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Matthew Wright

Matthew Wright

Strategic Advisor

A Bit About Me

Lieutenant Matthew Wright is a 23-year veteran of the Austin Police Department. He rose through the ranks of police officer, detective, sergeant, and lieutenant working various patrol investigative and administrative assignments throughout the City. 

In 2005, Lieutenant Wright was selected to serve as a District Representative for the Community Liaison Division where he advanced community engagement and safety throughout the Central West Austin region, leading impactful community partnerships and key stakeholder engagement to identify and mitigate the root causes of crime. From 2007 to 2012 he served as an Instructor at the APD Training Academy, delivering instruction, leadership development, training, and evaluation to over 5K officers, civilian personnel, and external agency officers. Within this capacity, he was recognized as a Subject Matter Expert across Use of Force Case Law, and Arrest, Search and Seizure Case Law. 

In 2012, Lieutenant Wright was promoted to Detective where he was assigned to the APD Sex Crimes Unit and responsible for investigating violent sex crimes and assaults within given jurisdictions. As a Patrol Corporal from 2013 to 2015, Lieutenant Wright oversaw patrol operations across Central Austin, East Austin, and Downtown Austin, enforcing federal, state, and city laws and ordinances while fostering community relations, ensuring public safety, and providing leadership to over 20 patrol officers. 

Lieutenant Wright was promoted to the rank of Sergeant in 2015 and continued to oversee patrol operations across East Austin and Downtown Austin, enforcing federal, state, and city laws and ordinances, advancing community engagement, and delivering leadership and oversight to over 20 officers.  He was assigned as an Investigator in the APD Internal Affairs Unit in 2017, where he conducted internal administrative investigations regarding allegations of misconduct by APD officers.  Within this capacity, he ensured procedural and organizational justice, upheld agency credibility and integrity, and enforced law, policy, and administrative orders.

In 2019, Matthew was promoted to Lieutenant and was selected to serve as the night shift Watch Commander for the APD Real Time Crime Center, most notably during the racial justice protests and riots of 2020, when tens of thousands of people protested George Floyd’s death, in downtown Austin, Texas.

Based on his integral reputation and previous Internal Affairs experience, Lieutenant Wright was selected by APD senior leadership to serve on an Internal Affairs Task Force, established to investigate allegations of police officer misconduct following the police response to the 2020 protests, rioting, and violence. Several of his investigations involved high-profile incidents that were covered by local and national media. 

Lieutenant Wright was later selected to oversee APD’s Risk Management Division, where he managed operations across Early Intervention Systems, Policy Coordination, Civil Lawsuits, Inspections, Drug Testing, and Worker's Compensation. He simultaneously guided organizational members through the challenges of a global pandemic and resulting exposure responses, reporting procedures, and safety measures. He currently serves as a Lieutenant in APD Internal Affairs, where he oversees and monitors administrative investigations and the day-to-day operations of the unit and delivers guidance assistance across internal affairs policy and procedures for executive leadership and stakeholders.

Lieutenant Wright attended Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi, completing a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice in 1999, and a Master of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies from Texas State University in 2022. He earned a Certified Public Manager® (CPM) designation from Texas State University, is a Certified Ethics instructor through the Institute for Law Enforcement Administration (ILEA), and a Certified Fair and Impartial Policing Instructor through Fair and Impartial Policing, LLC. Lieutenant Wright has completed advanced training in organizational development and leadership development and has delivered thousands of hours of instruction to officers, external stakeholders, and civilians. He has received numerous commendations and awards for his police service including citations for Meritorious Unit, Honorable Conduct, Special Response Team, Essential Services, and Academic Achievement.  

Lieutenant Wright serves as a Commissioner for the Planning and Zoning Commission of Buda, Texas, and previously served as the Chair of the Main Street Advisory Board of Buda, Texas.  He has also previously served as a Chair for the APD Chief’s Advisory Committee. 

Driven to lead by example, Lieutenant Wright seeks to promote a community police style of leadership centered on organizational accountability, integrity, community engagement, and partnership strategies between criminal justice systems and the community that it serves.

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