The four finalist candidates for the Baytown police chief position will meet the public 6:30 to 8 p.m. Monday in the auditorium of the Baytown Community Center, 2407 Market St.
City Manager Rick Davis announced the four finalists July 20. They are: Aaron Ausmus, former police chief for the City of Angleton; Rich Austin, police chief for the City of Milton, Georgia; Mike Holden, interim police chief for the City of Baytown; and John Stringer, former acting police chief for the City of Madison, Alabama.
Ausmus was police chief in Angleton from September 2018, until he resigned in March. Since that time, he has served as an investigator in the Brazoria County District Attorney’s Office.
Prior to serving in Angleton, Ausmus was Director of Public Safety/Chief of Police in Dalworthington Gardens. Most of his experience, though most of his law enforcement experience was in Galveston.
He said he served in every bureau of the department and gained experience in patrol, field training, major case investigations, vice and narcotics, professional standards, communications and emergency management.
He said he holds a master’s degree from Sam Houston State University in criminal justice leadership and management and a bachelor’s degree from University of Houston-Downtown in criminal justice. He has an associate degree in emergency medical technology from San Jacinto College Central.
Before becoming a police officer, he was licensed as a paramedic and firefighter.
Austin has served as police chief in Milton, Georgia, since 2017, according to information he provided to The Sun.
Before going to Milton, he served for 25 years with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg (North Carolina) police department and was part of the team that led that department’s transition to community-oriented policing.
He served there as an area commander, watch commander, executive officer of the Administrative Services Bureau, executive officer of the Field Services (Patrol) Bureau and as internal affairs commander.
Austin holds a doctor of public administration degree from California Baptist University, a master in science in criminal justice degree from the University of Cincinnati, a master of public administration degree from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke and a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He also has degrees in music and Christian education.
Stringer provided an article written about him while he was acting chief in Madison.
According to that article, he joined the department in 1998 after graduating from the University of Alabama in Huntsville.
In his more than two decades with the department, he has served in patrol, served as a field training officer, SWAT team assistant leader, narcotics investigator and patrol sergeant.
As a lieutenant he established the Office of Professional Standards addressing internal affairs, policy and procedure, and community resources. He was later promoted to captain, first over-seeing the special operations division then later the investigations division.
He also served as assistant chief in the department and has been a public information officer.
As acting chief, Stringer expanded the number of mental health and crisis intervention officers.
Stringer has attended the FBI National Academy and completed an MBA in public administration.
Mike Holden has been interim Baytown police chief since February and has been with the department since 1992.
Shortly after taking the reins of the department he instituted a broad reorganization, consolidating patrol and investigations into a single Operations Bureau, explaining that the move al-lowed for more efficient allocation of resources.
He said it is his goal to make the department more community oriented. He has also focused efforts on increasing the number of trained mental health officers in the department and improving resources for dealing with persons in mental health crisis.
Holden holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Sam Houston State University and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy.
He has led the patrol division, which included supervising the SWAT team, dive and bomb teams and hostage negotiations and later the support services bureau, which included investigations, records, jail and budget.