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Posted on: September 11, 2020

City announces chief of police finalists

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The City of Victoria’s search for a new chief of police has resulted this week in the selection of three finalists. 

“The chief of police holds one of the most important positions within the City,” City Manager Jesús A. Garza said. “Working closely with our executive recruitment firm, Strategic Government Resources, we were able to attract an outstanding pool of candidates. This reaffirms the positive reputation that our police department and community have.” 

The finalists are Roberto (Robert) Arredondo Jr., major for the Dallas Police Department; George (Rich) Austin Jr., chief of police for the City of Milton, Georgia; and Vernell Dooley, Jr., chief of police for the City of Glenn Heights. The City of Victoria received 53 applications from candidates in 22 states. 

Roberto Arredondo Jr. in police uniformArredondo has more than 22 years of law enforcement experience and serves in the appointed executive rank of major for the Dallas Police Department. He also has been a division commander since 2015. A veteran of the United States Army, Robert joined the Dallas Police Department in 1996 as a patrol officer and was promoted through the ranks, holding positions including detective and sergeant in the Homicide Unit and Robbery Unit and gang enforcement officer. 

Arredondo will graduate with a master’s in public affairs from the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley later this year. He earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Tarleton State University.

George Austin in police uniformAustin has more than 25 years of law enforcement experience and has served as the chief of police for the City of Milton since 2017. He began his law enforcement career with the Pineville Police Department in North Carolina. Austin joined the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 1993 as a patrol officer and rose through the ranks, holding the positions of sergeant, lieutenant and captain before transitioning to Milton.

Austin earned a doctorate in Public Administration from California Baptist University, a master’s in criminal justice from the University of Cincinnati, a master’s in public administration from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, and a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. 

Vernell Dooley Jr. in police uniformDooley has more than 15 years of law enforcement experience and serves as the chief of police for the City of Glenn Heights. He has been its highest-ranking police officer since 2017. He began his law enforcement career in Denton, Texas, as a police officer with the Denton Police Department in 2005. Dooley rose through the ranks, holding the positions of sergeant and director of training. He also served as interim assistant to the Denton city manager 2016-2017.

Dooley earned a master’s in public administration from the University of North Texas, a master’s in criminology/criminal justice from the University of Texas at Arlington and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of North Texas. 

A sole finalist for the position could be announced at the end of September.

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