Corpus Christi Police Chief Troy Riggs will soon trade in his badge for a desk as the city’s newest assistant city manager at the end of this year.
The announcement was made by City Manager Ron Olson at the end of last week’s city council meeting. Riggs has served as the city’s top cop for two years. The transition will cap a career of more than two decades in law enforcement.
“It will be a broader roll. He’s going to have to have more of an enterprise perspective of managing, and I’m sure he’ll go through a learning curve when it comes to that new role,” Olson said following the Oct. 18 announcement. “But I am absolutely confident that he will be able to make that transition smoothly.”
Riggs will indirectly replace longtime Assistant City Manager Johnny Perales, who is set to retire in January. During the upcoming transition period, Assistant City Manager Oscar Martinez will move to Perales’ position in charge of public works, while Riggs will assume Martinez’s duties in public safety and neighborhoods. Riggs will also have a hand in helping Olson and the city council select his replacement for chief of police.
“This would not have been possible if it wasn’t for all the good work of the men and women in the police department. They make me look good every day. They do a tremendous amount of work and I’m very proud of their accomplishments over the last two years,” Riggs said.
Olson said he looked at a number of things before coming to this decision. He looked at Riggs’ performance record, his interactions with the public, within the department, with the union and with the community at large.
“Both his management skills and his individual personality, in my mind, are all strongly aligned with where I want to take this city. I think his presence on our executive team will be a strength for the whole time,” Olson said. “I have four assistants with four unique personalities. It is a diverse group in how they think about things and how they approach problems.”
As an assistant city manager, Riggs will oversee both the police department as well as the fire department and other areas. In helping with the future police chief search, Riggs said he is looking for someone who will interact with the community and listen to the men and women under his or her command.
An email was sent out Oct. 18 to the city’s police officers, letting them know about the change.
“I will not be doing the day to day operations. I will however be in the position not only to lay in the course for the police department, but for other divisions within this government as we move forward,” Riggs said. “We’re going to be rolling up our sleeves and getting to work.