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Published on June 18, 2024
Over 30 Candidates Vie for Austin Police Chief, Including Local Contenders and National ApplicantsSource: Facebook / Austin Police Department

The search for Austin's next police chief has drawn a significant pool of applicants, with over 30 candidates from across the country throwing their hats in the ring, including two from within the city's own ranks and several others from Texas, according to a list provided to Austin American Statesman.

A broad spectrum of experiences marks the candidates, ranging from former chiefs to sergeants and inspectors, from various departments such as Philadelphia, Seattle, Milwaukee, and New York City, and applicants like Gabriel Dobkin, a sergeant with the Austin Police Department, and Jason Dusterhoft, a former Austin Police Department assistant chief who has previously sued the city, the latter was dismissed in federal court, records show.

The city manager, T.C. Broadnax, who only took over last month, will work alongside Mosaic Public Partners to narrow down the list of candidates; these top contenders will be interviewed by stakeholder panels and later presented to the city council, as well as introduced to the community in a public meet and greet event, "I hope you join me in looking forward to the opportunity to meet with the finalists next month and having a top candidate for our consideration of confirmation relatively soon," Mayor Kirk Watson relayed in a message board note.

Interim Police Chief Robin Henderson, who has been at the helm since the retirement of the former Chief Joseph Chacon last year, has indicated plans to retire following the onboarding of a permanent replacement, leaving a vacancy that has attracted contenders with storied credentials, facing allegations, and carrying histories both lauded and contentious in law enforcement circles.

As the selection process continues, Austinites await an announcement on who will steer the Austin Police Department as the list gets narrowed down, culminating in city manager recommendations and a council vote to confirm the new chief, with the process expected to ramp up in the coming weeks offering a glimpse at the changing guard of the city's law enforcement leadership.