Herman Short

Duration: 44mins 55secs
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Interview with: Herman Short
Interviewed by:
Archive Number: OH 163

I: I wonder if we could begin the interview by getting a bit of background about your introduction into law enforcement. What first led you into law enforcement?

HS: Oh, I suppose that I had always had an interest in law enforcement. After the war I had an opportunity to become an employee of the Houston Police Department, which I did. I began as a patrolman in 1945, and at that time the Houston Police Department was not regulated by state civil service. That meant, of course, that tenure in the police department and positions in the police department were not secured by anything except, mostly, the whim of politics and politicians. In 1946, myself along with many others in the police department began a movement to get the Houston Police Department under state civil service, which we were able to do. This provided stability in jobs. It provided promotional opportunities by competitive examination and many things that made the job more desirable.

I: How would you describe law enforcement in Houston at that time? We use the term professional now to describe progressive police departments.

HS: Well, certainly, I believe it was less professional then than it is now, because of the things I pointed out here. The positions were filled by politics and politicians without sometimes, I’m afraid, much regard to capability or the best man for the best job, so that prevented, I believe, professionalism to a great extent.

I: You were appointed police chief by Mayor Welch, can you tell us the circumstances surrounding your appointment?

HS: Well, the circumstances were that the job of police chief was open. I had worked up through the ranks by competitive examination to the point where I occupied a position of Inspector of Police. They call it Deputy Chief now, I believe. I had 18 months time left before I reached a 20-year service period, which would have entitled me to a retirement if I wanted it. As I said, the job of police chief was open, and Mayor Welch discussed it with me. As a matter of fact, we had a lengthy discussion about the position. I really wasn’t seeking it. He understood that, but we finally agreed that, possibly, this is what I should do.

I: What did he want of you as police chief? Did he make any demands on you when you discussed it?

HS: No, he never made any demands on me at all. What he wanted was an honest, aggressive, professional police department. We had a clear understanding of how law enforcement should be conducted in Houston. It simply amounted to my beliefs that nothing should be allowed—as they say a lot of times—or in violation of law that would compromise the professional status of the Houston Police Department or any individual in it, and that the law was the same law for everyone regardless of what position in life they held, and the law would be enforced under my command on that premise. He heartily agreed with that approach to law enforcement.

With that as a beginning, of course, we also had an understanding that—I joke with him about it—that he could not even become a cadet in the Houston Police Department at that time, because he wasn’t tall enough, so since that was the case he wasn’t a police officer and he certainly wasn’t the chief of police. I assured him that I was not a politician and didn’t intend to be, and if he would operate the political aspect of the city I would operate the law enforcement aspect of it, and I would keep him informed, but that I would make the decisions in the police department and until the last minute we worked together we had that kind of agreement and arrangement and never had any problems.

I: (5:35) He never made demands on your or—

HS: He made no demands ever. As a matter of fact, one time I recall I was at a press conference in his office, and the reporters were asking him why we weren’t able to recruit people for the police academy more rapidly, and his answer was, “I don’t know, the only three I ever recommended the chief turned down,” well of course he was telling the truth, because the three he recommended were not qualified under our standards. So, that was exactly the way we operated.

I: Now, according to the newspaper articles at the time your predecessor had been fired by Mayor Welch is that—

HS: Well, I don’t know about being fired. It seemed they didn’t agree on—I don’t know what at—it was something that didn’t relate to me only that I was a police officer at the time, and whether or not he was fired I really don’t know.

I: What was the condition of the police department at that time?

HS: Well, it was under-manned and under-equipped, and that’s a pretty routine condition, as you put it, I think of all law enforcement agencies. There was an effort going on at the time to recruit more qualified people, and I want to emphasize the word qualified, because we were looking for quality not quantity. We really wanted quantity, but they would have to be qualified, and so, the department was under-manned and we were from that time forward trying to build up and did build up the police department manpower-wise, equipment-wise, and all other ways, but that was the general condition of the police department.

I: What about morale at that time?

HS: Oh, that’s something that is a little hard for one to put their finger on. In an organization the size of the Houston Police Department you always have some disgruntled individuals. I suppose it’s the same with every organization, so there is nothing unusual about that. I suppose the morale—the answer you would get to that would just be dependant on who you were talking with.

