Search for Austin's next top cop narrows to 7 finalists; new chief to be named by end of August

The monthslong search for Austin's new police chief is expected to wrap up before the end of August. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
The monthslong search for Austin's new police chief is expected to wrap up before the end of August. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)

The monthslong search for Austin's new police chief is expected to wrap up before the end of August. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)

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Joseph Chacon. (Courtesy city of Austin)
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Celeste Murphy. (Courtesy city of Austin)
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Anne Kirkpatrick. (Courtesy city of Austin)
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Mirtha V. Ramos. (Courtesy city of Austin)
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Emada E. Tingirides. (Courtesy city of Austin)
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Avery L. Moore. (Courtesy city of Austin)
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Gordon Ramsay. (Courtesy city of Austin)
Seven finalists from across the country remain in the search for Austin's next police chief, the city announced July 26.

Three months since applications for former police Chief Brian Manley's full-time replacement first opened, the selection process led by City Manager Spencer Cronk is now entering its final stages. With Austin's interim police Chief Joseph Chacon and six law enforcement officials from other cities' police departments remaining, Cronk said he will soon put the finalists through a round of interviews before making his selection.

“I am excited about the diverse slate of individuals we have identified for this position,” Cronk said in a statement. “I look forward to discussing with them how we can accomplish the goals of the community and the City Council.”

Following initial public feedback opportunities this spring, during which Austin residents voiced their desires for the qualities of the city's next chief, Cronk also said multiple new resident input sessions will be held before his decision is made.

According to city information, the finalists for the top cop spot were culled from a preliminary slate of 46 applicants and include:


  • Joseph Chacon: Chacon, the city’s interim police chief for the last four months, served as an assistant chief for roughly five years and oversaw patrol, investigations, intelligence and training and recruiting. Chacon has a master’s degree in public administration and is a graduate of the Police Executive Research Forum’s Senior Management Institute for Police, Texas State University’s Certified Public Manager Program and the Major Cities Chiefs Association's Police Executive Leadership Institute.



  • Anne Kirkpatrick: Kirkpatrick has 38 years in policing under her belt and has been a licensed attorney for 30. She started working at the Memphis Police Department in 1982 and has served at eight agencies through her career, including four where she worked as police chief. Kirkpatrick has a master’s degree in counseling and a law degree. Kirkpatrick is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy, the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development School and the FBI National Executive Institute.



  • Avery L. Moore: Moore, an assistant chief with the Dallas Police Department, is a 30-year veteran of DPD. In 2017, Moore was named deputy chief of the department's East Patrol Bureau before becoming assistant police chief in 2019. He holds a master’s degree in management from the University of Phoenix and a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Cameron University.



  • Celeste Murphy: Murphy joined the Atlanta Police Department in 1997 and climbed the ranks until being appointed deputy chief in January 2020. She manages the Community Services Division in Atlanta. Murphy holds a master’s degree in criminal justice and is also a graduate of the PERF senior management institute and the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command.



  • Mirtha V. Ramos: Ramos has worked in law enforcement since she joined the Miami-Dade Police Department in 1997. She served in various assignments and rose through the ranks before her appointments as police major and division chief. Ramos was named chief of the DeKalb County Police Department in Georgia in 2019. She holds a master’s degree in psychology of leadership and graduated from the FBI National Academy.



  • Gordon Ramsay: Ramsay has been a police chief for 15 years and now chiefs the Wichita Police Department. The city said he has been recognized for his focuses on community policing, mental health, victim services, race relations and reconciliation. He holds a bachelor’s degree in criminology and sociology and a master’s degree in management and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy. He also serves on the Major City Chiefs Association Executive Board.



  • Emada E. Tingirides: Since joining the Los Angeles Police Department in 1995, Tingirides was named deputy chief and appointed as the department's Community Safety Partnership Bureau commander. She holds a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice and a master's degree in criminology, law and society.



By Maggie Quinlan

Reporter, Southwest Austin/Dripping Springs

Maggie joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in July 2021 after a year spent covering crime, courts and politics at The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington, near the border with Idaho. In Southwest Austin and Dripping Springs, Maggie covers education, business, healthcare, transportation, real estate development and nonprofits. Prior to CI, she graduated from Washington State University, where she was managing editor of the student newspaper and a section editor at her hometown newspaper based in Moscow, Idaho. Maggie dreamed of living in the Austin area for years and feels honored to serve the communities of Southwest Austin and Dripping Springs.

By Ben Thompson

Austin City Hall Reporter

Ben joined Community Impact Newspaper in January 2019 after graduating with a degree in journalism from Northeastern University in Boston. After spending more than two years covering in The Woodlands area, he moved to Austin in 2021 to cover City Hall and other news throughout the city.



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