Chief of Police
Office Telephone: (702) 267-5000
Office Fax: (702) 267-5051
Dr. LaTesha Watson has more than 19 years of law enforcement experience, which began in 1994 with the Hutchins Police Department in Hutchins, Texas; a suburb outside of Dallas, Texas. While pursuing her undergraduate degree, she worked for the Lewisville Police Department in Lewisville, Texas. In 2002, she became a police officer with the Arlington (TX) Police Department. Dr. Watson has been a supervisor in the Arlington Police Department for more than 12 years and has held a variety of progressively responsible executive leadership positions. In 2014, she was promoted to the rank of Deputy Chief becoming the Arlington Police Department's youngest chief in tenure and age. During her tenure in the rank of Deputy Chief, she led the Central Investigations Division which encompassed 14 different investigative units as well as the East Patrol Division which is the most diverse, oldest, and lowest socioeconomic geographic area within the City of Arlington. In September of 2017, the City of Henderson named Deputy Chief Watson as the new Chief of Police of the Henderson, Nevada Police Department.
Dr. Watson is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), International Association of Women Police (IAWP), and a host of other organizations. Dr. Watson has previously been recognized internationally by IACP as a Top 40 under 40 Emerging Law Enforcement Executive. She received a Proclamation of Achievement in Leadership Excellence from the Texas State Senate and Texas House of Representatives. She has also been honored as an influential woman as the recipient of the Rising Star Leadership Award.
Dr. Watson has excelled professionally as well as academically obtaining a Ph.D. in Management and Organizational Leadership and performing exceedingly well operationally as well as administratively. Dr. Watson earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice in 2000 and a Master of Science degree in Criminology in 2003 from the University of North Texas. In 2010, she earned a Ph.D. in Management and Organizational Leadership. Dr. Watson is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in International Psychology with an Organizations and Systems concentration.
Because Chief Watson thrives within operational environments, she has overseen a myriad of critical events within as well as outside of the city. She has taken her leadership role to heart, mentoring future leaders and working to advance women in policing on all levels. She presents at symposiums and conferences illustrating the value of diversity in the recruitment, retention, selection, and promotion of women in the law enforcement profession. She also facilitates law enforcement courses on the history of women in policing, significance of women executives in policing, gender disparities in law enforcement, gender equality, diversity, and leadership in policing on various platforms. She has conducted an extensive amount of research which has led to publications on different subject matter such as women in policing, women law enforcement executives, organizational leadership, gender disparities in law enforcement, police management, immigration enforcement, organizational performance and effectiveness, management, and leadership.