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Tag Archives: Public Safety Commission

Wednesday, April 3, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Public safety departments cite $3.5M in unmet needs

At Monday’s Public Safety Commission meeting, commissioners unanimously voted to send a memo to City Council recommending an additional $3.5 million in funding for the 2020 fiscal year. The money would fund initiatives including a $10,000 raise for future police…

Tuesday, March 12, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

APD investigates causes of traffic fatalities

As busy and congested as Austin streets have become, drivers have managed to keep the number of traffic fatalities from rising over the last few years.“We’re on a four-year downward trend,” Ron MacKay, Austin Police Department’s crime analysis division manager,…

Wednesday, March 6, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Council-mandated sexual assault process review comes before Public Safety Commission

After City Council ordered an independent review of the Austin Police Department’s handling of sexual assault cases, the city manager’s office went straight to work. Staffers requested proposals from non-governmental entities with expertise in the prosecution of the crime to…

Tuesday, March 5, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

In Austin, violent crime is down but hot spots persist

As Austin continues to experience explosive growth as it transforms into one of the nation’s larger metro areas, concerns about big-city-sized crime abound.However, despite meteoric growth, overall violent crime is down. Ron MacKay, the crime analysis division manager with APD,…

Wednesday, February 6, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Travis County and its growing number of sexual assault response teams

Sexual assault has become a hot-button topic in Austin over the past several weeks. Of course, this sort of crime is nothing new; sexual violence has been with us for centuries and has always been difficult to deal with.In an…

Tuesday, February 5, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

APD Chief Manley addresses sexual assault audit

At the beginning of 2019, Austin Police Department Chief Brian Manley called for a third-party audit of the department’s sexual assault cases. State auditors subsequently found that detectives had wrongly “exceptionally cleared” nearly a third of rape cases over a three-month…

Tuesday, December 4, 2018 by Jack Craver

Report: West Campus needs more lights

Two and a half years after the murder of a UT student spurred calls to improve safety in the West Campus neighborhood, campus safety advocates and city transportation officials say it’s time for the city to improve lighting in the…

Wednesday, November 14, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

‘Mega-fires’ are real, but their size is anyone’s guess

When representatives from the Austin Fire Department spoke at the last meeting of the Public Safety Commission, they alluded to a “mega-fire” they said was imminent in West Austin.Although the term may sound alarming, Justice Jones, wildfire mitigation program manager…

Thursday, September 6, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

For juveniles, no more curfew tickets does not mean more crime

Last September, City Council unanimously voted to end the late-night curfew for minors that had been on the books for 27 years. Those who made the case to nix the ordinance argued with data that showed that curfews do not…

Wednesday, September 5, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Office of the Police Monitor looks to revamp complaint process

According to a recent study by the Office of the Police Monitor, for many in Austin, being seen is being heard.At the Sept. 4 special called meeting of the Public Safety Commission, Police Monitor Farah Muscadin explained that many people…

Tuesday, August 14, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Citizen Review Panel audit brings up questions of document security

After 17 years of evaluation of the Austin Police Department by the Citizen Review Panel, not much happened. That is the conclusion that the Office of the City Auditor presented at the Aug. 6 meeting of the Public Safety Commission:…

Wednesday, August 8, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

SAFE wants to help make Austin safer by reducing violence early

Relationship violence is a significant driver of violence in any city. However, it can be difficult for the police to do anything more than respond to incident calls; they cannot be caseworkers for those who are involved in violent relationships.In…

Monday, July 9, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

APD continues to push toward community-focused policing

Since the Austin Police Department made its switch to a more community-oriented focus last year, it has continued to plow forward in its efforts to reorient its policies and position APD more as a force for the people.In a presentation to…

Tuesday, June 5, 2018 by Jack Craver

The debate over decriminalizing homelessness

A campaign to decriminalize behaviors associated with homelessness got a boost Monday from the Public Safety Commission, which voted to approve a resolution that instructs the city manager to review ordinances that may “create barriers for people who are trying…

Tuesday, May 8, 2018 by Sommer Brugal

Commission votes to expand Injury Prevention Program

In an effort to support the Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Service’s efforts to reduce preventable injuries, the Public Safety Commission passed a motion to fund and expand the county’s Injury Prevention Program at its May 7 meeting.Lisa Sepulveda, Austin-Travis County…

Friday, April 6, 2018 by Jack Craver

Public Safety Commission: Who polices the police?

Last month, members of the Public Safety Commission voiced concerns about the lack of consistent rules or guidelines on investigating senior members of the police, fire and emergency medical services departments for harassment or discrimination.On Monday, a representative of the…

Tuesday, April 3, 2018 by Jack Craver

Will Manley be made police chief? City manager remains mum

In spite of the praise he has received from city leaders for his response to the Austin bombings, Interim Police Chief Brian Manley is not necessarily a shoo-in to be the next permanent police chief.City Manager Spencer Cronk is still…

Tuesday, March 13, 2018 by Jack Craver

What happens when top public safety officials are accused of harassment?

Members of the Public Safety Commission expressed concern and befuddlement over policies that the Police, Fire and EMS departments rely on to hold their top officials accountable for harassment.“It doesn’t make sense to me that the policies are so different…

Tuesday, February 13, 2018 by Jack Craver

Transportation Department defends ‘speed cushions’

Transportation Director Robert Spillar showed up at a meeting of the Public Safety Commission on Monday to defend “speed cushions,” the traffic-calming devices that have infuriated motorists across the city, most notably in a Northwest Austin neighborhood that successfully campaigned…

Monday, February 12, 2018 by Elizabeth Pagano

Reporter’s Notebook: We’ve made haranguements

Save Our Strings… Could the city be moving toward declaring musicians as an endangered species? Not yet, but at last week’s meeting of the Austin Music Commission there was a good deal of talk about declaring the city’s music culture…

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