Vincent Houston, a retired police captain for the Virginia Tech Police Department, has received the university’s 2018 Staff Career Achievement Award.

Houston retired from the university in 2017 after 28 years of service.

Created in 2011 to recognize retiring staff members, the Staff Career Achievement Award is presented annually to individuals who retired the previous year and who distinguished themselves through exemplary performance and service during their university career. Nominees must have worked a minimum of 10 years at Virginia Tech. Each recipient is awarded a $1,000 cash prize.

At the time of his retirement, Houston was in charge of the department's operations division and had direct oversight of all patrol shifts, the investigative unit, and the Threat Assessment Team. Houston was best known for his efforts in providing protection to Virginia Tech’s head football coach during all road trips since 1989. Houston also became an excellent role model and mentor to the hundreds of football players that have passed through Virginia Tech. He became an ambassador for the police department and the university while serving during away football games. During Houston’s time at Virginia Tech, he became widely respected with law enforcement across Southwest Virginia and beyond.

In addition to his work with the football team, Houston served diligently on countless university committees and activities. He handled numerous successful investigations and always placed a special emphasis on service to witnesses and victims of crime.

“Captain Houston has never failed to provide excellent customer service and has never failed to demonstrate outstanding performance in his duties as a ‘watchman,’ patrol officer, and his progression up the ranks of the department. He had a particular skill of being able to relate with everyone he dealt with, making them feel comfortable and at ease while dealing with law enforcement personnel,” wrote Sherwood Wilson, vice president for Operations, in a nomination letter.

Houston was honored alongside Frank Beamer in 2016 — Beamer was named the class ring namesake and Houston the class ring sponsor. This is the only time in history that this honor was bestowed upon a member of the police department.

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