North Austin Civic Association

Public Service

From the City of Austin
Communications and Public Information Office

May 21, 2007
(512) 974-2220

City Hosts June Community Meetings with Police Chief Candidates

The City of Austin announced today that the public will have an opportunity to visit with the five finalists for the police chief during three community forums in June. The community meetings will take place at 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.on Monday, June 11; and 8:30 a.m. and noon on Tuesday, June 12. All three meetings will be at the Lester E. Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Road.

The public is encouraged to attend any of these meetings and visit with the five police chief candidates. Feedback from these sessions will be utilized in making a final recommendation for the position.

The five police chief candidates include:

  • Art Acevedo (Sacramento, Calif.) - California Highway Patrol, Planning and Analysis Division Chief, Division Commander. More than 20 years of law enforcement experience including the last two heading the CHP's most complex and busiest division at its headquarters. Previously, he served as the second highest ranking office in Los Angeles County overseeing a $118 million budget with 1,300 sworn police officers.
  • Jimmie L. Dotson (The Woodlands, Texas) - Community Associations of The Woodlands, Law Enforcement Consultant. More than 30 years of law enforcement experience including Chief of Police in Chattanooga, Tenn., and Executive Assistant Chief of Police for the City of Houston, serving a city of $1.9 million where he spent 23 of his 30 years in law enforcement.
  • Cathy J. Ellison (Austin, Texas) - City of Austin, Acting Police Chief. More than 25 years of law enforcement experience with APD. Ellison worked through the ranks beginning as a patrol officer in 1979 before becoming the highest ranking African American female officer in Austin's history.
  • Roger Reinke (Naples, Fla.) - City of Marco Island, Fla., Chief of Police. More than 30 years of law enforcement experience including Assistant Chief of Police in Milwaukee, Wis., a city of similar population to Austin where he spent 27 years in law enforcement. Reinke has served as Police Chief of the southwest Florida island community since June 2001.
  • Richard D. Wiles (El Paso, Texas) - El Paso, Chief of Police. More than 20 years of law enforcement experience. Wiles worked through the ranks of the El Paso department from patrol officer, serving as interim chief for about 10 months before his appointment as Chief in July 2004. El Paso, a city of 600,000 and 1,100 commissioned police officers, was recently ranked as one of the safest major cities in the country.

While in Austin, the five candidates will also take part in meetings with the Mayor, City Council, the Public Safety Task Force and the City of Austin workforce.

Representatives of diverse community groups including the American Civil Liberties Union, the Community Action Network, the League of United Latin American Citizens, the NAACP, People Organized in Defense of Earth and her Resources (PODER) and the Urban League will also have an opportunity to visit with all the candidates. These groups and others helped define the profile used in the initial stages of the Police Chief recruitment process. In addition to the community and stakeholder meetings, phase two of the selection process includes assessment teams making visits to the candidates' communities. Those visits will take place the week of May 28.

City Manager Toby Hammett Futrell, Police Monitor Cliff Brown, Austin Police Association President Jim Beck, Joseph Hawkins with the Citizen Review Panel and Sylvia Gonzalez with the City of Austin's Human Resources Department will visit Los Angeles and Milwaukee.

Assistant City Manager Michael McDonald, Assistant City Manager Rudy Garza, Austin Police Association Vice President George Vanderhule, Ketan Kharod with the Citizen Review Panel and Sonya Alexander-Harry with the City of Austin's Human Resources Department will visit Chattanooga and El Paso.

Under Austin's City Charter, the City Manager is responsible for selecting a final candidate. The recommendation must then be confirmed by the Austin City Council.

The Chief of Police will oversee a department that employs approximately 2,000 uniform and civilian personnel and has a current budget of more than $183 million. The final candidate selected will succeed former Austin Police Chief Stan Knee who left the department in 2006.