Austin City Council Cut Police Budget by $150 Million – One Officer Responds
The Austin City Council voted unanimously to cut $150 Million from the police budget in three phases. The first is to be $21M immediately with the other stages to follow.
They won’t allow any cadet programs to go forward until they’re “appropriate.” They’ve cut units, and left 150 vacant officer positions unfilled.
The Texas Tribune reported,
Another $80 million in cuts would come from a yearlong process that will redistribute money used for civilian functions like forensic sciences, support services and victims’ services to other departments. About $50 million would come from reallocating dollars to a “Reimagine Safety Fund” that would divert money toward “alternative forms of public safety and community support through the yearlong reimagining process.”
Repercussions? There are many, and they will be overhwelming to any police officers who remain. The loss of civilian positions sounds like a good place to cut for leftists, but in fact, someone has to do the work – no forensics means those duties will have to be farmed out to other agencies. No property officers, no detective support services to gather fingerprints and other evidence, there are a plethora of things that this council didn’t think through. Austin has already been experiencing an exodus of police.
The Austin City council has abandoned the number one duty of any government: public safety, according to Governor Abbott.
One Austin officer sent an open letter to his community after the vote:
We have served with the best of our ability for many years. We have missed anniversaries, birthdays, funerals, sports, and many other things so we could be there for you. When you called, we came. When you were being victimized, we stepped in and stopped it. When you were on your last breath, we gave you another and another. As many as it took to keep you alive.
We held your child and loved on them when they were scared. We comforted you when your loved ones passed. We put our lives in harms way when the wolf came for you. When you ran from gunfire, we ran towards it. When you sat trapped in your car, we held your hand until the rescue crew could cut you out.
We bought you lunch when others walked by and did nothing. We brought justice to your family when someone was taken from you. We gave you a voice when you had none. We stepped in when you couldn’t protect yourself. We saved your son’s, daughter’s, husband’s, aunt’s, brother’s, and sister’s.
The day came when we needed your help, but you never showed. When we asked you to stand up and give us a voice, you remained silent. When we were at our lowest, you offered no help. When we were being attacked, you watched from afar. When the time came for you to fight for us, you stayed home and kept silent. (To those who didn’t, thank you.)
The Austin Police Department has been almost completely defunded. There is barely enough to pay for our salary, medical care, and retirement. Now, when the wolf puts a bomb at your doorstep, we won’t be there. When a drunk driver kills your family member, we won’t be there. When your family member is drowning at the lake, we won’t be there. When someone crashes into your car, we won’t be there.
When gangs take over your neighborhood, we won’t be there.
When you’re assaulted on one of the many trails, we won’t be there. When you’re child is lost, we won’t be there to find them. We won’t be there because your Austin City Council has shut down almost every unit needed to keep you safe and be there for you. They took everything from you while you sat in silence. They did it for their own personal gain and agenda. They won’t be there for you and made sure we couldn’t either.
An Austin Police Officer
Austin city council has followed the politics, but not the safety of its citizens. Gov Abbott has vowed that the Texas Department of Public Safety will step in to protect the citizens of Austin.
Featured photo: Screenshot of newly minted Austin officers waiting for cadet graduation on Jan 31. All cadet classes have been cancelled until further notice. American Statesman file/TNS