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Tag Archives: Austin City Council Public Safety Committee

Austin's Homeland Security and Emergency Management to get a communication tuneup, among other changes

An update from Ken Snipes, director of Austin’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management, to the Public Safety Committee showed a shifting approach in how the department is being run. Snipes told the committee that, due to “a multitude of threats…

Report finds mixed progress in APD’s work to implement police academy reforms

In assessing the latest analysis of the Austin Police Department’s Training Academy, members of City Council stressed the importance of a comprehensive audit system to ensure that years and money spent to improve the academy aren’t wasted. Concerns over the…

APD Training Academy audit shows improvement – but not enough to curb attrition

An external audit of the Austin Police Department’s 148th cadet class, which graduated in September, shows progress in “reimagining public safety,” but attrition remains a constant challenge. Under internal audit protocols developed by Kroll Associates in March 2022, APD is…

Austin Police Department Training Academy attrition remains high amid reforms

An Austin Police Department audit revealed high attrition rates among recent cadet classes amid ongoing reforms and persistent staffing shortages.  Police leadership reported the inaugural audit’s findings – based on the 147th cadet class, which graduated in May – to…

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Fleet Mobility Services working to fix air conditioning in fire trucks

In late July, City Council Member Mackenzie Kelly wrote a memo pointing out that 20 trucks within the Austin Fire Department’s fleet “are currently lacking functioning air conditioning systems.” Not only is that a risk for firefighters, she wrote, but…

Public Safety Commission recommends guardrails for APD-DPS partnership – or ending it

The Public Safety Commission recommended that City Council establish a plan governing the recently resumed partnership between the Austin Police Department and the Texas Department of Public Safety – or discontinue it altogether.  Commissioners voted on Monday to approve the…

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APD, DPS brief Public Safety Committee on suspended partnership

More than a week after the Austin Police Department announced its controversial partnership with the Texas Department of Public Safety had come to a close, law enforcement officials on Monday briefed the city’s Public Safety Committee on the now-defunct deployment…

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…

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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…

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…

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