Dear Chief Acevedo,
Last month, the 23rd annual Austin Reggae Festival took place at Auditorium Shores. The festival has become the number one fundraiser for the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas every year. Over the last five years we have collected in excess of 1 million dollars for the Food Bank and that has translated in to millions of meals served to hungry Texans.
As you are aware, the weather was not in our favor this year and unfortunately because of the amount of water that fell on the Shore's lawn we had to cancel Sunday’s show. Although this created a very negative impact on the Food Bank, our vendors and others, there was a bright spot that emerged and that is what I am writing to you about.
Although the weather on Saturday April 18th started out looking nice, it began to turn into the evening hours. As in the past we had a staff member monitoring weather reports and viewing the radar. For a while it appeared that a storm approaching might break up and miss us. Along with our guy in the command post we had someone in Ohio watching the radar for lightening strikes and your own Lt. Dave New was on the phone with your command monitoring the approaching weather. At one point everyone was in agreement, this storm is not going to break up – it’s coming. We immediately put our evacuation plan into place, and I am happy to tell you that we were able to safely evacuate thousands of people from Auditorium Shores within 20 minutes.
I want to commend Lt. Dave New and Det. Reggie Parker for not only their fast, decisive actions on that night, but in all of their work and input during our meetings leading up to the festival. Det. Parker even attended a meeting on Sunday, April 12th to discuss the evacuation plan with our staff, First Medical Response of Texas Medics, and leaders from Vigilant Security.
Without a doubt, the actions of Lt. New, Det. Parker and the other 15 Officers helped save lives that night. Your officers showed great leadership, professionalism and courage that night and we at the Austin Reggae Fest cannot be more proud of them. The storm was fast moving that night and packed a powerful punch, but in the end everybody went home without a scratch.
Our commitment has been, and continues to be “Safety First.”
Be proud of these Officers Chief, we sure are and we look forward to working with them again in 2016. Our Team that night: Lt. Dave New, Det. Reggie Parker, Officers; Carlos Mayfield, Trissy Prado, Ricky Jones, Josh Metteauer, Eli Neely, Darin Wesley, Jonathan Bynum, Michael Ridge, Cecil Jones, Michael Dunn, Edward Ruff, Michael Carter, Erica Brown and Matt Ligas.