Craig Ferrell, Jr., JD

College of Arts and Humanities
Philosophy, History, Law, and Society
  • Assistant Professor, Criminal Justice and Law
  • Program Coordinator, Criminal Justice (BA and Minor)


  • Doctor of Jurisprudence, Law, University of Houston Law Center
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, University of Houston

Courses Taught

  • GOVT 2313 American & Texas Government I: Constitutions, Institutions, and Political Process
  • GOVT 2350 Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • GOVT 3340 Legal Aspects of the Criminal Justice System (Criminal Procedure)
  • GOVT 3341 Ethics, Crime & Criminal Justice
  • GOVT 3342 Foundations of Criminal Justice (Criminal Law)
  • GOVT 4383 Internship in Political Science

Teaching Focus

After retiring from a career in law enforcement with the Houston Police Department Professor Ferrell followed his heart and God’s calling and has come to HCU to help them start a Criminal Justice Program. Craig began his career as a patrol officer in 1977. While attending law school at the University of Houston, Craig quickly moved up the departmental ranks, becoming a Detective in 1983 and obtaining the rank of Sergeant in 1986. After graduating from the University of Houston Law Center in 1987, Craig continued his work for the citizens of Houston and was soon promoted to the office of Deputy Director and served as General Counsel for the Houston Police Department for his last 20 years with the Department.

During this time period, Craig gained valuable experience, not only as a manager, but as a trial lawyer. He was the First Chair litigator with responsibility for an average caseload of over 100 cases in County, District, and Federal Courts. His cases involved civil rights, auto accidents, premises liability, employment law and other general tort litigation.

Craig’s expertise in planning, managing, and improving complex programs involving thousands of employees and multi-million dollar budgets was soon noticed across the country. In 2005 Craig became General Counsel for the Major Cities Chiefs Association (MCC). MCC is a professional association of Police Chiefs and Sheriffs, representing the largest cities in the United States and Canada. As MCC’s General Counsel, Craig served over 76.5 million people with a sworn workforce of over 177,000 officers.

Professor Ferrell’s notoriety and expertise have made him a sought after speaker and teacher. He has taught police officers and law enforcement executives, both in Houston and throughout the U.S. and Canada. He has been an invited guest lecturer for the U.S. Department of State’s International Law Enforcement Academy and has addressed numerous State Bar and Law Enforcement seminars.

Before coming to HCU to help launch the Criminal Justice Program Craig also served as an Adjunct Criminal Justice Professor for Sam Houston State University teaching both undergraduate and graduate classes as well as serving as an Adjunct Professor of Government and Criminal Justice for Houston Community College. Professor Ferrell is a versatile educator and senior law enforcement executive with years of notable leadership serving over 20 years on the Houston Police Departments Command Staff. He has a keen ability to stimulate classroom discussion and student interaction which lead former Mayor of the City of Houston Lee P. Brown to say: “I commend HCU for the decision to establish a criminal justice program and choosing you (Craig Ferrell) to develop it.”


A. Articles in Peer-Reviewed Journals

  • “Carpenter v. United States: Digital Privacy in the 21st Century,” Chief’s Counsel, The Police Chief 85 (September 2018)
  • “United States v. Texas: Immigration Enforcement—Local or Federal Issue?,” Chief’s Counsel, The Police Chief 83 (October 2016)
  • “Law and Liberty: The Guaranteed Freedoms in the United States Bill of Rights,” Chief’s Counsel, The Police Chief 82 (October 2015): unabridged version
  • “Chief’s Counsel: The Future Is Here: How Police Officers’ Videos Protect Officers and Departments,” The Police Chief 80 (October 2013)
  • “Chief’s Counsel: Ethics and Professionalism: No Lying, Cheating, or Stealing,” The Police Chief 79 (November 2012)
  • “Chief’s Counsel: What Every Police Chief Should Know About Electronic” (2010)
  • “Control Devices”, The Police Chief 77 (December 2010)
  • “Chief’s Counsel: Houston – We Have a Solution,” The Police Chief 73 (December 2006)
  • “Chief’s Counsel: Case Law Alert: U. S. Supreme Court Decides Georgia v.”
  • “Randolph, Holds That Denial by One Resident Overrides Grant of Consent by Another,” The Police Chief 73 (June 2006)
  • “Chief’s Counsel: Law Enforcement Safety Act of 2004,” The Police Chief (October 2004)
  • “Immigration Enforcement: Is It Local Issue?” The Police Chief (February 2004)
  • “Code of Silence – Fact or Fiction?” Law Enforcement Executive Forum (2003)
  • “The War on Terror’s “Absconder Initiative,” Texas Police Journal (February 2003)
  • “Chief’s Counsel: Code of Silence – Fact of Fiction?” The Police Chief (November 2003)
  • “Chief’s Counsel: The War on Terror’s Absconder Initiative,” The Police Chief (October 2002)
  • “Chief’s Counsel: Atwater Underscores the Need for Carefully Crafted Department Policies,” The Police Chief (June 2001)
  • “Code of Silence – Fact or Fiction?” Texas Police Journal 49 (April 2001)
  • “Chief’s Counsel: The Arbitration Experience; Splitting the Baby, or Justice?” The Police Chief (August 1999)
  • “Chief’s Counsel: U.S. Supreme Court: Don’t Base Car Search Only on a Traffic Violation,” The Police Chief (May 1999)
  • “Supreme Court Clarifies Employer Liability for Sexual Harassment,” Texas Police Journal (March 1999)
  • “Chief’s Counsel: Police Pursuits – The Supreme Court Has Set the Standard,” The Police Chief (August 1998)
  • “Chief’s Counsel: The Department’s Right to Question vs. The Officer’s Right to Avoid Self-Incrimination,” The Police Chief (October 1997)

B. Books, Reports, and Chapters – Reviewed and Edited

Ferrell, C. (October 2016). How to Best Utilize Videos to Protect Officers and Departments. In Major Cities Chiefs Association and the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Executive Institute Association, Officer Involved Shootings and the Implications of Video Evidence.  Retrieved from

Rev. of Civil Liabilities & Rights of Police Officers and Supervisors in Texas by Rolando V. del Carmen, Che´ D. Williamson, William P. Bloss, and Jay Coons. Bill Blackwood Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas. 2003.

NOTE: (Chaired Book Review Board of Consultants)

C. Articles in Peer-Reviewed Conference Proceedings:

  • “Civil Liability: What Every Executive Should Know” Law Enforcement Management & Institute of Texas Criminal Justice Center Sam Houston State University (August 2000)
  • “Chief’s Counsel: “Law Enforcement Safety Act 2004” IACP 2005 Annual Conference Slide Presentation (September 25, 2005): 1-88. Print & web.16Aug.2011.
  • “MCC Model Policy on Concealed Handguns Major Cities Chiefs Police Association website. MCC. September 24,2005.web.16 Aug. 2011.
  • “M.C.C. Immigration Committee Recommendations for Enforcement of Immigration Laws by Local Police Agencies” Major Cities Chiefs Conference