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Joseph Chacon sworn-in as Austin Police Chief

(APD Facebook)

After being confirmed by Austin City Council as the next Austin Police Chief on Sept. 30, Joseph Chacon was officially sworn in on Friday afternoon.

Members of the community, city council members and Chacon's family witnessed his swearing-in at LifeAustin Mueller at 3 p.m. Saturday. He is now the 10th police chief of the Austin Police Department.

Chacon was named chief by Austin City Manager Spencer Cronk last month and confirmed by City Council in a 9-2 vote. Narrowing a pool of 46 candidates down to seven, then three, Chacon beat out Avery L. Moore, assistant chief of the Dallas Police Department, and Emada E. Tingirides, deputy chief of the Los Angeles Police Department, for the position.

At the event, Mayor Steve Adler said casting his vote for Chacon was one of the easiest he's had to make on Austin City Council.

After the 167th District Court Judge Dayna Blazey administered the Oath of Office, Chacon offered remarks about how impactful it has been to be a police officer for so many years. He also addressed the current relationship of the community and the police department, saying he wants to rebuild relationships.

"I want our community to know I am listening," Chacon said. "I want to be responsive to all stakeholders and segments of our amazing city and ensure that no one feels mistreated or marginalized in their actions with the police. I want them to feel secure and safe."

Chacon has been in law enforcement for 28 years and was appointed assistant chief in Austin in 2016. Despite being part of the police force before its budget cuts, fund reallocation and police cadet raining overhaul, Chacon said he's been receptive to changing the status quo.

As interim chief, he was part of the shift in APD's training curriculum from a "paramilitary nature to one that is based in an adult learning environment" and has reduced police bodycam footage public release from 60 days after an incident to just 10.

He assumes the position after Brian Manley retired in March and the department underwent scrutiny with a rise of murders and crime in the city. The Austin Police Department is also undergoing reform as a result of last year's Black Lives Matter protests that ultimately resulted in city council cutting and reallocating millions of the police budget. The department has additionally faced a staffing shortage that predates the budget cuts and was exacerbated by the halting of police cadet classes—classes resumed with a new curriculum at the beginning of summer.


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