I dreamed of being a police officer and chasing bad guys since I was a little boy. My dream came true when I was 19 years old and was accepted into the Houston Police Academy.I hit the streets not too long after I turned 20 and requested an assignment in Houston’s toughest, crime infested area…the “bloody 5th Ward.”
During my tenure at the Houston Police Department, I worked various assignments from patrol, to undercover street level narcotics and vice, to Environmental Investigations. Ultimately, I was recruited into an elite division called Public Integrity, where it was my duty to investigate allegations of Public Corruption.
I participated in well over 300 high speed chases and was injured in the line of duty too many times to recall, including being flown to Hermann hospital by Lifeflight helicopter after a colision during a high speed chase, breaking my right hand during a fight with a suspect, having a lamp shattered over my head while trying to settle a domestic violence call (15+ stitches), being bitten on the face by the police K-9 while fighting with an auto theft suspect (20+ stitches), and being struck by lightning while chasing a crook during a thunderstorm.
I also earned over 40 commendations, including a Chief of Police Commendation, a Chief of Police Unit Citation, a Mayor’s Meritorious Service Award, and the prestigious 100 Club Officer of the Year award in 1991. I was nominated for 100 Club Officer of the Year again in 1996, and was also nominated for the 100 Club Lifetime Achievement Award.
After exposing a corrupt police administration, while working as an Investigator in the Public Integrity unit, and fighting that fight for too long, I made the toughest decision of my life and walked away from my dream.
Even though exposing the corruption meant sacrificing my own career, it was the right thing to do and I would do it all over again.
I left the Houston Police Department in 1999 and now own and operate Mark W. Stephens & Associates, LLC a private investigations and security services company, where I still enjoy chasing down the bad guys.
Currently working on a book about my life and career at HPD