Sgt. Liz Donegan (Ret.) brings a wealth of experience to the position of Travis County Sheriff. She began her career in public service with the United States Army. Liz served overseas with the 295th Aviation Company in Mannheim Germany. After completing her tour of duty, she moved to Austin in 1989. Liz worked for the Travis County Sheriff’s office from 1990 to 1992 as a correctional officer. She went back to college while working full time and finished her B. S. degree in Social Psychology from Park University (Magna Cum Laude). In 1992 she began her career with the Austin Police Department, which would span the next 26 years until her retirement.

As Sergeant, Liz led the APD Sex Crimes Unit for nine years. Under her leadership, the Sex Crimes Unit was widely recognized for its progressive approach to investigating sexual assault, providing better service to victims, and changing the culture surrounding the investigation of non-stranger sexual assault. The Unit was recognized for its progressive approach by the Human Rights Watch in their 2013 report, Improving Police Response to Sexual Assault.  

Even after retiring from APD, Liz has stayed involved in the work. She remains Co-Chair of the Austin/Travis County Sexual Assault Response Resource Team (SARRT). She is in-demand nationally and internationally as a speaker, trainer and consultant in the areas of responding to, investigating and prosecuting sexual assault. Liz has won numerous awards for her work, including the first Professional Impact Award given by End Violence Against Women International (EVAWI) in 2011, the VFW Local and District Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Awards in 2011, and the TAASA Harold Cottle Justice Award in 2010 and 2019.  

Liz lives in the beautiful Travis County Hill Country with her partner Karen and their son Miguel.

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