AUSTIN, Texas - Native Austinite Chief Brian Manley, a Johnston High School now Eastside Memorial, and UT graduate announced Friday, he's retiring after a 30-year run with the Austin Police Department.
"I don’t feel that I can give my full attention to the duties as chief of police as demanded if my heart is now looking for that next opportunity," said Manley in a press conference Friday.
The chief started off as a patrol officer in 1991 and rose through the ranks, serving as a detective in the child abuse unit and later a lieutenant in traffic enforcement. Manley wore many hats through the years in the department, eventually serving as interim chief from 2016 to 2018. He was promoted to chief shortly after one of Austin's most notorious crime sprees…the Austin bombings.
"Manager Cronk stood with me and stood by me as Austin go through those very difficult days," said Manley.
Manley said his most impactful role was not as police chief, but working in the child abuse division. "You are dealing with children who are in horrible circumstances, at no fault of their own, and you are the person who could make a difference," he said.
He is leaving at a time of uncertainty and unrest with APD and many departments across the country. "We may be imperfect but the men and women serving you, serving our community have hearts of gold," he said.
"I know that all of the hard work that has been put in over the past year and a half to ready our agency and the next cadet class, so we can start that process again, is coming to a culmination," said Manley.
The chief is not sure what's next, but he said he will remain in his hometown of Austin and will help the city manager in the search for a new chief.
"I will be pursuing a national search for our next chief and I look forward to an engagement with our community," said city manager Spencer Cronk.
Manley said the pressure and unrest never factored into his decision. He knew what the job entailed, but is just ready to move forward in life.
Manley’s retirement officially takes effect on Mar. 28. Cronk will appoint an interim chief in early March.