AUSTIN, Texas - City officials held a news conference to discuss the search for the next Austin Police Department chief and also announced current Assistant Police Chief Joe Chacon as the interim chief.
According to his LinkedIn page, Chacon has served in his role as Assistant Chief of Police for more than four years and has been with APD for more than 20 years.
City Manager Spencer Cronk was joined by Assistant City Manager for Safety Rey Arellano and Director of Human Resources Joya Hayes at the news conference.
The Greater Austin Crime Commission released a statement regarding the selection of Chacon as interim police chief saying:
"The Greater Austin Crime Commission commends City Manager Spencer Cronk for naming Assistant Police Chief Joseph Chacon as the interim chief of the Austin Police Department. Chief Chacon has a distinguished record of service to the community and is a respected public safety leader. He will lead the police department during an important time as cadet classes restart and the community reimagines public safety. The Crime Commission is committed to working with the city manager, Austin City Council and other community groups during the selection process for a permanent police chief."
Officials at the news conference outlined three phases to the search. Search firm Ralph Andersen & Associates, which has helped more than 35 other cities in hiring their police chiefs across the country since 2016, will be assisting Austin in its search.
Phase I will begin immediately and will involve conducting initial meetings with the search firm and city management to create a draft candidate profile. There will be focus groups as well as virtual community meetings to gather additional input.
Phase II could start as early as April and last through June and during this phase, the search firm will conduct recruiting, evaluate candidates, conduct preliminary research, and make recommendations. There will also be a community survey to accept input from the Austin community.
In Phase III, finalists will be determined and community meetings will be held before a selection of a candidate. Cronk says he hopes to have a decision made by August.
In February, Chief Brian Manley announced he is retiring from the Austin Police Department after serving in the position for nearly three years. His retirement takes effect on March 28.