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Public Safety

Ordinance would remove civilian oversight of police from labor contract

The city of Austin laid out its plan for removing the Office of Police Oversight from its labor contract with the Austin Police Association, the union that represents police officers, as well as its aim to reach a new agreement…

Police oversight office advocates for community input in updating police body- and dash-cam policies

The Austin Police Department should incorporate public feedback when developing policies related to body-worn and dashboard cameras, direct officers to alert community members when their interaction is being recorded, investigate potential violations of body-worn and dashboard camera policies, and reconsider…

City departments continue refining wildfire evacuation plan

Last week, City Council’s Mobility Committee learned about the regional response and evacuation plan that would go into effect in the event of a wildfire. “Wildfires know no boundaries and looking at what we’re doing in terms of coordination, we’re…

Crash deaths, injuries on the rise despite Vision Zero interventions

Traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries in the city of Austin have increased in 2022 compared with the five-year average, highlighting the barriers that stand in the way of the city’s Vision Zero goals. The Vision Zero program, which originated in…

Travis County preps for centennial fire prevention week

According to a proclamation unanimously approved by the Travis County Commissioners Court on Tuesday, the week of Oct. 9-15 is the 100th annual fire prevention week in Travis County. The theme of the centennial? “Fire won’t wait. Plan your escape.”…

Austin Public Health expands eligibility for the monkeypox vaccine

Austinites at risk of contracting monkeypox are now eligible for the vaccine, health officials said Monday. Previously, the vaccine was limited to people directly exposed to the virus or diagnosed with the disease. “We are really just classifying anyone at…

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City, police union seek a new contract before May election, when oversight is on the ballot

With Austin voters set to vote on whether to expand civilian oversight of the police department in May, the city of Austin and the Austin Police Association reaffirmed their commitment to finalizing a new labor contract before the spring election,…

APD officers continue to direct homeless to campsite closed for new residents

The Austin Police Department has for months continued to direct homeless individuals to a camping site that has been closed to new residents, leaving people with no legal place to find shelter while staying with their belongings. At Wednesday’s meeting…

APD releases after-action report detailing response to 2020 protests

In the two years and four months since thousands of Austinites protested the police killing of George Floyd, 19 Austin police officers have been indicted for using so-called less-lethal ammunition, or beanbag rounds, on protesters, and the city of Austin…

Public Safety joins parks board effort to study crime in city parks

At its special called meeting Tuesday, the Public Safety Commission unanimously voted to send one of its members to a Parks and Recreation Board working group studying crime in city parks and tasked with coming up with recommendations for City…

County may start participating in national ballistics database

The first of three gun violence prevention briefings was held Sept. 8 at Travis County Commissioners Court, drawing a diverse crowd from police officials to intervention groups and diversion program advocates. The bulk of discussion focused on a firearms shell…

APD responds to concerns about LRAD crowd control measure

At the Public Safety Commission’s special called meeting Tuesday, the Austin Police Department answered follow-up questions about its ongoing use of long-range acoustic device, or LRAD, technology as a crowd control method amid concerns it could damage the hearing of…

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