The search for Austin’s next top cop is winding down — and the final pool of candidates features all people of color.
- APD’s current interim police chief, Joseph Chacon, has been serving in the role since former chief Brian Manley retired in March. Chacon, who is an Hispanic male, has 28 years of experience in policing, and started his career in his native El Paso. When he first arrived at Austin PD 20 years ago, he called it “a culture shock,” noting that Austin’s Hispanic population comprises only about 30% of the total population, while in El Paso, that number is 80%. Prior to taking over as interim chief, he served as assistant chief of APD for five years.
- Emada Tingirides became LAPD’s second Black female deputy chief last summer, as LAPD, like APD, had its budget slashed amid calls to defund the police in the aftermath of George Floyd’s killing. She heads the newly formed Community Safety Partnership bureau within LAPD, which is responsible for implementing necessary reforms, like tightening the use-of-force policies, and ensuring the community has a greater voice in how it’s policed.
- Dallas PD Assistant Chief Avery Moore is a 30-year veteran of the department, and was a finalist for the top job there in December 2020. According to his official department bio, he is a “use of force expert.” In comments during the DPD Chief search last winter, Moore said the community’s distrust of police contributes to rising crime in the city, and he was open the idea of defunding departments to reallocate resources to community-based services.
The initial pool of candidates included only four women who had applied for the position. Mayor Steve Adler told the Austin American-Statesman that he’s “encouraged by the depth and diversity and expertise represented,” and said he’s looking forward to meeting the candidates.
City residents will also have the opportunity to meet the three finalists at two community meetings being held Wednesday and Thursday in Exhibit Hall 2 at the Palmer Events Center. Masks and social distancing will be required, and capacity will be capped at 100 both evenings, however, the meetings will also be live-streamed, and feedback is being collected online.