AUSTIN, Texas — A former officer of the Austin Police Department who resigned as the city slashed the police budget by $150 million in 2020 sent a blistering retort to the agency rejecting their offer to be rehired.
“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.”
The former officer who is also a military veteran said that failed leadership was pivotal when making a decision to resign.
“The 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.”
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Moreover, the one-time cop took specific issue with the city’s decision to hire Joseph Chacon as the new police chief, Fox reported.
“Installing Chief Chacon is the biggest mistake the city of Austin could make during this monumental crisis of leadership facing the department,” the letter continued. “He was brought up in this failed promotion system and has fostered a toxic leadership environment for his entire career.”
In conclusion, the letter’s author cannot in “good conscience” return to the department to serve under Chacon and that the “true victims” are the citizens of Austin. “God help them.”
Austin Police Association President Ken Casaday told Fox News that about 30 officers received the letter from the department to return and while one officer responded, none ultimately accepted the offer.