I: What were the problems that you saw in assuming your position that had to be dealt with first? Were there any outstanding ones that—

HS: Well, I don’t think they were outstanding problems. Of course, a law enforcement agency never stands still. It either goes forward or backward. Problems are constant, and when I say problems I mean from the standpoint of trying to increase the size of the department with a view toward rendering a better service, trying to keep the department equipped, trying to keep it within a budget where the taxpayers are getting fair return for the dollars that are being spent, and it’s a real problem overall just to keep the thing up and operating as it should be. Of course, it’s complicated by the type of business that it’s in, trying to see that the law is enforced fairly and impartially, and trying to see that the city is protected and trying to do all the things that are demanded of a police department, some of which are not even police responsibility, by the citizens that it serves.

I: (9:20) Did you have any program in mind when you took office or objective that you wanted to achieve?

HS: Well, the things that I have covered here briefly, so far as building the department up, of course, is the primary concern, I think, of any police administrator, because without this capability most other programs that he would have in mind would not be workable at all.

I: What about administrative changes?

HS: There were no major administrative changes. At the time I took over, the staff had a meeting, which we did once a week, and there was 207 years of police experience represented there. Many people when they take over—the first question is who all is going to be changed around in the jobs, and are there going to be sweeping changes, and I never did believe in these crash programs and major changes just for the sake of change. The evaluation of an individual’s capability and the effort to place him in a position where his capabilities could be the best used was my main concern. So, there were no major changes. The changes of course were constant all the time that I was there. They must be in that kind of operation, but I didn’t see the need for any major changes at that time, and we didn’t have any.

I: (11:13) You took office during a time of national turmoil in particularly with the black community, and it appears during that time that—well, there were some problems in relationship between the police department and the blacks here in Houston.

HS: Well, I think that was simply the result of the police department standing between law-abiding society and some that were not quite so law-abiding, and since they occupied that position, of course, they were the targets of these people’s wrath, so to speak, and there is nothing unusual about that. I don’t think it was simply because they were police officers or that it was a police department, but it was just the thing that stood between society and what they wanted to do.

I: Some of the local organizations such as the Harris County Council of Organizations continually protested that the police here were showing racial discrimination, did you ever have an opportunity to discuss this with your ranking officers?

HS: They continually protested that, but of course, they rarely ever came up with an incident where this was the case. They protested a number of things. They had a lot of demands. This was a national movement, as you recall, and there was no end to the demands—unrealistic the majority of them. So, the protests were pretty constant. They protested, if you recall, everything. The way the colleges were run, who occupied the positions of authority, and colleges and grade schools, and everything was being protested just for the sake to protest it would seem.

I: Did this have an affect on your officers? Was there a noticeable affect, a drop in morale or—

HS: No, I don’t think it had any noticeable affect on the officers. I didn’t detect that at all.

I: What about the area of complaints that were often made concerning either physical abuse or verbal abuse? Where there any sort of regulated method that you had for dealing with this type of thing?

HS: Oh, yes. We had a method, and we investigated every complaint—where a person really wanted to make a complaint—that we got. Of course, the type of business that a police department is in doesn’t leave all it’s customers satisfied customers. Many people resent law. They resent regulation. I think this is a trait of the American people. I have seen a time back before liquor-by-the-drink was legal where private clubs were set up, and people would go there and pay a dollar for a 5-cent Coca-Cola just to get a little whiskey in it and drink it after hours. Just because, it would seem, that the law didn’t permit it. So, people don’t like to be regulated. They don’t like vice laws. They think they should be able to gamble if they want to, and of course, they overlook the aspect of this kind of thing where anytime that anything like that is permitted if it’s going to be a success and make any money organized crime usually comes in and takes it over, but people don’t view it from that standpoint. I understood that.

I: (15:05) Did the unpopularity of the police have an effect on Mayor Welch or did he try to influence you during this period.

HS: He never tried to influence me.

I: There was a great deal of pressure put on him I know.

HS: Well, a great deal of pressure is always put on a mayor, I suppose. It’s always put on a chief of police. I’m not sure the unpopularity was as widespread as many people hoped it was. We had a lot of public support evidenced by the fact that every time we ever went to the public with a bond issue for the police department it passed. I don’t think one ever failed during the time that I was in office. So, our popularity and the support of at least the law-abiding society seemed to be pretty heavy to me.

