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Austin police chief search narrowed down to 7 candidates

From top left clockwise, Joseph Chacon, Anna Kirkpatrick, Avery L. Moore, Emada E. Tingirides, Gordon Ramsay, Mirtha V. Ramos and Celeste Murphy are all finalist in the Austin police chief search. (City of Austin)

The city of Austin released a shortlist of seven candidates for the police chief position left vacant when Brian Manley retired in March.

City Manager Spencer Cronk hopes to announce an appointment by the end of August, which will require City Council approval.

The finalists, chosen from a field of 46 applicants, include:

  • APD Interim Chief Joseph Chacon, who previously served as an assistant chief in the department for almost five years
  • Anne Kirkpatrick, former police chief in Oakland, California, who was fired last year after a federal monitor criticized her handling of a fatal 2018 police shooting of a homeless man
  • Dallas Police Department Assistant Chief Avery L. Moore, who is a 30-year veteran of the department
  • Atlanta Police Department Deputy Chief Celeste Murphy, who manages the department's community services division
  • Dekalb County Police Chief Mirtha V. Ramos, who previously served as division chief in the Miami-Dade Police Department
  • Wichita Police Department Chief Gordon Ramsay, who is a former president of the Minnesota Police Chief's Association as well as one of the first police chiefs of a major U.S. City to call George Floyd's death a murder, as reported by the Wichita Eagle
  • Los Angeles Police Department Deputy Chief Emada E. Tingirides, who is also commanding officer of the department's newly formed Community Safety Partnership Bureau, which serves L.A.'s underserved communities
The next police chief will be tasked with reimagining public safety after a tumultuous year that saw mass protests against police violence and racial injustice, a nearly year-long hiatus of police academy that exacerbates a years-long staffing shortage, Austin City Council's decision to cut APD's budget in August, rising violent crime rates in Austin and around the country, and new state laws that financially penalize cities that cut police funding.

City staff will interview the finalists in the coming weeks, with several community input opportunities to come, according to a Monday press release.

The city conducted a public survey in March and hosted community input meetings in April to learn more about what residents are looking for in their next police chief, which helped shape the selection criteria for the position.

"They want to see the Chief be reform-minded and transparent and have a track record of fostering community involvement and accountability," Cronk said in the release. "The candidates selected show these characteristics in various ways."


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