Updated: Tuesday, 09 Mar 2010, 1:27 PM CST
Published : Monday, 08 Mar 2010, 5:46 PM CST
AUSTIN (KXAN) - The Dallas Police Department confirmed that Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo is a finalist for the police chief job in Dallas.
Acevedo is the first Hispanic police chief in Austin and has served as the police chief since July 2007. Acevedo came to Austin from the California Highway Patrol. He even had a song written about him in April 2009 to help fundraise for the Blue Santa program.
Acevedo said it wasn't his intention to leave Austin so soon, but Dallas contacted him. He put in his application Sunday and got the call back Monday afternoon.
"When an opportunity like this...” he said, “…Dallas is a bigger city that presents new challenges. Quite frankly, looking at that potential does appeal to me."
In Acevedo's short tenure in Austin, he orchestrated some major moves for the APD:
The Austin Police Association said, after those big, sometimes seen-as-controversial moves, this possible move to Dallas came as the biggest shock of all.
"This is a fine police department,” said the association's president, Wayne Vincent. “It's not a police department that's going to fall apart depending on who's the leader at the top. If Chief Acevedo was to leave, this place would run with the fine management that we have now until we get another chief."
City council members spoke highly Monday night of Acevedo's community outreach and communication, understanding those points probably stick out for future employers.
“This is just one of those these things that we need to understand,” said Mayor Pro Tem Mike Martinez. “It's probably not the last time we're going to go through this, because there are going to be other cities looking for chiefs to fill the head spot and I guarantee his name will come to the top."
The five other finalists are David O. Brown, the first assistant chief of police in Dallas, Robert L. Davis, the chief of police in San Jose, California, Daniel V. Garcia, the assistant chief in Dallas, Floyd D. Simpson, the assistant chief in Dallas and Robert Crump White, the chief of police in Louisville, Kentucky.
The City of Dallas touted the experience levels of all six candidates, as well as the innovation their bring to their jobs. At the end of this month, there will be a two-day interview process for the candidates in Dallas. Acevedo said he also expects an Austin visit by Dallas city officials in the coming weeks and a quick decision soon after.
Acevedo also released the following statement on the honor:
Today, I learned that I one of six finalists being considered for the Chief of Police position in Dallas, Texas. I want to assure the men and women of the Austin Police Department that I very much enjoy my work with this great department. Together, we have made extraordinary progress in our efforts to make APD one of the nation’s finest law enforcement agencies.
My family and I are very happy with this wonderful community and the great people of Central Texas, who have warmly embraced us. I want to make clear that I am responding to an opportunity that was presented to me. The lifespan of a major city police chief tenure generally tends to be 3-5 years, which I am quickly approaching. I serve without a contract and it’s important for me and my family that I keep my career options open. The decision to respond to this opportunity is not an indication of my dissatisfaction, in any way, with this outstanding police department.
You can read their resumes online.