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Tag Archives: Austin City Council Public Safety Committee

APD pushes for return of license plate readers, nixed during 2020 police budget cuts

The Austin Police Department advocated for the reinstatement of automated license plate readers, or ALPRs, during a May 23 presentation to the city’s Public Safety Committee, reigniting long-standing concerns about privacy and data sharing among law enforcement agencies.  City Council…

APD making headway toward academy reforms, but still a work in progress

The Austin Police Department is well on its way toward implementing recommended changes to its training academy, according to a presentation Monday from consulting firm Kroll Associates. APD has enacted nearly all of the short-term recommendations and just under half…

No clear path forward for medical marijuana use by public safety employees

Now that medical marijuana is legal in Texas, will Austin allow its first responders to use it? A Monday afternoon briefing at City Council’s Public Safety Committee meeting showed that the hurdle, for once, does not come from the state…

EMS interim chief optimistic about future of the department

With 124 vacancies that need filling to round out the medic force, Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services is applying a variety of methods to try to close the gaps, interim Chief Jasper Brown told the City Council Public Safety Committee…

Featured Collection: Austin Energy 2022 rate case

Austin Energy ramps up outreach for proposed rate changes

Austin Energy has entered the public hearing phase of its base rate review process, following its proposal to raise service costs. The monthslong dialogue with stakeholders and city staff, slated for resolution by City Council in November, has surfaced predictable…

City overlooks police overtime dollars

When City Council cut $21.5 million from the Austin Police Department budget in August, it also provided $3.174 million that could be used for overtime as the department adjusted to its budgetary constraints. The dollars were intended to buy time…

Report finds racial bias in 2019 traffic stops

The Office of Police Oversight, the Equity Office and the Office of Innovation released a joint report Monday determining that racial bias continues to influence outcomes in police traffic stops. The report, which analyzed local traffic stop data from 2019,…

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City identifies Downtown Community Court east side location

After considering the available options, the city is ready to make the first move to relocate the Downtown Austin Community Court across Interstate 35 into a planned three-story building at 1719 E. Second St. The city intends to bring a…

Public Safety Committee examines the use of police time, asks for more data

As the city of Austin looks into redefining the duties of its police department, staffers are reaching out to community members to hear feedback about what the next iteration of the Austin Police Department could look like. Simultaneously, city staff are…

Austin Police Department Budget, 2012-2022

During the 2020-21 budget process, City Council cut $31.5 million from APD’s budget, citing the protests and “community outcry against the disproportionate impact of police violence on Black Americans, Latinx Americans and other non-white ethnic communities,” according to the approved…

Integral Care set to address most mental health emergency calls without involving APD

Last week, City Council approved an additional $1.3 million for the Integral Care-EMCOT program next fiscal year, increasing the budget for the Expanded Mobile Crisis Outreach Team by about 75 percent. With those extra dollars, Integral Care, the mental health…

Public Safety Commission considers how to restructure its partnership with Council

The Public Safety Commission is working with City Council Member Jimmy Flannigan to offload some of its oversight duties in favor of becoming more of an advisory body. “We are particularly ill-suited for oversight,” Commissioner Rebecca Webber said at the…

Report recommends major changes to 911 procedures

Last week, City Council’s Public Safety Committee heard a presentation on a report from AH Datalytics, paid for by the Austin Justice Coalition, assessing the Austin Police Department’s 911 calls for service. Overall, the report asserts that many of the calls…

Public Safety budget discussion wrestles with demands to defund APD

Chief Financial Officer Ed Van Eenoo gave the Public Safety Committee a public safety budget overview at its meeting on Monday. Much of the discussion centered around the Austin Police Department budget. Community members and some City Council members have…

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