Brian Manley pinned as new interim police chief by Art Acevedo

Interim Police Chief Brian Manley joins former APD Chief Art Acevedo at Manley's pinning ceremony at the Blue Santa Breakfast (KXAN Photo/ Gigi Barnett)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — It’s official, Austin has a new interim police chief. Former Chief Art Acevedo passed the torch as he pinned Brian Manley, Friday morning.

Manley was pinned during the department’s annual Blue Santa Breakfast at the Palmer Events Center. Former Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo traveled from Houston to welcome and pin the new chief.

“To have that first tap — and let’s call it what it was — to have that first hit come from Chief Acevedo was very special,” Manley said about the pinning. “I think maybe it reflected the weight of the responsibilities that I’ve taken on.”

Manley was previously the chief of staff for the Austin Police Department. He has been with the department for the past 26 years.

Both men say they are committed to working together on a smooth transition. “My hopes for him that he just remembers to take in a deep breath, pause and take it one issue at a time,” Acevedo said. “Just remember there is nothing we can’t fix.”

The ceremony was just a formality for the rank and file, who also showed up to wish Acevedo good luck on his new role as Houston’s police chief.

While the title is new for Manley, he told the crowd that he plans to push for the permanent spot. “I’m not going to spend my interim period vying for the job or politicizing for the job,” Manley said. “I’m just going to do the job. I absolutely want to be the permanent police chief here.”

The Blue Santa Breakfast goes from 6 a.m. and to 10 a.m. The Operation Blue Santa initiative is put on the police department each year to collect toys and food for local children in need.

Interim Chief Manley’s priority list:

  1. 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.”
  2. 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.
  3. 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.