AUSTIN (KXAN) — A day following the announcement he would be taking a new role as chief of police in Houston, current Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo addressed the media and Austinites saying APD has never quit moving forward.
“My goal when I got here was to be here for 10 years,” Acevedo said. The Austin Police Department was very much like the city of Austin, “It had not realized it had grown from a mid-sized… sleepy police department to a major city’s police department.”
Despite the progress, the chief said, there’s still work to be done.
“This year, I’ve been saying it for months now, violent crime…is up 10 percent… have we stretched a department that has proven to be excellent… beyond its capacity to continue to keep Austin with the level of safety [we] have come to expect and demand,” Acevedo said.
He challenged city leaders to take seriously his recommendation of putting 100 more officers on the streets.
“Policing is not broken,” he said in closing as he addressed recent controversies surrounding APD officers. “Hold us accountable, but please take time to lift up our men and women because they are truly second to none.”
After a round of questions from reporters from Austin and Houston, the chief’s eyes swelled as he explained why the moment is bittersweet.
“It’s hard to say goodbye. I love my cops. I’m going to miss them and I love this community. They get mad at me but, I have to make a call. We don’t make calls based on the way the wind’s blowing,” he said and explained his approach is similar to a parent’s tough love.