Only a few months after the local police department took a $150 million hit, Austin Police Chief Brian Manley is stepping down.
On Friday, Manley announced his retirement after 30 years in the department. He originally began as a rookie in 1991 and worked his way up to chief in 2018.
Manley’s retirement comes amid intensifying chaos regarding police; last year, the Democrat-run Austin City Council defunded the city’s police department by one-third, diverting the $150 million to other city projects such as buying multimillion-dollar hotels for homeless individuals.
Manley was once hailed a hero by city hall in 2018 after he led the effort to stop a serial bomber in the city, but council members eventually turned on him. He clashed with the council’s far-left agenda in 2019, when he called for them to reverse a harmful and contentious homelessness camping policy.
Council members began publicly calling for Manley’s resignation last year after the police’s response to riots downtown. Violence broke out at a protest, and officers fired “less-lethal” bean bag rounds into crowds, severely injuring several citizens.
“I know the policing profession is under scrutiny and it’s under reimagination and redesign, and I know a lot of that is taking place here in Austin,” Manley said Friday. “But I stand here with confidence knowing that APD will come out of this a strong agency and that we have positioned ourselves to do so.”
With Manley retiring in March, Austin’s city manager is expected to announce an interim police chief in the coming days and conduct a nationwide search for a permanent replacement.
Both the interim chief and Manley’s official replacement will have to be approved by the city council.