime career.
After service in the U.S. Navy, Wilfred began his career with HPD in 1950. Initially serving in the patrol division, Wilfred worked at what was then the new North Shepherd sub-station. His career included a stint at the original HPD community-policing center at Ripley House, where he served as "Officer Friendly," setting off his lifelong community activism before eventually returning to HPD headquarters.
In 1955 Mr. Navarro moved to the newly developed suburban area of Spring Branch. This was a major move for a young man who had grown up in downtown Houston. Wilfred moved "out west" in hopes this would lay a foundation upon which his family could succeed. Wilfred worked tirelessly to support his family in their new home. He worked many an extra job like so many other young officers. The Navarro’s thrived "out west" active in their church and community. Wilfred and family were even founding members of the newly established St. John Vianney Catholic Church in 1966. In addition to being an active parishioner Wilfred was a member of the Knights of Columbus.
In 1980, Mayor Jim McConn appointed Mr. Navarro Chief of the Houston Airport Police Department. He remained in charge of police services at Houston Intercontinental Airport, Hobby Airport and Ellington Field until his retirement in 2000. Chief Navarro dedicated 50 years of public service to the City of Houston. He was actively involved in a number of organizations related to his police career and was instrumental in negotiating the purchase of land on which the Houston Police Officers Union and the Houston Police Federal Credit Union buildings are situated.
Chief Navarro was an active member of the Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association (HAPCOA). He served on the National Board of Directors and was elected to serve as its National President serving from 1991 to 1992.
Chief Navarro attending the 2014 HAPCOA Aguila Awards luncheon, pictured with former HAPCOA National President Sheriff Ralph Lopez (2000-2001) and Department of Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas in San Antonio, TX.