I: There were two cases during this period, which I suppose put the national spotlight on Houston—that of course was the Dowling street incident and TSU. Now after the TSU incident there were claims that the police deliberately went into the campus and smashed personal belongings following the shootings, and mistreated students and so on. This is the first opportunity we’ve had to discuss this with you, at the time you were the police chief, so I was wondering if you might be able to throw some light on this?

HS: Oh, yes. I threw quite a bit of light on it at the time. As a matter of fact, we ended up before the McClellan committee investigating these things and charges and allegations. The truth of the matter is that of course I was there that night, as everyone knows, and as we marched down the street toward the dormitories the reporters were around, and we could hear property being destroyed and smashed down there. I remarked to several reporters that were close enough to talk with about what was going on, and my prediction at that time was that within 2 weeks or less they would be accusing the officers of doing all this damage to these premises and sure enough, that is exactly the way it happened.

As I pointed out before, I was there at the time. I saw no officers smashing anything. I can’t say they didn’t, because I couldn’t see all of them at the time, but I found no indication that any such thing as that was going on.

I: (17:39) Do you think you received fair reporting?

HS: I think I received fair reporting, yes. The reporters were there at the time. They heard all this destruction of property before we ever got to the dormitory. They heard it the same as I did, and all the officers out there.

I: What about—How do you feel about the response of your officers to the shooting itself? There have been complaints that they overreacted and one of the officers was shot by his own men?

HS: There was never any indication that any officers were shot by their own men out there. There was one officer killed, and prior to that there was two or three that had been shot before any other police officers got there. So, there was no indication they were shot by their own men, and I don’t think they overreacted either. I’ll remind you that they were out there for a number of hours while this turmoil was going on at the dormitory there before we ever moved in on it. We moved in on it after a huge pile of debris that had been piled up in the street out there had been set on fire. That’s the time we moved in on it. Prior to that, I had already moved the officers back from positions that they occupied, because we got word from the dormitory that if we moved back they wanted to settle down and behave themselves. So, I gave the order to move back, which we did. The officers acted with a lot of restraint out there.

I: Following that shoot out, did you initiate any program—not a program—but any means of communication with the university authorities to avoid these kinds of situations again?

HS: We had programs all the time. We had contact with the university authorities, not only there, but in all the other universities. Of course, it was a case, I believe, where the university authorities, apparently, had no control over these types of situations. Not only in Houston, but nationwide. As a matter of fact, a lot of these problems were directed at the university authorities. So, if they weren’t complaining about the police, they were complaining about the food in the cafeteria and who the dean was and what their conduct was and on and on. There was no end to it.

I: (20:13) Did the university authorities request the presence of the police officers there at the time or was it a matter of the officers being there simply when the firing began? I was never quite sure whether the university had requested—

HS: No, I don’t think the university requested—I don’t believe—I’m not sure there were any university authorities there. I don’t know exactly where they all were or even who they may have been. The problem began in the street, and the first two or three officers that were shot were shot at in the street.

I: Well, that takes us over to the Dowling Street incident or shootout. Now, there have been critics that have said that police could have handled it in a different manner, and that the blood shed could have been avoided, do you feel that there was any alternative to the course that they took?

HS: Well, of course, everyone in Houston had two weeks to see what was going on out on Dowling, and the reason that they had that much time is because the people who were the victims of these criminals out there were afraid to act as witnesses, so since we had no witnesses we couldn’t go to court with any cases. So, we allowed this to continue to the extent that people were walking up and down up there with firearms threatening everyone in the neighborhood. They even went to the city council and threatened any police officer that came into the area. Everyone recalls that. Of course, these Monday morning quarterbacks can all tell you how it should be done or should have been done, but during that two weeks I didn’t have one single individual come forth and offer a solution to this thing out here. Rather the thing I heard from them was, “Be sure to protect us. Don’t let anything happen to us,” so I wasn’t surprised that the critics—as you put it—come along later and say that it should have been handled differently, but the truth of the matter is that we gave those people out there every opportunity to cease and desist from what they were doing, and what they were doing was just, actually, an effort to occupy that part of the city. The people who were in that area—business people and so forth—were the victims of a lot of their conduct out there. When the time came that we could make a case without having to use any of those people as witnesses we moved in on it.
I: (22:49) When you say people came into your office or contacted you requesting protection, are you speaking of the people in that area?

