Pharr names new police chief

The city of Pharr has a new police chief.

Pharr Police Chief Andrew Harvey Jr.

At a special meeting of the Pharr City Commission on Monday, Andrew Harvey Jr. was approved for the position.

“As the city alluded to a couple weeks ago, we’re moving in a new direction,” Interim City Manager Edward M. Wylie said before the commission voted unanimously.

Harvey was then introduced during the meeting. He took a moment to address the commission and those in attendance.

“Mayor, commission, Mr. Wylie, everybody here, thank you so much for the confidence that you have in me in leading this department into the future,” Harvey said.

Harvey enters the position less than two weeks after former Police Chief Jose A. Luengo was reassigned to lieutenant by Wylie.

Little is known surrounding the circumstances leading up to Luengo’s reassignment, however Luengo was suspended with pay in May.

Luengo was named interim chief of police in October 2017, and had served as the police chief since January 2019.

“I’m excited to be here,” Harvey said. “I hate, obviously, what happened on Saturday in our sister city of McAllen. Two heroes lost their lives, and it just shows how dangerous this world can be at times. Our hearts go out with them.”

Following the meeting, Harvey was sworn into office by Hidalgo County District Attorney Ricardo Rodriguez, and his wife, Leticia, pinned his new badge.

“We are excited to herald in a new era of police leadership with someone as qualified and experience as Chief Harvey,” Mayor Ambrosio Hernandez said in a news release following the meeting. “Our community should feel safe and secure with the new direction our police department is going, and we are happy that Chief Harvey has joined our team.”

A veteran of the United States Air Force Reserve and the Texas Army National Guard, Harvey has a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences from Midwestern State University, a Master of Science in Criminal Justice from the University of North Texas, and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Strategic Leadership from Destiny College International.

He is also certified as a Master Peace Officer and a Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Certified Instructor.

Harvey served more than 21 years at the Dallas Police Department, retiring in 2017. He has recently served as Chief of Police for the cities of Palestine and Ennis, Texas.