Tag Archives: Public Safety Commission

Tuesday, December 3, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Public Safety Commission pushes for an independent investigation into ‘endemic’ racism and homophobia in APD

Last month, City Manager Spencer Cronk announced that attorney Lisa Tatum would investigate allegations of racism among the executive staff of the Austin Police Department. The investigation follows complaints that APD Assistant Chief Justin Newsom used the N-word to refer…

Tuesday, November 5, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

APD updates the Public Safety Commission after a day of homeless camp cleanups

Questions surrounding the city’s revised camping, sitting and resting ordinances were brought to the public’s attention Monday as the state stepped in for cleanup operations and the city of Austin simultaneously conducted an operation to enforce its camping ban outside…

Monday, October 14, 2019 by Austin Monitor

Reporter’s Notebook: Think of the children

Cub Scouts bring improvement initiatives to the Planning Commission… Webelos Scout Pack 81 Den 4 arrived at the Oct. 8 convocation of the Planning Commission to speak solemnly to the commissioners about their concerns for the city and what they…

Tuesday, October 8, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Public Safety Commission talks homelessness with APD

Last week brought a new level of scrutiny to the way the city polices individuals experiencing homelessness. The governor declared he would “unleash” state resources if Austin doesn’t address its homelessness issues by Nov. 1. Police Chief Brian Manley suggested…

Wednesday, September 4, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Public Safety Commission questions path forward for EMS providers being assaulted

After reports from EMS personnel raised questions about the frequency of field officer assault by patients, Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services conducted an internal survey. The results showed that the majority of Austin EMS personnel say they’ve been assaulted on the…

Tuesday, August 13, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

City continues to work toward Vision Zero goals

As of this past weekend, there have been 48 traffic fatalities in Austin since the beginning of the year. The city, according to an ambitious plan passed three years ago, would like to bring the number of annual traffic deaths…

Friday, August 9, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

AFD under fire for handling of sexual harassment claim despite policy updates

After Austin Fire Department Lieutenant James Baker pleaded guilty to hiding a camera and filming firefighter Kelly Gall in the fire station restroom, AFD revised its harassment policies and implemented the Electronic and Anonymous Reporting System.EARS is intended to bypass…

Thursday, August 8, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Public Safety Commission recommends increased funding for mental health first responder program

The Austin Police Department is working to revamp its tactics when handling calls related to individuals experiencing a mental health crisis. Fulfilling that goal starts with training officers so they are equipped to help in these tense situations.Public Safety Commissioner…

Wednesday, June 5, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Public Safety Commission backs adoption of international wildfire code

The Public Safety Commission is again recommending tighter wildfire protection standards for structures built between the city’s wildlands and urban center.On Monday the commission endorsed adoption of a Wildland-Urban Interface Code that would expand ember protection and structure hardening regulations…

Wednesday, May 8, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Fire and police response times lagging due to low staffing

In an effort to serve citizens as quickly, efficiently and proficiently as possible, Austin public safety departments have response time goals. For the Fire Department, this means response times of eight minutes 90 percent of the time, while police should…

Tuesday, May 7, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Commission zeros in on scooter safety

A landmark study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Austin Public Health Department documented that 192 dockless scooter riders were injured between Sept. 5 and Nov. 30 last year.During that time, “There were about two injuries…

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…

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