The City of Hempstead Police Department


The City of Hempstead, Texas was established in 1856. The policing of Hempstead was conducted by a Town Marshall and his deputies until 1981 when the City Council of Hempstead repealed the ordinance creating the Office of Town Marshall and enacted Ordinance 81-015 creating the Municipal Police Department for the City of Hempstead.

On November 23, 1981, Mayor J.M. Josey appointed Royce Abbott as Chief of Police for the City of Hempstead. Royce Abbott was sworn in as the 1st Chief of Police on December 1, 1981. Beryl Phillips was sworn in on the same day by Chief Abbott as the 1st patrolman.

During the entire history of the City of Hempstead, only one law enforcement officer has lost his/her life in the line of duty. Deputy Town Marshall John Howell Adams was shot in the head while attempting to arrest ex-convict, Peter Moore, on November 6, 1880 at around 9:30 p.m. Adams was 42 at the time of his death. Adams was survived by his wife and two children. Adams was buried in the Hempstead Cemetery on November 8, 1880.

The name of John Howell Adams was added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C. at the 17th Annual Candlelight Vigil in May of 2005 at the request of past Harris County Sheriff Tommy Thomas and past Hempstead Chief of Police Royce Glenn Smith.