Tag Archives: Public Safety Commission

Monday, March 9, 2020 by Austin Monitor

Reporter’s Notebook: The race is on

Biscoe looks like the answer for Travis County… Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt’s name moves from the “very likely” category of contenders to take over Austin state Sen. Kirk Watson’s seat at the Legislature to the “almost certain” category with…

Friday, March 6, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Public safety departments present preliminary budget requests

Budget season at the city has already begun for the 2021 fiscal year. In preparation for its deep dive into budget requests from the public safety departments, the Public Safety Commission listened to preliminary budget forecasts at its March 2…

Thursday, March 5, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Austin Police Department sees increase in violent crime

While the Austin Police Department is still finalizing crime numbers for 2019, the end of the last decade and the beginning of this one saw an uptick in violent crime, according to APD Chief of Staff Troy Gay.Gay told the…

Tuesday, March 3, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Public Safety Commission previews APD’s critical incident video policy

Following Council’s request in February for a policy governing the automatic public release of videos in critical cases, Farah Muscadin, director of the Office of Police Oversight, presented a draft policy to the Public Safety Commission on March 2.Muscadin, who…

Monday, February 10, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Austin EMS union outlines effects of high call volume and sick leave policies

In recent months, Austin Emergency Medical Services has implemented new policies to improve the lives of its medics. The department has adjusted its start times to be on a more natural wake-up schedule and has instated a new code for…

Monday, February 10, 2020 by Austin Monitor

Reporter’s Notebook: The breakdown of wide-eyed, optimistic exuberance

The trouble with working groups… At the Feb. 3 meeting of the Public Safety Commission, two agenda items required the appointment of commissioners to serve on working groups. These groups are tasked with assisting the city in determining the scope…

Wednesday, February 5, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Community reacts to APD racial profiling study at Public Safety Commission

Last week, a report from the city’s Office of Police Oversight, Office of Innovation, and Equity Office showed that black and Hispanic drivers are more likely to be stopped in their vehicles by Austin police than white and Asian drivers.…

Monday, January 13, 2020 by Austin Monitor

Reporter’s Notebook: Reverse correlations

Reports of sexual assault down in 2019 for Austin and the country… Juliana Gonzales, the senior director of sexual assault services at the SAFE Alliance, came to give her monthly update to the Public Safety Commission on Jan. 6. She…

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…

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