Matt May: New leader at HPD in Kingwood
- Written by Bruce Olson
Tribune’s Community Leader Series Cutline: Capt. Matt May is the new HPD- Kingwood Division captain. Photo by Bruce Olsen Capt. Matthew May, the new man in charge of the Houston Police Department- Kingwood Division, has been a police officer for 18 years, beginning his career in law enforcement patrolling HPD’s Central and Westside beats. Over the years, May has expanded his skills in many areas. As a sergeant, he worked the South Central patrol, Homicide Division and Chief’s Command. He was assigned to special operations for four years before he was promoted and assigned to Kingwood. May described his Kingwood Division’s responsibilities. “It obviously covers what everyone considers to be Kingwood. However, we also go down into Summerwood and we surround all of Lake Houston including the Huffman side of the lake. There are also areas that we cover just south of the Lake Houston Parkway Bridge,” he said. “Humble is incorporated, with its own police and Atascocita relies on the Harris County Constables and Sheriffs,” May explained and pointed out that all the organizations work well together. Besides law enforcement, May explained HPD is involved in other activities and community projects. “We have a Crisis Intervention Response Team (CIRT) to deal with people experiencing any number of mental health issues,” he said and used as an example a person wandering the streets in need of help. “CIRT’s job is to evaluate and guide that person into support services for mental health and treatment,” he said. Regarding community activities, May said, “We are heavily involved in the annual National Night Out outreach program and are the city’s representative and coordinator for its Positive Interaction Program (PIP).” He noted Kingwood’s PIP group of residents meets monthly where HPD provides presentations about the police department and interacts with residents. He noted the group is open to the public. Information is available by calling the division station on Rustic Woods. May is focusing the division on projects to improve the traffic situation in Kingwood, initially on Kingwood Drive around the Kingwood High School during peak traffic times. “We are going to present proposed actions to the school. When everyone is on board we will do a massive campaign to get the public to buy into it and we will implement it,” May said, and added that HPD will work on other congested areas. He noted the efforts will not eliminate the problems but should reduce them. May was born and raised in Bellaire. He graduated from Bellaire High School and earned his degree in Agriculture from Texas A&M where he was active in the Corps of Cadets. As a senior he was proud to wear his senior boots. Following graduation May worked in forestry-related jobs until joining HPD. He earned his doctor of Jurisprudence degree from South Texas College of Law in 2004. His favorite recreational activity is working out. He works on a challenging Cross Fit exercise regimen and enjoys running in what he calls “mud runs and tough obstacle course runs.” He enjoys fishing and hunting, especially white wing dove season in South Texas. May is not married and currently lives in the Oak Forest area of North Houston. “I love Mexican food and Tony’s down in the Heights,” he said. While he was growing up May did not always want to be police officer. His interest was in agricultural forestry and that was what he chose as his major in at Texas A.&M. However, he said, “When I was 18 years old a friend in the police department arranged for me to do a ride along. After that I was hooked. I knew I wanted to do this.” When he graduated from Texas A & M there were no HPD jobs immediately available. He worked in agricultural forestry until he was able to join the department. He explained what he enjoys most about his career. “There are those times when you can really help a person or a family. Those are like gems for me. Those are what make it so satisfying,” May said. He credits his grandfather, a resident of Humble while he was growing up, as being a great inspiration and influence. “He had the best sense of humor, was a straight shooter and saw through people,” he said. As May begins his HPD leadership role, he may be considered new to Kingwood’s residents but he brings a wealth of leadership experience to the community. Welcome to Kingwood, Capt. May.