Bayou City

Houston Steals Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo to Lead HPD

The City of Houston will snatch Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo from his post to become the next police chief in Houston, sources confirmed to the Austin-American Statesman and KTRK early Thursday.

Serving as Austin's chief since 2007, Acevedo will replace Acting Police Chief Martha Montalvo, who has been at the helm since February. KTRK reports that City Council must still approve Acevedo's contract.

Mayor Sylvester Turner had used a private search firm to narrow it down to the most qualified applicants, though he remained mum about candidates through much of the process, denying public information requests from the Houston Chronicle.

Turner called a news conference Tuesday afternoon to announce the heads of four new city departments, but did not say which.

In the meantime, here is what Austin Mayor Steve Adler had to say about his chief's departure.

“Houston is getting a world-class police chief. Chief Acevedo has made our community safer and closer and he is trusted and much loved by so many. Austin is losing a moral and joyous leader and I’m losing a friend. Losing Art Acevedo is a huge deal and replacing him will be a daunting task, in part because he gave so much of himself to his job and his community. But Austin is a safe city with a strong police force and we’ll have talented applicants to take his place. We’ll shortly have a new city manager and a new police chief, and this gives Austin a unique opportunity to enter a new era in our history.”
We will update this story when more information is available.

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Meagan Flynn is a staff writer at the Houston Press who, despite covering criminal justice and other political squabbles in Harris County, drinks only one small cup of coffee per day.
Contact: Meagan Flynn