AUSTIN (KXAN) — City Manager Elaine Hart has announced Brian Manley as the interim police chief, following the announcement Thursday that Chief Art Acevedo is leaving for Houston.
“To the community I’m not going to be Art Acevedo,” said Manley. “Although I can’t be him in personality, I am committed to being him in the passion for this job.”
Manley was previously the chief of staff for the Austin Police Department having been with the force for the past 26 years. He will take over Acevedo’s job on Dec. 1.
“Brian Manley has been a dedicated police officer with city of Austin for more than two decades and I am confident he will effectively and proudly lead the men and women of the department during this time of transition,” said Hart. “The city of Austin has an exemplary police force and under Brian’s direction they will continue building upon the department’s success. I look forward to working alongside him.”
The University of Texas graduate received his degree in finance and his master’s degree in Organization Leadership and Ethics from St. Edward’s University. He eventually returned to St. Edward’s to teach criminal justice as an adjunct professor.
Manley started as a patrol officer with APD in 1991. He rose through the ranks serving as a detective and sergeant before being promoted to lieutenant in 2001.
Interim Chief Manley’s priority list
- Officer Morale: “I’m just gonna go out and be very visible be in the show ups and ask people to share open and honest communication about what are their concerns about where were at as an organization right now. What I’m committed to do is do what I believe is the right thing to do based on what our policy says, based on what law says, based on how we’ve trained our officers and I think that that’s going to lead me to make the right decisions.”
- Shuttered DNA Lab: “We do anticipate we will have our lab open at some point hopefully by the summer of next year at the latest. We also have a contract in place with a local company, Signature Science, that will be able to do the initial step of DNA testing, which is serology, so that we can again try and expedite the process.
- Race Relations: “I am formulating the creation of a group that I want to have as an advisory committee to me that I can reach out and work with to understand what’s going on in the [minority] community that may not come to my attention through other channels.
“To be the police chief over the agency where you started your career, where you took your first call, you rode in the car with your field training officer, to all the sudden have the opportunity to serve as the chief for however long they have me in this position, it truly is humbling.” Manley says.”It’s a balancing act and if I go into this job with the expectations that I’m going to please everybody, then I’ve set myself up for failure.”
Right now the chief and city manager are holding their positions on an interim basis, which means they temporarily have their jobs. Austin Mayor Steve Adler shared new information with anchor Sally Hernandez on the process of hiring a new police chief on KXAN News.
The Mayor says hiring a city manager first is key before hiring a new police chief to ensure a cohesive relationship. That is because the police chief answers directly to the city manager.
The search for a city manager is still in the beginning stages and is expected to take another six to eight months. If a city manager isn’t selected until June of 2017 and if the year-long process stays true to choosing a new police chief, then Austin’s top cop may not be named until June of 2018.
“That’s certainly something she could do and that’s something she could consider. She could initiate the process, get the national search firm. She can even go so far as to solicit applications,” the mayor said.
When asked if Mayor Adler would encourage the interim city manager to start the process now, he said, “I’m going to listen to her recommendation on that — I’ve heard her talk about that as possibility and then when the new manager comes in maybe they are some names for him to look at.”