AUSTIN — Austin City Manager Spencer Cronk is appointing Interim Police Chief Brian Manley to the city's top law enforcement position, pending approval next week by the city council.
Cronk said that Manley has willingly engaged with the community in forums and panels and answered their questions about how he would lead as chief of the Austin Police Department.
"Many of the residents provided positive feedback regarding Chief Manley's character as an honest and trustworthy leader who effectively led the department through this interim period and noted his outstanding leadership in responding to the Austin bombings," Cronk explained in a memo.
If named as chief, Cronk said Manley agreed to focus on making sure Austin remains one of the safest cities in the United States, improving community policing and transparency, staffing, training --including an undoing racism training session for assistant chiefs and commanders before the end of 2018 -- and improving efforts to improve equity and inclusion.
Manley, 50, has served as interim since December 2016 and will be the first chief in a decade to receive the position after rising through the department's ranks. He was named interim after former Police Chief Art Acevedo departed for Houston.
Cronk's decision to appoint Manley -- without a national search -- ends months of discussion about who would be tapped to lead the department.
Some of the community has pressed Cronk for a national search, similar to how the city has conducted previous chief searches. Others, however, have said Manley should be appointed.
Manley had been with the agency since 1990 and has served in a number of leadership roles in various departments.
Cronk said he will put the request to have Manley named as permanent chief on the June 14 Council Agenda.