AUSTIN, Texas - Chief Brian Manley is retiring from the Austin Police Department. Manley made a formal announcement Friday.
He has served as chief of police for nearly three years.
FOX 7 Austin confirmed the news through a memorandum from City Manager Spencer Cronk. "Please join me in congratulating Chief Brian Manley on his retirement after 30 years of service with the City of Austin."
City Manager Cronk went on to say that he will immediately start a national search for Manley's replacement. In the meantime, he will appoint an interim chief who will need to be confirmed by Austin City Council members.
Chief Manley’s retirement takes effect on March 28, 2021.
FOX 7 Austin also obtained the letter Chief Manley sent internally to his department from a confident source.
Mayor Steve Adler released a statement on Manley's retirement Friday evening, saying:
"Policing is at a national crossroads, and this has been an extraordinary time to lead a department as it begins a very important conversation. I thank Chief Manley for having taken Austin to this pivotal point and congratulate him on his retirement. Throughout Chief Manley’s leadership, Austin has been one of the safest, large cities in the country. He oversaw a $422 million budget, the largest per resident among big cities in Texas. I personally witnessed up-close his inspiring leadership on the ground during the 2018 Austin Serial Bombings. We are grateful for Chief Manley's 30 years of public service in his hometown."
Austin Justice Coalition, an organization which has previously called on Manley to resign, responded to news of the retirement. Executive director Chas Moore said in a statement:
"Brian Manley’s resignation was long overdue. His tenure as Chief of Police was a reflection of a different time and place in regards to how communities across the nation view policing and public safety. Today is a new day. We are demanding and expecting something much more - a transformed and wholly new approach to public safety.
Brian Manley was a bottleneck in the reimaging public safety process. It is my hope that we can move forward with the work of transforming the institutions that uphold racism and inequity through violence on our communities. This resignation is no consolation for the families who lost lives under Manley’s leadership but it is a step in the right direction.
This has just become an opportunity for the City of Austin to take a bold and radical stance. We call on the City of Austin to uphold its commitment to racial, class, and gender equity and bring community leaders into the process of filling this role. We demand a leader who is willing to be a trailblazer in the transformation of the institution we look forward to formally referring to as the ‘Police’."