Joseph Chacon, an assistant chief of the Austin Police Division, has been nominated to function interim police chief as Brian Manley readies to leave the department this week. Metropolis Supervisor Spencer Cronk introduced Chacon’s nomination in a memo Monday morning. Chacon will serve till a everlasting chief may be appointed.
State regulation requires that Metropolis Council members affirm Chacon’s appointment. Council is scheduled to vote on Thursday.
“I’m assured that his staff, alongside of our devoted, skilled males and (ladies) of our police division, will guarantee a clean transition as we recruit and welcome our subsequent police chief,” Cronk wrote in a memo to the mayor and Council members.
Chacon’s nomination kicks off the town’s seek for a brand new everlasting chief. At a press convention Monday, Cronk stated he expects to call Manley’s everlasting substitute by August. This particular person may even have to be confirmed by a Metropolis Council vote.
“We’re searching for somebody that collaborates with our neighborhood, instills belief in our workforce and achieves outcomes which were established by Council coverage and can create a tradition of enchancment and accountability throughout the division,” Cronk stated. “We want a chief who’s prepared and capable of lead the division in ways in which result in equitable public security outcomes for all.”
The hunt for a brand new chief – which Cronk referred to as “nationwide, and dare I say, worldwide” – comes at a time when metropolis leaders and neighborhood members are calling on the division to make vital modifications to its tradition and the way in which it trains new officers. Final summer time, Council members voted to cut millions from the department and to instantly use a few of that cash in different departments, reminiscent of Austin Public Well being.
A number of current reviews have highlighted points relating to how APD recruits and trains new officers. A report launched in January describes how movies utilized in cadet coaching programs bolster racist and sexist concepts. Along with confirming Chacon’s nomination Thursday, Council members will vote on whether or not to restart new officer academies, which have been on maintain for nearly a 12 months as the town reconsiders the curriculum it makes use of.
Cronk stated Monday he can be searching for a brand new chief who’s open to those modifications.
“This can be a crucial time for our neighborhood and the Austin Police Division,” he stated. “The neighborhood is looking for transformational change to public security.”
Town has employed Ralph Andersen & Associates, a California-based recruitment agency, to assist with the seek for a brand new police chief and has promised that residents may have loads of enter on who’s chosen. Group members can fill out a survey about what they’d wish to see in a brand new police chief. Cronk stated finalists can be introduced to the general public by this summer time.
When contacted Monday, police reform advocates declined to discuss Chacon’s appointment. However a number of organizations despatched a letter to Metropolis Corridor leaders final month asking that Cronk not use “the normal ‘subsequent in line method’” in deciding who to call to the interim function.
“A reform-oriented interim chief who has not been part of the present administration will reveal Austin’s dedication to actual change as the town conducts a nationwide seek for a everlasting chief,” members of the Austin Justice Coalition, Simply Liberty and the Black Leaders Collective wrote.
Based on the town, Chacon started his police profession with APD in 1998 and presently works because the central bureau chief, overseeing downtown, particular occasions and different areas.
This story was produced as a part of the Austin Monitor’s reporting partnership with KUT.
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