As Sunset Valley searches for a new police chief, mayor talks growth

Sunset Valley Police (KXAN)
Sunset Valley Police (KXAN)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Sunset Valley Chief of Police Sean Ford is hanging up his uniform and retiring after 25 years in law enforcement. Friday was his last day.

Chief Ford has been with the department since 2008 and in the past nine years, the tiny enclave of Sunset Valley, located smack dab in the middle of southwest Austin, has changed dramatically.

While he may retire his badge, the chief has been known to fight crime even while out of uniform. Last year, while on vacation in New York City, Chief Ford made national news.

He was just a tourist from Sunset Valley seeing the sights in New York when he assisted NYPD by tackling a thief trying to steal a bottle of cologne. Ford tells KXAN he’s retiring to spend more time with his family.

KXAN’s Sally Hernandez caught up with the may of Sunset Valley to see what’s next for the city.

KXAN: In a small city, how will you attract big talent in the search for a new police chief?

Mayor Rose Cardona: By being true to who we are. I would hope that there is the perfect chief out there that is looking to settle in Austin but in a community that has all the support systems in place that we do.

KXAN: There’s another transition for your police department–council just approved building a new nearly 9,000-square-foot facility for the police department. That’s a major upgrade. Where do your officers work now?

Cardona: Right now our officers are working out of portables. I call them shoe boxes because they are thin and flimsy and just not enough.

The mayor says the salary for the incoming chief will be more than $100,000 and the new police station will cost $3 million to build.

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