"The police matter for next Monday is critical in light of breaking news today with a press conference with Chief Acevedo, other members ofAPD, Federal law enforcement agents and the cognizant U. S. Asst. Attorney General, Robert Pittman announcing two new large scale drug takedowns in Austin, one a ring apparently led by los Zetas distributing cocaine and a second distributing methamphetamines. Mr. Pittman's statements, especially, direct attention to how central our communities are in these activities because of IH 35. Both drugs come from Mexico and likely involve directions and personnel of drug cartels.The wealth, ruthlessness and power of these groups that we first surfaced before our Commission in March of 2010 has grown as a presence in central Texas during this decade. Such exogenous threats add to the need for increased support for the Police as well as a testament to the City Council's creation of the Austin Regional Intelligence Center two years ago.
These are some of the links to that press conference today:
Speaking for each of our Commissioners, we feel this summer's meetings are critical in the quality and depth of our consideration of Public Safety topics and the provision of our responsibility of advising you."
Chair, City of Austin Public Safety Commission
Chair, UT Police Oversight Committee
Clara Pope Willoughby Centennial Professor
This year is an especially important time to back the police department's ask of 92 officers plus the other unmet needs. In the preliminary budget work session, when Acevedo went before council to make this ask, there was push back from Morrison and Spelman. That means Tovo is not far behind, and all they need is one more council member to cave in for the police budget request to be cut back.
The important points to make with council:
1. We have never really had the 2.0 in years past. Each of the last few years, APD was required to delay hiring the extra officers toward the end of the fiscal year so that the salaries are part of the next years budget. We have been duped into thinking that they were fully staffed to 2:1000.
2. As you have all heard, APD is being stretched due to the increase in events. And we all have questions about the waiving of large fees that would normally reimburse the city for the overtime/ extra officers.
3. Our city is growing fast. The lead time to train this many officers is 2 years from recruitment, training, probation, and some experience as a patrol officer to be ready for prime time.
4. I have heard a number of complaints about the DR program:
a. there is no training program
b. they function like a pool of temporary employees
c. some of us have had as many as 4 DR's in a year
d. citizens want more input into how the DR program is managed.
5. Region II, which serves most of North Austin, is 2 full shifts short.
Please think about showing up at the PSC meeting on Monday.
Monday June 3rd
4pm - 6pm
Boards and Commissions Room at city Hall (just inside the front door)
sign in sheet is placed at the doorway just inside the B&C room
Free parking in city hall parking garage.
It is important for us to have a visible presence at that meeting to show community support for APD's proposed budget.
Info from NACN's newsletter:
92 more officers are needed based on Patrol Utilization Study. The City is currently planning for the 2014 budget. In 2012, a PERF study (A Washington DC think tank) was commissioned to address APD’s needs. APD’s 2014 budget request for 92 more officers is based on this report.
For more information about APD’s 2014 budget needs visit:
See the CLASP alert for in-depth coverage:
You can also watch the City Council budget work session's video online:
If you want City Council to support APD's request, please send them an email:
Mayor Leffingwell 512-974-2250 firstname.lastname@example.org
Mayor Pro Tem Cole 512-974-2266 email@example.com
Councilmember Spelman 512-974-2256 firstname.lastname@example.org
Councilmember Riley 512-974-2260 email@example.com
Councilmember Martinez 512-974-2264 firstname.lastname@example.org
Councilmember Tovo 512-974-2255 email@example.com
Councilmember Morrison 512-974-2258 firstname.lastname@example.org