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Austin Independent School District Names First Black Chief Of Police

Austin Independent School District Names First Black Chief Of Police

He’s been with the department for 10 years!

The Austin, Texas Independent School District (ISD) has named its first Black chief of police, Fox 7 Austin reports. 

The Austin ISD Police Department is composed of “76 full-time officers, including 43 School Resource Officers, 8 Patrol Officers, and 4 Detectives.” There are also 75 civilian staff members all “committed to creating a safe educational environment” by employing strong working relationships year-round with various school campuses and the general community. 

This week, interim superintendent Anthony Mays announced the hiring of a new chief of police to lead the department, naming Lt. Wayne Sneed as the new department head. Sneed’s appointment is a historic one, the longtime Austin ISD officer becoming the first Black person to hold the position in the history of the force. 

Sneed has been with the department for a decade, most recently as head of the mental health and community engagement unit. He has a total of 40 years of experience, working formerly as a police officer in Austin and San Marcos. In addition to his work in the field, Sneed also teaches law enforcement at Texas State University. The new chief of police believes his own upbringing makes him successful in connecting with the community and ultimately doing his job effectively. It’s important to Sneed to ensure that other people from diverse backgrounds are also represented across all facets of the department. 

“When we start trying to represent diversity and equity, having someone that has a different life path and vision based on the life path is important. I went to school to eat, I didn’t go to school to learn,” said Sneed. 

In his new role, Sneed will head the 76-officer department, taking over for interim chief Lt. Beverly Freshour. Sneed believes his appointment is critical in the grander scope of forming a more inclusive Austin ISD. 

Congratulations Chief Sneed! 

Photo Courtesy of Austin ISD