AUSTIN, Texas - 45 people are vying to become Austin's next police chief. FOX 7 Austin has obtained their names, and other application information through an open records request.
The applicant's names and recent employment information are as follows:
- Jerry Afri - Criminal Investigator and technical analyst, Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia
- Aaron Ausmus - Chief of Police, City of Angleton, Texas
- Cedric Brown - Police Officer, Capitol Police Department, Mississippi
- Jorge Camarillo - Chief of Police, City of Bangs, Texas
- Jesus Campa - America's Best Strategic Security Group LLC.
- Joseph Chacon - Interim Police Chief, City of Austin
- Omar Chavez - U.S. Department of State contract police instructor, and lead instructor with Alutiiq Corporation
- Darryl Coleman - Chief, Criminal Justice Command with Harris County Sheriff’s Office from 2017-2020
- Scott Cunningham - Reserve Officer - Kernersville, North Carolina Police Department and National Executive Trainer, "Fair and Impartial Policing"
- Nick Diemel - Real Estate Investor
- Michael Drake - Major, New York State Police, Albany, New York
- Joel Fitzgerald - Chief of Police, City of Waterloo, Iowa
- Elvis Guzman - Commander, Green Cove Springs Police Department, Florida
- Ricardo Herrera - Chief of Police, City of Falfurrias, Texas
- Chad Hoffman - Special Agent Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency, Dallas, Texas
- Sam Holt - Sergeant, Williamson County Constable Precinct-2, Texas
- Manuel Jimenez - Chief of Police, Police Lieutenant Concordia University, Texas
- James Jones - Chief Operation Officer NBA, West Bloomfield Township, Michigan
- Robert Jones - Chief Executive Officer- Chief of Police Kingsland Police Department, Georgia
- Paul Junger - Major of Police, Dallas Police Department, Texas
- Anne Kirkpatric - Magis Police Consulting, LLC, Master Instructor: FBI LEEDA, Malvern, Pennsylvania (Headquarters); Seattle, Washington
- Joseph Lestrange - Division Chief, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Washington, D.C, Remote Adjunct Professor - Course Developer, Tiffin University, PhD Program in Global Leadership and Change
- Steven McCarver - Federal Chief of Police - United States Department of Veterans Affairs
- Avery Moore - Assistant Chief of Police - Investigations Bureau, Dallas, Texas
- Ernest Morales - First Deputy Commissioner - Mount Vernon Police Department, New York
- Celeste Murphy - Deputy Chief, Community Services Division - Atlanta Police Department, Georgia
- Demetrick Pennie - Sergeant - Dallas Police Department, Texas
- William Pereyra - Supervisor - Marlin Police Department, Texas
- Mirtha Ramos - Chief of Police - DelKalb County Police Department, Georgia
- Gordon Ramsay - Chief of Police - Wichita Police Department, Kansas
- Steven Rivera - G21 Supervising Criminal Investigator/ Revenue Crime Spec. 2/El Dorado Task Force Officer NYS Department of Taxation & Finance, Criminal Investigations Division, Brooklyn New York, Assigned to US Department of Homeland Security Investigations, El Dorado Task Force Officer, Part-time, Private Contractor/Training Instructor/Role player, OGONTZ GROUP LTD, 817 Virginia Beach, Virginia
- Roderick Robinson - Commander - Chicago Police Department, Illinois
- Jeffrey Seif - Student, Cambridge University, England, Director / Training Coordinator of the Dallas College Law Enforcement Academy, Lancaster campus
- La’Ron Singletary - Chief of Police - Rochester, New York
- Rick Smith - Senior DFx Product / Regulatory & Compliance Engineer, FORCEPOINT, Austin
- Joseph Sullivan - Retired Deputy Commissioner Patrol Operations, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Emada Tingirides - Deputy Chief assigned as Commanding Officer of Community Safety Partnership Bureau, Los Angeles Police Department, California
- James Torres - Chief of Security of Padain Security and Investigations Services - Texas
- Hector Villarrael - Site Director/Title IX Coordinator/Master Peace Officer 08/2019 to 02/2021 Coastal Bend College – Alice, Texas
- Celvin Walwyn - Deputy Commissioner of Police Operations - Virgin Islands Police Department
- Eric Winstrom - Commander – Area 5 Detectives - Chicago Police Department, Chicago
- James Womack - Business Owner and Operator, "Hippie Heart" - Springtown and Weatherford, Texas
- Richard Worley - Colonel - Chief of Patrol, Baltimore Police Department - Baltimore, Maryland
- Bruce Young - Director of Public Safety Dispatch - Saint Xavier University, Chicago
- Michael Zerbonia - Colonel, Division of Operations - Illinois State Police
According to Assistant City Manager Rey Arellano, applicants will be screened by a consulting group overseeing the hiring process.
"They need a police chief who knows what they’re doing who has some experience… but also… with transparency and communication. This is a time of conflicting feelings about the police." said retired Providence, New Haven and Stamford Police Chief Dean Esserman. Esserman currently serves as senior counsel for the National Police Foundation, a non-partisan nonprofit dedicated to improving policing.
In early July up to ten candidates will be presented to Arrelano and the City Human Resources Department. A few weeks later top candidates will be brought to Austin for final interviews, and to interact with the community.
"The question is, if you’re a police chief specializing in public service, how are you gonna address politics here that are very divided?" asked Austin NAACP President Nelson Linder.
Earlier this year, Austin Police Chief Brian Manley retired following more than thirty years of service. Manley retired months after Austin City Council voted to cut the department's budget by roughly a third in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
"Although George Floyd changed the reality, these issues have been around for a long time." said Linder.
Linder said the ideal candidate will offer the community accountability, stating, "We haven’t had it."
Esserman told FOX 7 Austin the new chief must also be comfortable navigating the complex challenges associated with budget cuts. "It’s a balancing act that a chief has to be aware of and has to be comfortable doing to provide the best public safety he or she can."
Linder described the applicant pool as "very diverse." Some candidates have no policing background and three candidates are women of color.
Interim Austin Police Chief Joseph Chacon has also thrown his hat into the ring writing, "Recognizing that there are countless opportunities for positive change, I acknowledge that there will be hesitancy in considering an internal candidate and offer the following. I come to the table with a wealth of law enforcement knowledge, established local relationships, and a well documented history. I am a life-long learner and am constantly working to enhance my knowledge through conversation and research. I am comfortable with uncomfortable conversations. I believe that a police agency’s ability to safely and effectively work with a community, develop and maintain neighborhood partnerships, respond to calls for service, and combat chronic and emerging crime problems is impacted by the levels of trust and legitimacy felt by the individuals served. I feel that transparency, accountability and self-awareness are equally important during successful and challenging times. I am open to new ideas and partnerships and will continue to strive to develop new knowledge and leverage existing assets to improve community policing and contribute to the national evidence base."
Linder said, "To his credit, [Chacon’s] been very active. He hasn’t been sitting down watching things unfold as Interim Chief. He’s been all over the place, so he’s a very different kind of guy. He’s outgoing. That’s not what we had in the past. He’s right about his analysis, but I would say, you’ve got to sell yourself."
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