"Wednesday morning, (...) an Austin City Council budget workshop meeting (...) focused heavily on the Austin Police Department and the City’s attempts to embrace the concept of community policing," reported the Austin American Statesman, noting that "the president of the consulting group tasked with analyzing Austin Police Department’s efforts toward community policing, Matrix Consulting Group, said Austin officers spend the lowest amount of what he called “pro-active” policing time among any other police department he has ever seen."
"While police officers assigned to Downtown spend 69% of their time interacting with the communities they serve in non-emergency settings, the rest of the city’s officers spend only 13%" of their time on "pro-active" activities, noted the article.
"In spite of two studies by outside consultants ordered by the city council which both reinforced the need for more sworn APD officers and civilian staff, the proposed budget for FY 2016-17 offered by City Manager Marc Ott contains funding for 12 new sworn positions and 21 new civilian positions to move existing sworn officers back to patrol (total of 33). APD needs more than 100 new patrol positions. (...) To help fill the gap, the Department is planning to move some sworn officers to patrol and replacing them with civilian positions," informed the Citizen Led Austin Safety Partnership, estimating that "the impact of possibly moving the majority of our District Representatives to patrol and using civilian staff instead would be detrimental to the community policing so needed in our neighborhoods," and asking residents to "plan to attend the city council public hearing on August 17 and city council meeting on August 18 when this portion of the budget will be addressed," and "before then, to contact our Mayor, your city council member, and all the other city council members to tell them to vote for the full funding request by APD and keep sworn officers in our DR positions".
To read the full blog post and access the Mayor and City Council Members' email addresses go to ClaspATX.com.
"The City of Austin Economic Development Department is proud to announce the launch of CAMP: The Cultural Asset Mapping Project" aiming to "develop a comprehensive, community-created map and directory of the places important to arts and culture in Austin," announced the last newsletter of the City of Austin's Cultural Arts Division.
"CAMP will be going into each of the 10 council districts to conduct a Culture Mapping Session to collect suggestions," also announced the newsletter.
Visit AustinTexas.gov/CultureMapping for more information and the list of meetings, also listed on the North Austin calendar for districts 4, 7, 10 and 6.
"A group of neighbors in Northeast Austin is seeking to stop a mental health clinic from coming to 1120 East Braker Lane, saying they are concerned about the safety of children at a nearby elementary school," reported the Austin Monitor.
"Congrats to Economic Growth Business Incubator (EGBI) on the recent renovations to their offices on Airport Blvd," wrote the North Austin Influencers network on their blog, reminding that "EGBI is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that extends education, training and connections directly into the underserved areas of our community in a way that is culturally relevant and delivers proven results."
"A woman is dead and three people are injured after a shooting at a North Lamar warehouse," reported the Austin American Statesman, noting that the shooting "appears to be an isolated incident and represents no immediate danger to the public."
Balcones Park has been awarded $200,000 in Neighborhood Partnering Program & Austin Parks Foundation grants and an additional estimated $300,000 in City funds to make the following improvements to Balcones Park within the next two years:
Community input is imperative in this process! We need your ideas! Please come participate, share your ideas, and help shape our wonderful park at upcoming Community Input Meeting:
"The deadline for feedback on the draft Austin Strategic Housing Plan is next Wednesday August 10, 2016," announced the City, inviting citizens to provide input online at SpeakupAustin.org, by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or in person.
From feedback gathered at recent community meetings, it appears that "District 4 is statistically more in favor of funding and legislation to support affordability. Districts 1 and 10 often showed less support for the need of funding and legislation to build affordable housing in Austin," says the draft.
Details of the upcoming community meeting and next steps at AustinTexas.gov.
Over $1.3M in grant funds awarded to Goodwill Central Texas for program geared towards former inmates
"Goodwill Central Texas has been awarded a grant of $1,360,000 for their Central Texas Training to Work 3 Program (...) geared to serve people reintegrating into the local economy after being released from incarceration," informed the nonprofit in a press release.
"Goodwill Central Texas (GCT) was one of five Goodwill® organizations that will operate a program to support young adults who are currently or were formerly involved with the juvenile or adult justice system with support from the U.S. Department of Labor, that awarded them a grant for more than $4M to improve employment and reduce recidivism among justice-involved young adults," announced the nonprofit in a press release.