Tonight, Austin ISD’s Board of Trustees approved the appointment of Ashley Gonzalez as the new Austin ISD Police Chief.
The district held a nationwide search, reviewing applicants and conducting several interviews and screenings before moving forward with Gonzalez.
“Based on his expertise, years of experience and accomplishments, Ashley Gonzalez’s name stood out among the candidates. Particularly, his ability to lead a department, his extensive training in school safety and his reputation as being trustworthy and transparent brought him to the forefront,” Superintendent Paul Cruz said. “We wanted to ensure we had the best person for the job and the best fit for Austin ISD.”
As chief of police, Gonzalez will be responsible for maintaining and enforcing policies, directives, standards and laws of the district and state. He will also be responsible for the oversight of the district’s full-time police officers, including school resource officers and patrol officers.
“I am eager to use my experience to provide the highest level of safety here in Austin ISD, for both the students and the dedicated teachers, staff, and facilities that serve them,” Gonzalez said. “The goal is to allow each student to have the most excellent educational experience that I know Austin ISD seeks to provide, and to allow each member of this community to feel safe, included, and heard. I know Austin ISD already has a dedicated department of police officers doing this important work every day, and I am excited to lead and work alongside such professionals as we serve and protect this special community together.”
Gonzalez has been the deputy chief of police of Norwalk, Conn. where he oversaw school resource officers, led and managed the administrative divisions, and oversaw a budget of about $24 million. Previously, he served the Norwalk Police Department as a patrol officer, detective, sergeant and lieutenant.
Additionally, Gonzalez brings experience in working in a large police department and is aware of both city and school policies.
He has dedicated much of his career to serving and protecting Norwalk’s youth. Some of that work includes establishing a Special Victims Unit, expanding the School Resource Officer program and developing specialized detectives to investigate internet crimes against children. He assisted in implementing the Greater Norwalk Juvenile Review Board, a program that has significantly reduced juvenile recidivism.
Gonzalez has an associate degree in criminal justice, a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice administration and is currently pursuing his master’s degree in criminal justice.
Gonzalez will begin work as AISD Police Chief on May 24.