A former Austin police officer who left the force amid the Texas
city’s move to defund the police sent a scathing letter to the
department rejecting their offer to hire him back.
"I am personally offended by your offer," the former officer wrote in a letter obtained by Fox News
in response to the city’s offer of $5,000 plus extra benefits for
returning to duty. "I did not leave APD for money. I suspect my peers
did not either. No amount of money could make me return. The offer from
the chief shows just how out of touch he is with his officers. What we
crave is leadership. The one thing that has been consistently withheld."
former officer, who identified as a military veteran, went on to
explain in the letter that failed leadership is the reason for the
decision to leave the department.
working environment within APD is one of the most dangerous in the
nation," the former officer wrote. "Not because of the hazards each
officer faces in the streets, but because of the senior leaders that
have no formal professional development leader training, do not value
each officer as a person, push all responsibility to the patrol officer
level, and holds them to unrealistic expectations."
The former officer took specific issue with the department’s decision to hire Joseph Chacon as the new police chief.
Chief Chacon is the biggest mistake the city of Austin could make
during this monumental crisis of leadership facing the department," the
letter said. "He was brought up in this failed promotion system and has
fostered a toxic leadership environment for his entire career."
letter concludes with the former officer saying that he, or she, can
not in "good conscience" return to the department to serve under Chacon
and that the "true victims" are the citizens of Austin.
"God help them," the letter ends with.
In November, Austin residents will vote on Prop A which aims to restore much of the lost funding to the police department.
A, backed by Save Austin Now, would require at least two Austin police
officers for every 1,000 residents and would provide officers with an
additional 40 hours of police training each year on topics such as
weapons proficiency and active shooter scenarios.