HS: In that area, yes, and outside the area, because in a matter of 2 weeks with the news media covering this situation out there it became a matter of general knowledge all over Houston, and I was pleased that it did. Even then, as you pointed out, there was some critics after we took the action that we had to take to alleviate this situation.

I: Did you receive any political pressure on you about this situation?

HS: No, I never yielded to any political pressure. It was the same as I had pointed out to the mayor when I agreed to take the job. I wasn’t a politician and politics wasn’t going to run the police department either.

I: Where there any groups that came to see you to try to—

HS: Oh, groups came to see me all the time, pro and con. There were people who came to see me that offered to load their guns and stock their shells and protect their neighborhoods, and of course the police department, as I pointed out a while ago, stands in the middle. They can’t be to the right or to the left. Well, naturally I could not permit any such thing as that, and I didn’t.

I: There were one or two community relations programs that were attempted or were actually carried out during this time in the 60s. What is your evaluation of them? Were they useful or did they serve any purpose?

HS: Well, we had a community relations section, which was set up by me, and when I said community I wasn’t talking about just the black community or the Mexican-American community or any other. I was talking about the entire city. We had many programs. We made many efforts for communication—a broad terminology—with our substation personnel. We made contact with groups in all areas with a view of getting their feelings, listening to their problems, telling them what our program was, offering our assistance, and explaining to them how we could be of assistance to them and so forth. These things were initiated by us. It’s difficult to tell how successful they were. We did feel at the time that there were some good to be had from these programs; however, in most all cases, the people lost interest in them, and finally they played out to nothing. In the meantime, of course, our community relations section had some types of programs constantly in the schools and with civic clubs and groups and churches. It was pretty wide spread. We were pretty pleased with our communications and our relations programs.
I: (25:49) Once you actually implemented the community relations program did you receive the interest from the community that you had hoped, for example from the black community, did they actually want to participate?

HS: Well, they did for just a little while, and then usually they just lost interest in it. So, naturally it was of no value to us.

I: What about recruitment of black officers? Do you feel you were successful in that endeavor?

HS: Well, we didn’t apply light meters to any of them. We recruited people on their capability. We didn’t question about whether they were black or brown or whatever, and with all the efforts that was put in by some groups to make it appear that we were discriminating in our recruitment program they never were successful in making any such thing a fact. We recruited people on the basis of their capability, and it didn’t matter to me if somebody just crawled right down off the president’s lap and came over there, if he wasn’t qualified he wasn’t going to work. By the same token, they could walk right in there off the farm with the qualifications, and we would be delighted to have them.

I: What about the black officers already in the department, there were some complaints that they were—they themselves complained—some of them did anyway—that they did not receive promotions or considerations?

HS: Oh, yeah. Sure. Well, we heard all that, but the truth of the matter is there wasn’t any fact in that at all. Officers in the police department under the state civil service that we worked under took competitive examinations, and there was no way of discriminating against one because he was black.

I: The state civil service has also an appeal structure doesn’t it?

HS: Oh, yes.

I: Did they ever make any use of that?

HS: Well, the appeal structure usually relates to disciplinary action. So, as far as promotions are concerned it’s an evident fact if someone is top on the list and if a position is filled and the person who is top on the list isn’t selected for the position the chief must write a letter of explanation under the civil service law as to why this person was passed for this particular position. There never was a time when a black officer or a Latin-American officer or any other officer was passed on a promotional list when he was up for promotion without this being complied with.

I: (28:46) Just retracting for a moment on the community relations aspects, if I recall correctly in 1970 you refused to participate in a model city’s program. Can you explain what your reasons were behind that?

HS: Well, certainly. Yes, it was true. This is another old federal boondoggle of throwing a bunch of money at a social problem. It wasn’t a success of course and had been proven to not be a success overall. In this structure there was a plan to turn a number of police officers over to these individuals out there, and the whole thing was no good, just to sum it up. It has been proven since then, for that matter.

I: To turn police officers over to the center?

HS: I assigned police officers out there to be directed by some individuals in the center, yes. Of course, we didn’t do that, and as I pointed out, some people may have questioned my judgment at that time, but since that time—and it’s been a number of years ago—that kind of federal boondoggle has been found to be a failure.

I: Of course, your views on the use of federal funds for police purposes is also well known. I was wondering if since you resigned—did you have time to reflect on that, and do you think it was still the right course to take?

