Austin/ Politics & Govt
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Published on May 15, 2024
Austin Opens Nationwide Search for New Police Chief with Emphasis on Diversity and ReformSource: Facebook/Austin Police Department

Austin's hunt for a new top cop is on, with the city officially throwing open the application process for the police chief's job. The job hunt, administered by Mosaic Public Partners for about $60,000, was announced Wednesday and is casting a national net to find the city's next law enforcement leader, as reported by KVUE.

The new Austin Police Department (APD) chief will answer to an assistant city manager and handle daily operations, including oversight of policies and procedures, the crafting of which, has been publicized by the city. The executive leadership team under the chief is set to include a chief of staff and five assistant chiefs of police. Candidates lining up for the post must boast at least a Bachelor's degree, 10 years of police administration experience, and five years as a law enforcement officer, according to KVUE.

"Public safety is of paramount importance, not just to me and the Mayor and City Council, but to Austin as a whole," City Manager T.C. Broadnax expressed in a news release, signifying the weight of the quest for a police chief who can nurture transparency, and accountability. As echoed in the job listing, the ideal candidate would also be adept at knitting robust, healthy ties between labor and management, amidst ongoing labor negotiations with the Austin Police Association, as per the American-Statesman.

With the June 10 cutoff for applications looming, Robin Henderson, the current interim chief and Chacon's former chief of staff, has indicated she'll ponder over the posting before deciding whether to throw her hat in the ring. Her contemplation comes at a pivotal moment as the APD seeks to fill over 320 of its 1,812 sworn positions. Meanwhile, both Austin and Houston are keeping eyes on Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia, as detailed by the American-Statesman, amid a climate where city leadership is keen on retaining top law enforcement talent.