C.O. "Brad" Bradford is an attorney, public safety consultant, former Houston chief of police and vice mayor pro tem for the city of Houston. In January 2012, members of the Houston City Council elected Bradford as Vice Mayor Pro Tem via unanimous vote. Bradford ran three successful citywide campaigns, the maximum (three terms) permitted under law. During his second and third campaign, he won in every council district, without a run-off and got the highest number of votes in all of the citywide contested races.
He became a resident of the city of Houston in 1979. Bradford has lived in Hiram Clarke, Alief, Fondren Southwest, and MacGregor areas, he understands the various characteristics of the Houston community and appreciates efforts to focus on neighborhood needs.
Bradford served 24 years as a Houston police officer and seven years as Chief of Police. He was appointed Houston's police chief by Mayor Bob Lanier and re-appointed by Mayor Lee P. Brown. While serving as Chief of Police, Bradford managed 7,000 personnel and $500 million annual budget. During his tenure, citizens' fear of crime and public safety concerns went from 59% in 1996 to only 10% by the time he left office in 2003, as documented by Dr. Stephen Klineberg, Rice University.
He holds degrees in law from the University of Houston Law Center, criminal justice from Grambling State University, and a public affairs degree from Texas Southern University. Also, he is a graduate of the FBI Academy and Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government Program for State and Local Executives.
Bradford has combined his education, legal training and police experience to work with neighborhoods and businesses, nationally and internationally, to help develop safety strategies.
He has initiated and led investigations, reviews, and assessments surrounding police, community and incidents of crime on numerous occasions. Chief Bradford was part of the leadership team that first developed and implemented community policing strategies in Houston, Texas. Today, more than 80% of the police agencies in America utilize some form of community policing; it is a proven concept in providing public safety services.
March 22, 2019, Bradford took the oath of office at the Harris County District Attorney’s Office as a Special Prosecutor and Law Enforcement Liaison. It is a sworn position with full prosecutorial authority.