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  • Writer's pictureAustin Police Association PAC

Dangerous Proposal Attacks Austin Public Safety

The Patrol & Surveillance Working Group Recommendations from the City of Austin have surfaced, recommending an almost wholesale defunding of the Austin Police Department.

APD programs on the chopping block include:

  • Austin K9 Unit

  • Austin Mounted Patrol

  • Neighborhood-Based Policing Program

  • Gang Suppression Unit

  • Riverside Togetherness Project

  • Park Police

  • Lake Patrol

  • Specialized Patrol

  • Police Overtime

  • Community Engagement Events, Special Events, and Education Functions

  • US Marshals’ Lone Star Fugitive Task Force

  • Community Partnerships

  • District Representatives

  • Building Code Enforcement

The report also calls for an end to all cadet classes, despite the drastic and ongoing shortage of officers in Austin.

So what does this proposal suggest we do with our city's public safety funds instead? Some of the proposed changes include using city funds to pay legal expenses for criminals and a civilian force to direct traffic while decriminalizing ALL traffic offenses.

Other troubling suggestions include an effective ban on police officers serving as security for large-scale events, again forcing civilians to fill the gap. The report also calls for the "ban the use of facial recognition software, such as Clearview AI, by any APD officer or city employee" while demanding the total defunding of the Austin Regional Intelligence Center (ARIC), Real Time Crime Center / HALO, and the StarChase Pursuit Management Technology Solution.

This proposal seeks to effectively abolish the Austin Police by defunding programs that have been proven effective, such as the mounted patrol, community engagement, and high-tech crimestopping tools. At the same time, it places most the burden of enforcing the law and stopping crime on civilian city employees. It is radical and flies in the face of logic.

This is not how we create a safer Austin. With violent crimes on the rise in Austin, now is the time for our community and law enforcement to work together, not against each other. City leadership must stop allowing these kinds of extremist views to guide their policy decisions and help us all unite toward protecting the people of our city.

You can read the full report on the City of Austin website.

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