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Assistant Chief Newsom retires suddenly

Friday, November 1, 2019 by Jo Clifton

Assistant Police Chief Justin Newsom abruptly retired Wednesday after 23 years with the Austin Police Department. KXAN reported the news and also reported that an unnamed person had filed a complaint against Newsom with the Office of Police Oversight on Tuesday. Newsom joined the Austin police force in 1997 and has supervised the downtown command, which included dealing with homelessness issues. According to KXAN, part of the reason Newsom gave for his retirement was the stress of dealing with those issues. He told the station he had been thinking about retiring for a while. On Tuesday, Newsom sat with other members of city staff listening to an hours-long report about the city’s attempts to help the homeless. The issue has been a particularly divisive one since City Council decided to repeal the no sit/no lie ordinance last summer, with Police Chief Brian Manley indicating that the change had not improved the situation. Austin Police Association President Ken Casaday told the Austin Monitor that APD recently received a confusing eight-page memo about new rules for dealing with homeless people camping and resting in public.

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