HS: I really do. I have no reason at this good minute to change my mind about it. It was their gain, and that’s been proven. I noticed an article in one of the local newspapers about 2 weeks ago where they described several billions of dollars in this LEAA funds that had been simply wasted, and had no value. It’s the very thing that I was saying all those years back when people were thinking that you were going to get something for nothing. Anyone that believes that still believes in Santa Claus; it just doesn’t happen. You don’t get something for nothing, and I didn’t believe that the way to correct a social problem was to throw more money at it, and I still don’t.

I: Were you under pressure to accept the federal funds?

HS: No. I don’t know what you mean by pressure. A lot of people had a lot of opinions, but Mayor Welch never pressured me about anything, and accepting federal funds was no exception to that process. He didn’t believe in it either I don’t think. He would just have to speak for himself, but at the time he agreed with me, apparently, that it would serve no purpose.

I: (31:25) One of the areas that received quite a bit of attention, of course, has been the wiretapping controversy. I was wondering if you could outline the use of wiretapping by police officers during your tenure; what was the policy for that?

HS: Well, the policy was that it was a violation of law, and of course, since it was a violation of law we didn’t do it. We had surveillance means and methods and equipment of many kinds, but wiretapping could not have been part of our program because it was a violation of law. We had the means if a wiretap was really needed. We had the means with the federal agencies to accomplish this, but it just didn’t seem to be worth the trouble that we would have had to of gone through with in expense, manpower wise, and all to accomplish these things. It was more easily done otherwise.

I: The criminal intelligence division also received a great deal of attention; did it perform as you wished?

HS: It really did. It prevented the citizens of this city from hardships that most of them could never imagine.

I: Could you expand that a bit?

HS: Yes, I could, but I probably won’t. Just to run over it briefly, of course, the prior knowledge of what some criminal elements have in store for our city is invaluable in preventing something like that from happening. It doesn’t matter whether it’s organized crime or whether it’s organized insurrection or whether it’s—whatever it is—the prior knowledge of something like this is invaluable to a police department and the citizens that it serves. We thought we needed to know about organized crime elements moving in or out of the city and about other things that were against interest and violations of law that people had planned and were planning for this city. We thought it was of prime importance that we know these things, and that was criminal intelligence’s assignment, and they performed it exceptionally well.

I: Were there any significant cases of big time crime figures actually trying to move into Houston?

HS: There was no question about it.

I: (34:13) Can you go into a little more explanation on that?

HS: I don’t think it’s necessary.

I: One of the controversial matters relating to the criminal intelligence division was the records of noncriminal individuals. The question arises, of course, of how they got involved in this—

HS: Yes, we’ve heard so much about that, and it made big news around here for 2 or 3 months, and then suddenly after the records were turned over to an outside agency we’ve heard nothing more about it. Now, I wonder why? I wonder if anyone else wonders why, but the truth of the matter is that my name was in the criminal intelligence files, and the mayors name was in there, and prominent figures was in there. What apparently was never explained is that if these people in public life, for example, were coming to Houston, and the intelligence had developed information that there was some group or organization or individuals who were opposed to these people and were about to create some problems then this would all be duly recorded in the intelligence files. So, if it was a congressman or a senator or a king or a queen or a president or a vice president or whatever it is, his or her name would be in the intelligence files. Not in any derogatory manner, but just about the same thing, in most cases, that you would read in the daily newspapers. Over there they call it a morgue. When we assemble it they called it a secret file.

I: There was one former school board member who complained that her sex life had been under surveillance?

HS: Yeah, well I don’t know what would make her think that. I really don’t know what interest she would think—whoever she is or was—that the police department would have in her sex life. I heard that there was such a complaint, but with all the weeks and months of study of those files, apparently, nothing like that has been forth coming.

I: While preparing the research for the interview, there was one interesting point that came up, and that was that a file that had supposedly been compiled of Fred Hofheinz was not actually compiled by the police department at all, but by some outside person or group, and then turned over to the police department, at least that’s what the newspaper indicated.

