Brian Manley's the Man?

Handling of bombings boosts APD vet’s support for future as permanent chief

Interim Police Chief Brian Manley
Interim Police Chief Brian Manley (by Jana Birchum)

Police Chief Brian Manley? Has a nice ring to it, but at present it's only colloquial. Manley's officially an interim chief, and has been since Art Acevedo departed in November of 2016. But Spencer Cronk's onboarding as city manager has sparked new questions about whether the city could give the Austin native and longtime local cop permanent status over the department – and it appears his handling of the three-week bombing saga has brought support to the growing movement. Veteran officers like former Austin Police Association Vice President Wuthipong Tantak­sina­nukij spent Wednesday morning posting messages of support online, and by 11am City Council Member Delia Garza had brought the idea to her colleagues, advising on the members' online forum that she'd like to see the dais "put our full support" behind approving the appointment of Manley as permanent chief "if/when the City Manager seeks this approval."

Garza's recommendation also asks members to "negotiate and APPROVE" (emphasis her own) a contract with APA "as quickly as possible," and calls on members to "stop slow playing council resolutions in an attempt to bring an appearance of support for our law enforcement." The message comes not only on the heels of the failed contract in January but also Garza's efforts to restore certain pay benefits to officers – and Item 47 on today's agenda, concerning staffing plans at the department.

Cronk has been mum on his plans for a permanent chief, but also has another search he'll have to take on when Rhoda Mae Kerr leaves the Austin Fire Depart­ment in July.

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Brian Manley, Delia Garza

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