Interim Austin Police Chief Robin Henderson Will Not Apply for Permanent Role

APD Interim Chief of Police Robin Henderson
APD Interim Chief of Police Robin Henderson

Austin’s interim Police Chief Robin Henderson will not be the next permanent chief, as she did not apply for the position and intends to retire once a new permanent chief is hired, according to a memo sent by City Manager T.C. Broadnax to the City Council and the mayor Friday. The city announced they had worked out a deal with Henderson to remain with the Police Department to assist the transition.

It has been a tremendous honor to serve as the Interim Chief of Police

Henderson was quoted in the memo as saying the decision “was not an easy one” and that she would “continue to be a champion” for the Police Department.

“It has been a tremendous honor to serve as the Interim Chief of Police for the Austin Police Department,” Henderson said in the memo. “This agency is where I have been raised professionally and developed lifelong meaningful relationships and friendships. I am extremely proud of the work our officers and civilian staff perform every single day. You will not find a group of women and men who are more resilient and dedicated to keeping our Austin Community safe.”

Hiring a permanent police chief is a top priority for Broadnax, who assumed the city manager role in May. Applications opened last month and will close on June . Community members also have an opportunity to fill out an anonymous survey about what characteristics they want to see in the next chief.

Henderson has served as the interim chief of the Austin Police Department since September after former Chief Joe Chacon announced his retirement last year.

Share your input with the City of Austin regarding the new Police Chief search.
Share your input with the City of Austin regarding the new police chief search.

A 27-year veteran of the Police Department, Henderson, as interim chief, led the city’s police force through multiple major incidents, including the first shooting death in a decade of an officer in the line of duty last November and a multi-county shooting rampage that left four people dead in Austin in December.

Henderson inherited a department with an ongoing staffing shortage. The department had nearly 330 vacancies for sworn officers as of last month.

Henderson also signed a draft letter supporting the pardon of Daniel Perry before Gov. Greg Abbott pardoned him last month for the murder of Black Lives Matter protester Garrett Foster in 2020.

While it’s uncertain if anyone else from the Austin Police Department has applied for the job, the news could mean the department will bring someone from outside the city to lead the force for the first time since Art Acevedo’s appointment 17 years ago.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *