AUSTIN (KXAN) — Including Interim Police Chief Joseph Chacon, there are a total of 45 candidates vying for Austin Police Department’s chief job. We obtained their names and resumes through a public information request:
- Jerry Afari: Special Victims Unit Detective with the Washington D.C. Metro Police Department.
- Aaron Vernon Ausmus: Former Police Chief in Angleton, Texas.
- Cedric Brown: Mississippi Capitol police officer.
- Jorge “George” Camarillo: Police Chief in Bangs, Texas.
- Jesus “Eddie” Campa: Owner of Americas Best Strategic Security Group LLC and former Marshall Police Department Chief of Police.
- Joseph Chacon: Austin’s Interim Police Chief.
- Omar Chavez: U.S. Department of State contract Police Instructor and former Patrol Supervisor with the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office.
- Darryl Coleman: Chief of Criminal Justice Command at the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.
- Scott Cunningham: Former Chief in multiple North Carolina cities.
- Nick Diemel: Listed as a real estate investor.
- Michael Drake: New York State Police Major.
- Joel Fitzgerald: Waterloo, Iowa Police Chief. Also served as chief in several cities including Fort Worth.
- Elvis Guzman: Commander, Green Cove Springs Police Department (Florida).
- Ricardo Herrera: Former Police Chief in Falfurrias, Texas.
- Chad Hoffman: Special Agent at the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency in Dallas.
- Sam Holt: Sergeant at Williamson County Constable’s Office and former APD Assistant Police Chief.
- Manuel Jimenez Jr: Chief of Police, Concordia University Texas.
- James Jones: Former Senior Lieutenant within the Detroit Police Department.
- Robert Jones: Police Chief, Kingsland, Georgia.
- Paul Junger: Dallas Police Major since 2015.
- Anne Kirkpatrick: National instructor for FBI teaching leadership, bias and diversity, emotional intelligence and other topics. Former Police Chief in Oakland, California.
- Joseph Lestrange: Homeland Security Investigations Division Chief in Washington, D.C.
- Steven McCarver: Chief of Police, United States Department of Veterans Affairs.
- Avery Moore: Assistant Chief, Dallas Police Department Investigations Bureau.
- Ernest Morales: First Deputy Commissioner, Mount Vernon, NY Police Department.
- Celeste Murphy: Deputy Chief, Community Services Division, Atlanta Police Department.
- Demetrick Pennie: Dallas Police Department sergeant.
- William Pereyra: Police Captain with 15 years of experience in the Killeen and Marlin Police Departments.
- Mirtha Ramos: Chief of Police, DeKalb County Police Department in Georgia.
- Gordon Ramsey: Police Chief, Wichita Police Department.
- Steven Rivera: Supervising Criminal Investigator, New York State Department of Taxation & Finance, Criminal Investigations Division.
- Roderick Robinson: Commander, Chicago Police Department.
- Jeffrey Seif: Taught at Cedar Valley Law Enforcement Academy.
- La’Ron Singletary: Former Police Chief, Rochester Police Department. Singletary was relieved of duties by the city’s mayor following an in-custody death.
- Rick Nelson: Austin-based engineer.
- Joseph Sullivan: Retired Deputy Commissioner, Philadelphia Police Department.
- Emada Tingirides: Los Angeles Police Officer for 25+ years.
- James Torres: Chief of Security, Padain Security and Investigations Services.
- Hector Villarreal: Master Peace Officer at Coastal Bend College in Alice, Texas.
- Celvin Walwyn: Deputy Commissioner of Police Operations, Virgin Islands Police Department.
- Eric Winston: Commander, Chicago Police Department.
- James Womack: Listed as having 20 years in Municipal Policing and currently works in the Tarrant County Probation Office.
- Richard Worley: Colonel and Chief of Patrol, Baltimore Police Department.
- Bruce Young: Director of Public Safety Dispatch at Saint Xavier University in Chicago.
- Michael Zerbonia: Colonel, Division of Operations, Illinois State Police.
Earlier this month, Assistant City Manager Ray Arellano explained these applicants would be screened by a consulting group overseeing the hiring process.
In early July, Arellano said he expects six to 10 of these candidates to be presented to himself and the city’s Human Resources department. They will bring the top candidates to Austin for final interviews and to interact with the community in late July or early August.
Austin NAACP President Nelson Linder said it might be the most important hire in APD’s history.
“The world changed last year with the death of George Floyd,” said Linder.
He said policing is in a different place than it was even in 2018, when Brian Manley was elevated from interim chief. Since then, APD has fought allegations of racism among top brass and had its training academy and budget scrutinized.
“I’d like to see a background in dealing with use of force, their record on officers in terms of being disciplined,” said Linder. “Are they competent themselves? Are they diverse? Who did they hire?”
Bob Harrison, a policy researcher for the RAND corporation and retired California Police Chief, said a modern-day chief needs to be flexible to change.
“I think a police chief needs to have a high tolerance for ambiguity,” said Harrison. “We don’t know what the future of policing may look like.”
More importantly, Harrison said a chief can’t be insulated within the department; they need to engage with groups all over the community. That means more than just listening to concerns — but being transparent about the realities of public safety.
“The vast majority of people support the police, but they also really want the police to be more transparent and responsive to the kinds of things we see in videos nationally,” he said.