Take a respite from the bustle at the impressive Houston Police Officers Memorial overlooking Downtown snuggled in between Buffalo Bayou and Memorial Drive.
Designed by the late, acclaimed artist and sculptor Jesús Bautista Moroles – a native of Corpus Christi and Rockport, Texas – the granite monument sits serenely in an open grassy field, in a quieter corner of Buffalo Bayou Park.
Originally installed in 1990, Moroles’ work commemorates Houston’s police force and the officers who have given their lives in the line of duty.
The Houston Police Officers Memorial
At first the memorial appears to be a 12.5-foot tall, stepped pyramid. Technically, it’s a ziggurat, with multiple blocky square layers built upon each other.
But as you approach, you’ll also find an inverted ziggurat on each of the four sides of the central structure. Each of these “reverse pyramids” extend 12 feet into the ground and are lined with granite walls and grassy levels.
From above the memorial appears like a Greek cross, with each of the five pyramids sitting at 40 feet by 40 feet.
At the top of the central monument lies a small, square reflecting pool. Engraved on the granite surface surrounding it are the names of 40 Houston police officers who sacrificed their lives in service to Houston.
For those who are unable to climb to the top of the Houston Police Officers’ Memorial, there is a smaller granite tribute a few steps from the parking lot. Its surface features the same names displayed on the monument’s peak.
Picnics, Gathering Spots, Running Trails & Buffalo Bayou Park
Moroles envisioned the memorial site as a place that people would visit and explore with family and loved ones. Visitors are encouraged to bring picnics and Buffalo Bayou Park occasionally hosts public events in the space.
Surrounded by the trails – including the striking Carruth Bridge that crosses the bayou directly north of the memorial – and the lush greenery of Buffalo Bayou Park, the location is certainly an inviting one. Runners, walkers, and cyclists keep the area active.
While celebration and relaxation is encouraged, visitors are also asked to maintain their decorum at the site.
Keep in mind that dogs are not permitted on or near the memorial and it’s best not to flaunt this rule. After all, the memorial is under 24/7/365 police surveillance.
Houston Police Department (HPD) provides 24-hour supervision of the memorial. A single officer is on site at all times, based out of a small, but crisply designed, office southwest of the monument.
Selfie Spots & Social Media Shares
Whether you shoot with a high-end professional camera or your old smart phone, there are plenty of opportunities to snag share-worthy images at the Houston Police Officers Memorial.
It offers a striking vantage point on Downtown and is surrounded by the lush vegetation of Buffalo Bayou Park (and the large oaks of Glenwood Cemetery behind it).
There are multiple vantage points on and in the memorial to capture striking images of the park, the city, the sunset, sunrise, yourself, or your photogenic crush of the day.
Visiting The Police Officers Memorial by Car, Bike & Foot
The Memorial is located on the one bit of Buffalo Bayou Park that sits north of Memorial Drive, but south of the bayou itself.
Drivers will find a small parking lot just off of eastbound Memorial Drive, with seven parking spots. Two of the spots are reserved for disable parking, and at least one spot is usually occupied by an HPD vehicle.
But on a normal weekday, your odds of getting a parking spot here are pretty good. If they’re all taken, then your next best bet will be the newer off-street parking spots along the north side of Allen Parkway between Eleanor Tinsely Park and Montrose Boulevard.
If you’re already traveling the paths along Buffalo Bayou by foot or by wheel, it’s easy enough to get to the Police Officers’ Memorial by following the paved trails under or along Memorial Drive.
Houston Police Officers Memorial
- Location: 1400 Memorial Drive, Houston, TX 77019
- Hours: Daily 6am to 11pm
- Parking: There are five parking spots, and two disable parking spots located in a small lot along Memorial Drive. At least one of the spots is occupied by a HPD vehicle at all times.
- Admission: Free to visit. Dogs are not permitted on or next to the monument.