Rollingwood Alderman Max Westbrook submitted his letter of resignation from Rollingwood City Council and was named the city’s interim police chief during Wednesday night’s council meeting.
Westbrook will replace Police Chief Dayne Pryor, who announced his plans to retire earlier this year after serving the city since 2001. Pryor will retire officially Nov. 2.
Westbrook is a retired officer of the Austin Police Department. He has also served as an interim chief in the past, including for Dublin, Texas, earlier this year, as part of a law enforcement-consulting firm.
Westbrook said the job feels like a natural fit because he was born and raised in Rollingwood and has known Pryor for most of his life.
“Max is going to assess our police department, identify our strengths and some of the areas we can improve,” City Administrator Amber Lewis told Community Impact Newspaper Thursday morning. “We’re going to have a transition period and will take a look at finding a permanent chief after.”
Westbrook said his priorities are to update the city’s police policy manual and to make sure the department stays involved in community activities and events.
“Hat’s off to chief Pryor because he’s done a great job,” Westbrook said. “He’s been chief a very long time and is well respected in the community. They are big shoes to fill because he’s done a lot of positive things.”
Westbrook, who has been completing the council term of former Alderman Joe Basham, did not file to run for his council position this fall. Basham’s term is set to expire in November.
Lewis said Westbrook will continue to serve on City Council until Oct. 30. Wendi Hundley, a current member of the Rollingwood Park Commission who filed to run for the position, will be sworn into office at a special meeting that evening, she said.
Lewis said the city would be interested in having Westbrook as a long-term option but wanted to make sure the transition was successful before making a final decision.
“The mayor, the city and myself are confident in his abilities,” Lewis said. “We’re really excited to have Max onboard because he has so much law enforcement experience and skills that we’re thrilled to have for Rollingwood.”
Westbrook will take over as chief of police Nov. 3.