New cops on the squad

Published 7:58 am Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Rian Jones is sworn in as one of two new police officers by Director of Administrative Services Tom Dankert Tuesday morning in the Austin City Council Chambers. - Eric Johnson/

Austin Police Department is now back to full police staff after three years of operating with a two-person shortage.

Rian Jones and Kristoffer Stein were sworn in as Austin police officers Tuesday morning at City Hall, and both said they are looking forward to serving the community of Austin.

“I’m excited to be a police officer and to show pride in my badge,” Stein, who is beginning his career as a police officer in Austin, said. “I’m excited to serve the community and give back to the community of Austin.”

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Jones, who worked as a police officer for the cities of Houston and St. Charles before coming to Austin, shared Stein’s excitement.

“The cities that I’ve worked before are relatively smaller (than Austin),” Jones said. “I’ve never had the exposure of a larger city, such as the city of Austin. I’m just excited to get in and get started.”

Police Chief Brian Krueger said it’s a good feeling to have two new officers. Krueger said the officers will undergo about three and a half months of training – three months of which will be ride-along training with an experienced officer.

“This will definitely be a process with the two weeks in-house (training) and approximately three months of other training with the officers,” Krueger said. “We’re probably looking at the end of January 2011 before they’re out on their own. It’ll be a gradual transition.”

Krueger said the acquisition of two new officers will lead to promotions within the department as well. He said he hopes to have a captain in place by Nov. 15 at the latest and, depending on who becomes captain, a lieutenant or detective position will then need to be filled.

There is another detective position open as well, due to Krueger’s promotion from detective to chief in August.

“There will be a lot of good things happening with the department,” Krueger said. “I believe (the new officers) are very excited to be here in Austin and look forward to joining our family — and team-oriented police department.”