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Public Safety Committee meets Thursday

Monday, June 15, 2020 by Elizabeth Pagano

This Thursday, City Council will hold its first meeting of the resurrected Public Safety Committee. Council voted to convert the existing Judicial Committee to the Public Safety Committee as part of a series of resolutions aimed at institutional reform of the Austin Police Department, following its violent response to protests against police brutality and racism. The committee will meet at 1 p.m. on June 18, and according to a post from Council Member Jimmy Flannigan’s office, “will include the opportunity to hear from and collaborate with the city manager’s office and executive leadership on how they intend to begin the implementation process for the resolutions passed last night. We intend to meet monthly through at least the end of the year, to continue the ongoing work that is essential to successfully accomplish the scale of reform we are contemplating.” All Council members may (and likely will) attend the meeting, which will presumably drill down into public safety budgets and policies, though an agenda has not yet been posted. The entire Council is not officially scheduled to meet again until July 23, when they will discuss the upcoming budget. With a proposed $100 million cut to the police budget, increased community needs due to the pandemic and questions surrounding new state tax caps, this year’s budget meetings promise to be quite interesting. (And given the overall tone and pace of this year, we certainly aren’t ruling out the possibility of the break being interrupted by something else.)

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