HS: For once they reported it properly. This wasn’t a file. It was simply a bunch of photographs. Hofheinz was running for office at the time, and those photographs came to us through another investigation and the police department had absolutely nothing to do with assembling that kind of information nor any interest in it either. As a matter of fact, I think I would have fired an officer for any such conduct like that, because it was not a police matter at all, but never the less, the pictures ended up in possession of the police department. Hofheinz came to see me and we discussed this thing. He wanted to know what I was going to do with the pictures, and I assured him that the police department was a professional organization, and we didn’t deal in any such trash as that, and that he could go right ahead and run for office and never expect that I would permit this junk to be used against him, even though I opposed him bitterly and informed him that I wouldn’t work under him 15 minutes, but the police department was not in that kind of business.

I: (38:02) And he actually did see you about the matter?

HS: He actually came to see me about the matter. He actually did go and run for office, and didn’t get elected, but since has gotten elected, and then publicly denounced the police department for keeping a file on him, which they didn’t.

I: Why were the pictures turned over to the police department anyway, out of curiosity?

HS: Well, I believe I said the pictures came to us through another investigation.

I: While we’re on the matter of Fred Hofheinz, you just mentioned that you wouldn’t work under him for 15 minutes, what were your strong objections—

HS: Oh, we just didn’t agree on our philosophies, and he’s the mayor now, so I don’t think any purpose would be served by elaborating on what my disagreement with him was or is. I don’t get involved in politics. Incidentally, I think I pointed that out at the beginning of this interview, except to vote.

I: What has happened to—I know there were several lawsuits filed against you in some of these cases—are they still pending or—

HS: Oh, someone sued me about every week. People in the penitentiary, I would imagine, with a lawyer furnished by the government with our tax money are suing me about things I never heard, and I suppose that will be going on the rest of my life. No one has ever successfully prosecuted one of these things.

I: Is this a—well, when you are a public official the city provides attorneys to defend you, is that correct?

HS: (39:55) Yes, they do in those type of cases, yes.

I: What happens when an official leaves, is he responsible?

HS: The city attorney’s office is on these suits that I refer to—and they’re pretty constant, because every week or so I’m still being sued—the city attorney answers those suits, and they are so frivolous and without basis and fact that ordinarily they never come up any further.

I: I know I’ve used up most of my time for this interview, but I have a couple of more questions if we could just go ahead with those? What do you consider your most significant accomplishments during your tenure of office?

HS: Oh, it would be difficult, I think, to point out any one thing and say that this is outstanding over and above all else. Most things are usually dependent on other things such as support services and so forth. The police department did increase personnel significantly during that period of time. We put in a helicopter program. We bought about ten million dollars worth of communications equipment, which was sorely needed, and we built on to the police administration building. We build substations, and upgraded the department constantly, and I don’t know that any one thing would stand out over and above the rest.

I: Do you see any practices or policies now in the department that stem from your own tenure?

HS: Oh, yes. I see some that do, and I see some more that don’t.

I: Could you elaborate just a bit on that?

HS: Oh, I see changes in dress codes and conduct. For example, officers out making investigations without their caps on, which as far as I’m concerned puts them out of uniform. There have been some changes there that didn’t stem from my tenure, and some of the things that we put in effect like the communications and so forth really went into service after I left there, but with a result of what had been done while I was there. These things will be around for a long time, I’m sure.

I: (42:37) Well, the closing question—I think it might just be appropriate to ask you from your experiences in police work what concept of professionalism has evolved from—how do you view law enforcement work’s capabilities, future, and—

HS: Well, as far as its future is concerned, I think it’s here to stay. I think people had better keep it. I will remind you that it matters not how much wealth the man assembles or how much happiness he’s able to gather around himself in whatever way if it cannot be protected and if he is not secure in it, so that of course brings us up to his law enforcement agency—whatever agency it is. I think it is one of the most important arms of government on any level that there is.

I: When we use the word police professionalism, how do you view it? What does it mean?

HS: Well, it means constant upgrading of the caliber of people who are engaged in it. It means a capability of keeping up on a day-to-day basis with the changes in society, in philosophies, in the laws, and they’re subject to change regularly. So, that is professionalism. To accomplish the purpose of utilizing modern means—whatever they may be—and that includes the upgrading of the caliber of the individuals, as well as the equipment.

I: Are there any areas that I haven’t covered that you would like to talk about before we conclude the interview?

HS: I don’t know of any.

I: Well, on behalf of the Houston Metropolitan Research Center, I want to thank you for agreeing to participate in the program, and it’s been a pleasure.

(audio ends 44:52)