ELIZABETH WATSON: Reforming Our Image Of a Chief

ELIZABETH WATSON did not start out as a feminist pioneer, but Houston's new top cop is stubbornly working for change

At 8 in the morning, the Houston police chief is doing what she does best: preaching the gospel of change. "It's time to stop treating police officers as automatons," Elizabeth Watson declares to 40 impassive police sergeants, the middle managers of her department, all but a handful of them men. "None of us want to go back to the control-oriented, negative-discipline sort of time." There are a few nods as Watson, a forceful speaker, reminds them of the days when the informal police motto was "Nobody ever got fired for doing nothing." All grist for her message: Watson is committed to...

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