Of the 46 applicants vying for the highest position at the Austin Police Department, only seven found their way to the penultimate search for the next Chief of Police.
According to a statement released by Austin City, the next police chief would be in charge of over 1,809 sworn officers and 734 non-sworn professional staff using what is left of the $240.8 million budget allocation covering 2020-21 fiscal year.
Relatedly, the city government hinted at the next Austin Chief of Police as the one who should be able to withstand a department in flux, embarking on operations change, as well as the public perception over the polarization of the police department.
Among those whose names form part of the shortlist include Austin City Police Department Interim Police Chief Joseph Chacon.
Other candidates are:
Anne Kirkpatrick — National instructor for FBI teaching leadership, bias and diversity, emotional intelligence, and other topics and a former Police Chief in Oakland, California
Avery L. Moore — Assistant Chief at Dallas Police Department Investigations Bureau
Celeste Murphy –Deputy Chief, Community Services Division at the Atlanta Police Department
Mirtha V. Ramos — Chief of Police at DeKalb County Police Department in Georgia
Gordon Ramsay — Police Chief in Wichita, Kansas
Emada E. Tingrides — Los Angeles Police Department Deputy Chief
“I am excited about the diverse slate of individuals we have identified for this position,” said Austin City Manager Spencer Cronk, who hinted at engaging discussions with the remaining seven candidates on the goals collectively formulated by the city and Austin City residents.
Interestingly, the search for the next Austin City Police Chief has included community inputs solicited early this year by the APD, with the Ralph Andersen & Associates consulting firm doing its share by recruiting candidates based on the response. It is for this reason that most of those on the shortlist are people of colour, including three women of colour.
According to Cronk, the city is yearning for a police chief who has “exceptional communication skills and can create a dialogue with the community.”
“They want to see the Chief be reform-minded and transparent and have a track record of fostering community involvement and accountability. The candidates selected show these characteristics in various ways,” he added.
A new Chief of Police is expected to be announced no later than August this year.