This article appeared first in the inaugural chapter newsletter for ATAP Texas.
During her 35-year law enforcement career, Vicki King served 27 years with the Houston Police Department, rising to the rank of Assistant Chief. As chief of detectives, tactical support commander, and director of forensic services, she oversaw some of HPD’s highest profile cases, including serial homicides, corruption, domestic violence, sexual assaults and gangland slayings.
After retiring from HPD, Vicki served as an emissary to the Saudi Royal family, adjunct professor for the University of Houston System, and chief of police for the City of La Marque.
In 2015, Vicki was recruited to head UT Police at Houston’s threat assessment and criminal investigations units. Vicki’s work on threat assessment and mitigation strategies has caught the attention of colleagues and leading experts in her field.
She has served as a featured speaker at several national and regional training conferences, including the Association of Threat Assessment Professionals (ATAP) National Conference, the National Behavioral Intervention Team Association (NaBITA), Violence Against Women Conference, the International association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA), American Academy of Dermatology, Campus Safety, the International Association for Healthcare Security and Safety (IAHSS) and ASIS.
Vicki earned a master’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Houston Downtown. She has been formally commended 46 times, with accolades that include the Meritorious Service Award, Chief of Police Commendation for bravery, Chief of Police Commendation for industriousness, Mayor’s Commendation, Unit Citations, Officer of the Year by the Texas Women in Law Enforcement, and HPD’s Lifetime Achievement Award. She has also written a number of nationally published articles on sexual harassment, the HPD Crime Lab, and Family Violence.
When not engaged in threat assessment work she enjoys travel with her spouse and playing Texas Hold’em with other serious poker players.
The most valuable part of being an ATAP member? For Vicki, the journey away from traditional policing approaches toward a research-based threat management model has been transformational. Rather than waiting for the harm to occur, Vicki and her multi-disciplinary team seek to intervene before a violent act occurs. As fact finders, focused on behaviors, the team develops customized safety plans and intervention strategies, designed to mitigate potential threats. Vicki credits the tools, techniques, and threat management principles learned through the ATAP with making meaningful violence prevention possible.