Photo by city of Austin
Friday, March 26, 2021 by Audrey McGlinchy, KUT

Assistant Chief Joseph Chacon confirmed as Austin’s new interim police chief

Assistant Chief Joseph Chacon will be Austin’s interim police chief starting April 11. City Council approved his appointment Thursday night.

“This is not an easy city, probably, to be police chief,” Mayor Steve Adler told Chacon before the vote. “It’s a city that is really trying to truly draw on a white board and advance and take advantage of opportunities that are not run-of-the-mill or already incorporated by other cities.”

Chief Brian Manley announced in February he’d be leaving the department after three decades, with roughly two years at the helm.

“Some ask, why now? There’s no absolute reason why it’s now. For me, this is right,” Manley said at a news conference in February. “It is time for me to pursue that next opportunity, and I don’t feel that I can give my full attention to the duties of the chief of police as demanded if my heart is now looking for that next opportunity.”

Manley’s last day is Sunday. Chief of Staff Troy Gay will serve as acting police chief until Chacon starts in two weeks.

City Manager Spencer Cronk nominated Chacon to the top job earlier this week; state law requires that City Council confirm a police chief appointment, even if it’s temporary. According to the city, Chacon has spent his entire career with APD, joining the department in 1998.

Cronk said Monday he hopes to nominate a permanent chief by August, after making public a number of finalists over the summer. He characterized his search for Austin’s next police chief as a “national, dare I say international” search.

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Key Players & Topics In This Article

Austin City Council: The Austin City Council is the body with legislative purview over the City of Austin. It offers policy direction, while the office of the City Manager implements administrative actions based on those policies. Until 2012, the body contained seven members, including the city's Mayor, all elected at-large. In 2012, City of Austin residents voted to change that system and now 10 members of the Council are elected based on geographic districts. The Mayor continues to be elected at-large.

Austin Police Department: the law enforcement entity for the City of Austin.

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