Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo has given a bittersweet goodbye and an interim chief has been named. As announced Thursday, Acevedo is heading to Houston at the end of the month to lead the police department there.
For nine years art Acevedo has lead the Austin Police Department. While new opportunity awaits him at the Houston Police Department, his emotions proved leaving the city was a difficult decision.
"I love my cops. I'm going to miss them. And I love this community,” said Acevedo tearfully.
Acevedo says 10 years of service was his goal as he was sworn in July of 2007. He thanked the former city leaders for taking a chance on him.
He cautioned those in office today for the first time in his tenure violent crime is up.
"We must ask ourselves have we stretched our department beyond its capacity,” said Acevedo.
In his mind the answer is yes. The 10% increase alarms him. He says policing cannot be treated like transportation was decades ago.
"We had the attitude if we don't build it, they won't come. Well, guess what they came. Now look at us,” said Acevedo.
He looked to the future as chief of HPD and says he will take with him the same attitude of policing that he proudly brought here.
"I cannot wait to hit the ground running. I think my biggest accomplishment is we have brought people together in this city, communities together, and I thrive on it and I can't wait to get to Houston,” said Acevedo.
After hugging his command staff, Acevedo's interim replacement was named.
Chief of Staff Brian Manley. He says he first knew he wanted to be a police officer when he went on a ride-along with an APD officer in high school.
"I have been here for 26 years and I have had opportunities along the way to move up the ranks never expecting to have the honor to serve in this role and to lead this agency. It's quite humbling,” said Manley.
He vowed to continue the level of transparency Acevedo has displayed and complete one major challenge--getting the DNA lab up and running.
Acevedo says Austin is in good hands.
"I will miss these men and women. I will miss this community. But I look forward to seeing their continued success. Because this department is going to prove that the most replaceable person is this police chief. They will not fail because they're that good,” said Acevedo.