APD Chief looks back at year and ahead at 2013 - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

APD Chief looks back at year and ahead at 2013

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Wednesday, Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo was the first to respond to a call about a suicidal woman at a South Austin apartment. When he and other officers couldn't get in, they made the decision to break open the door. That decision helped save a woman who had just tried to commit suicide.

"I've been a cop for 27 years and it seems like during the holidays those kind of calls go up," says Chief Acevedo, who is spending his day patrolling the streets.

It's something he says he tries to do throughout the year.

"This is the backbone of policing. Police officers on the front lines in the black and whites, this is the one function you absolutely cannot do without. When you call 9-1-1 these are the folks that come out and so I like to keep my skills up." And keep up with what's going on in the community.

As the year comes to a close, he has the chance to look back at 2012. While it's been a successful year for the most part, the Austin Police Department was also struck by tragedy.

"Four months into the year on Good Friday we lost Jaime Padron which was really, real challenging for us, we hadn't had someone shot from gunfire in quite a few years in Austin," he said.

From that incident came support from the community when the department needed it most.

"That silent majority came out to tell them, hey we care about you, we love you guys, we appreciate you."

Now, as looks ahead to the new year, he knows the department will be faced with challenges as Austin continues to grow.

"As you look around you there's more growth everywhere you look. The cranes are back in Austin and with that comes an increased workload for the department."

A study done earlier this year said that Austin will need more than 250 officers within the next five years as the population continues to climb and that's something Chief Acevedo will continue to push for.

"It's about, how do we continue to provide the appropriate staffing to keep us a safe city."

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