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Tip Sheet: Travis County, 2.25.20

Tuesday, February 25, 2020 by Ryan Thornton

The Travis County Commissioners Court meets every Tuesday at 9 a.m. To help our readers stay informed, each week we offer a selection of interesting items from the voting session agenda. The entire agenda is available at the Travis County website.

6. Consider and take appropriate action on the Child Care Local Match Contribution Agreement with the Workforce Solutions Capital Area Workforce Board for FY 2020. (Commissioners Shea & Gómez)

Monitor’s Take: The county is being asked to commit its half for this year’s child care services agreement with Austin Community College and the Capital Area Workforce Board at Workforce Solutions. The county’s contribution is $245,000, most of which is dedicated to Austin Community College’s Teacher and Director Training, Retention, and Compensation program, which offers child care professionals a variety of educational resources. If approved, the Texas Workforce Commission will draw down matching federal funds.

7. Receive State-required racial profiling report for Calendar Year 2019 from the Travis County Sheriff’s Office. (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: According to the 17th of such reports, the Travis County Sheriff’s Office found no evidence of racial profiling in stops, searches and arrests during calendar year 2019. In all, there were nearly 40,000 stops last year with over 900 of those leading to a search. While there were far more stops and searches of white people than of any other race or ethnic group, these were also less likely to result in a search than detentions of black and Hispanic individuals. More precisely, less than 2 percent of detentions of white individuals led to a search while that number was roughly 3 and 4 percent for Hispanic and black individuals respectively.

10. Approve exemption and award of Contract No. 4400004768 with Absolute Truth, Inc. for polygraph services. (Commissioner Daugherty)

Monitor’s Take: The Travis County Sheriff’s Office is asking for money to start conducting polygraph tests on potential employees. The office has decided on Absolute Truth, a polygraph services company that already conducts polygraph exams for Travis County Adult Probation at $225 each. Absolute Truth has agreed to offer TCSO the same service to begin testing applicants before employment or for corrections officers seeking to become deputies or attend the Basic Peace Officer Course. The office suspects it could require as many as 300 exams each year.

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Key Players & Topics In This Article

Travis County Commissioners Court: The legislative body for Travis County. It includes representatives from the four Travis County Precincts, as well as the County Judge. The County Judge serves as the chair of the Court.

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