AUSTIN (KXAN) — Joseph Chacon officially became Austin’s new police chief after a judge swore him into office during a ceremony Friday afternoon.
Chacon served as interim chief since late March following former police chief Brian Manley’s retirement. City Manager Spencer Cronk chose Chacon as his selection to become permanent chief in September, passing up on two other finalists for the job from the Los Angeles and Dallas police departments.
During his remarks, Chacon said becoming the city’s police chief is an honor that “represents the culmination, a capstone on a career in public service.” He added his job is “to ensure that our officers are the beacon of hope for our community.”
“Police officers leave a lasting impression and a mark on all those they interact with, and my goal is to ensure that it’s as positive as that can be,” Chacon said.
He has nearly 30 years of law enforcement experience and has worked with the Austin Police Department since 1998.
Chacon’s appointment to the top position did garner mixed responses from city council members. The council voted 9-2 to appoint Chacon on Sept. 30.
Mayor Steve Adler extended support to Chacon and the police department while addressing the crowd at the new chief’s swearing-in ceremony Friday.
“This city council and this community respect and appreciate our police officers, and we are here to support you and the force in any way that we’re able,” Adler said.
Chacon on KXAN’s Ballot Breakdown Town Hall
During a conversation with Chacon on KXAN’s Ballot Breakdown Town Hall, he said it was a “pivotal moment for policing in this country.”
Building trust between the community and APD is in his vision for the department’s future, he told KXAN. Chacon said one of the biggest challenges facing APD is staffing.