Austin ISD selects first black chief to lead district police department

Wayne Snead will step into the role on Aug. 1 to lead the 76-officer department.

Austin, Texas – Austin ISD Acting Superintendent Anthony Mays announced Thursday that he has made his choice Austin ISD Police Department Lt. Wayne Snead to lead the school district police department.

Chief Snead is the first black police chief to serve in the area. He will take up the role on August 1 and lead the 76-officer department.

“When we start trying to show diversity and equality, it’s important to have someone who has a different life path and perspective based on that life path,” says Snead, who credits her upbringing as having a different perspective. “I went to school to eat, not to learn.”

Snead takes the position at a time when school safety is a priority after the tragic shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde.

“Safety is everyone’s number one priority for our schools and that’s why having a police chief before school starts is so important,” Mays said in a media release. “I would like to thank Lt. Beverly Freshshore for her service as Interim Chief.”

RELATED: Austin ISD Police Chief Leaves After 4 Years

A committee of district administrators and leaders recommended the board hire Snead after interviewing internal and external candidates.

Snead has been with AIDS PD for the past 10 years, most recently leading the Mental Health and Community Engagement Unit. Snead also teaches law enforcement at Texas State University.

He has 40 years of experience, including experience in Austin and San Marcos. Snead also served as a special agent with the National Insurance Crime Bureau and director of internal affairs for the Office of the Inspector General with the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.

Snead was also appointed to the Texas Juvenile Advisory Board in 2017 but does not currently serve on the board.

AISD said Snead knows the Austin ISD community well and has always wanted to be in law enforcement.

Snead succeeds Ashley Gonzalez, who headed the department for four years. Gonzalez announced on May 24 that he was leaving to lead another agency in New England.

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