Vera Bumpers serves as President of NOBLE. On August 1, 2018, Chief Vera Bumpers was inducted as the 42nd President of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE). Chief Bumpers leads the Houston Metro Transit Authority Police Department (METRO Police Department), the largest and oldest transit law enforcement agency in Texas. Chief Bumpers was appointed in this role in November 2014, serving as the first woman Chief of Police at METRO, a novelty in law enforcement. As Chief, she is responsible for leading more than 200 special-purpose peace officers and nearly 100 civilian employees whose purpose is to safeguard METRO, its customers, and employees by providing police services throughout METRO's transportation system, as well as work collaboratively with law enforcement agencies in the METRO service area to protect the citizenry of Houston.
During her tenure at METRO, Chief Bumpers garnered many firsts, such as first African American woman in the METRO Police Department, which paved the way to her being the first female to attain ranking positions as Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain, and Assistant Chief. Within two short weeks of becoming METRO’s first woman Assistant Chief, Bumpers broke the brass ceiling being named Chief of Police for METRO. On her rise to the top, Bumpers was also instrumental in the promotions of others, advocating for other women and minorities in the department, ensuring that the barriers she broke in being promoted to higher ranking positions did not stop with her.
Chief Bumpers is a nationally recognized thought leader and sought out speaker on topics about women and minorities in law enforcement, as well as a concept she created called cooperative urban policing which includes strategies on addressing innate bias, peer accountability and law enforcement responsibility. She has received several recognitions for her achievements, including being named one of Houston’s 2018 Most Influential Women and one of the 2016 Top Black Professionals and Entrepreneurs in Houston by DMars Magazine. Additional recognitions include receiving the Houston Chapter of Women in Transportation Seminar 2015 Trailblazer Award.
Chief Bumpers has also been fully engaged both civically and in the community, following the school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas she was appointed to serve as a Commissioner on Mayor Sylvester Turner’s Commission Against Gun Violence for the City of Houston and AXON’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) Advisory Board, additionally she serves as the Chair of the Houston Community College Police Academy Advisory Board and on the Board of the Houston Sobering Center.
Chief Bumpers has a bachelor’s from Texas State University in Criminal Justice, along with a Master of Science in Education from Prairie View A&M, additionally she is a graduate of the 230th Session of the FBI Academy. Bumpers is also active in the International Police Chiefs Association, National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives, Women in Transportation Seminar, as well as member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and Links, Inc.
In her personal life, Chief Bumpers is the wife of Fort Bend County, Texas Precinct 2 Deputy Chief Rodney Pentecost, mother of two adult children and grandmother of one perfect granddaughter. She is a member of the New Light Christian Center Church in Houston, Texas.