Austin Police Department Chief Art Acevedo has been named Houston's police chief.
KVUE's and the Austin American-Statesman's Tony Plohetski confirmed the information before a formal announcement which came later in the day Thursday. Before the formal announcement, Acevedo arrived in Houston to formally accept the position at the fifth largest police department in the United States with a force of more than 5,000 officers.
Acevedo released the following statement on Thursday:
"I accepted an offer today from Mayor Sylvester Turner to be the next chief of police for the City of Houston. Serving this great city has been the honor of a lifetime. During my nearly ten-year journey with the city, many improvements have been made both within the police department and to our relationship with the community. Together we have addressed many challenges and truly made Austin a safer community. Collectively we have pursued excellence for the Austin Police Department. I believe the timing is right for me to take on the opportunity to work for Mayor Turner and lead the men and women of the Houston Police Department and serve the people of Houston.
Thank you for the tremendous honor of being your chief. I urge you to remember where we were as an organization in July 2007 and what we've accomplished since as a community. We've made great strides and I look forward to the Austin Police Department's continued success."
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced Acevedo's hiring in Houston Thursday afternoon.
"This is a very special moment for the city of Houston, for where we are and where we are going. Today is a big day for this city," Turner said. "We are ready to move forward with the leadership team that will carry us into 2017 and beyond."
Turner praised Acevedo's accomplishments in Houston and said, "He doesn't mind being out there on the front lines himself. He is a cop's cop. He values rank-and-file police officers that are out there on the street. He recognizes the need for diversity. He is eager to serve the city of Houston."
When asked about the Houston position previously, Acevedo publicly said that he had not applied for the position. Plohteski said Houston officials have kept the facts of the negotiation tightly held.
As for Austin, an interim police chief will take Acevedo's place until the position is filled permanently. Austin Police Association President Ken Casaday said the department will likely have an interim chief for the next 12 to 15 months since the city is in the process of hiring a city manager. He named APD Chief of Staff Brian Manley when asked about potential candidates to replace Acevedo.