A former Austin police officer who left the force amid the Texas city’s move to defund the police sent a scathing letter to the department rejecting their offer to hire him back.
"I am personally offended by your offer," the former officer wrote in a letter obtained by Fox News in response to the city’s offer of $5,000 plus extra benefits for returning to duty. "I did not leave APD for money. I suspect my peers did not either. No amount of money could make me return. The offer from the chief shows just how out of touch he is with his officers. What we crave is leadership. The one thing that has been consistently withheld."
The former officer, who identified as a military veteran, went on to explain in the letter that failed leadership is the reason for the decision to leave the department.
"The working environment within APD is one of the most dangerous in the nation," the former officer wrote. "Not because of the hazards each officer faces in the streets, but because of the senior leaders that have no formal professional development leader training, do not value each officer as a person, push all responsibility to the patrol officer level, and holds them to unrealistic expectations."
The former officer took specific issue with the department’s decision to hire Joseph Chacon as the new police chief.
"Installing Chief Chacon is the biggest mistake the city of Austin could make during this monumental crisis of leadership facing the department," the letter said. "He was brought up in this failed promotion system and has fostered a toxic leadership environment for his entire career."
The letter concludes with the former officer saying that he, or she, can not in "good conscience" return to the department to serve under Chacon and that the "true victims" are the citizens of Austin.
"God help them," the letter ends with.
In November, Austin residents will vote on Prop A which aims to restore much of the lost funding to the police department.
Proposition A, backed by Save Austin Now, would require at least two Austin police officers for every 1,000 residents and would provide officers with an additional 40 hours of police training each year on topics such as weapons proficiency and active shooter scenarios.