Published On: Wed, Jul 21st, 2021

Interim Chief: Austin Police Department in ‘Dire Crisis’ After Defunding Save 10% on Citrus trees with code CITRUS
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The city of Austin faces a crisis of rising violent crime after the City Council voted last year to drastically reduce the police department’s budget, interim Police Chief Joseph Chacon says. Last summer, the Austin City Council voted to defund the police department by $150 million, which resulted in canceling multiple cadet classes and disbanding multiple units responsible for responding to DWIs, domestic violence calls, stalking, and criminal interdiction. Instead, the council redistributed the money to other city programs and suggested that community organizers respond to 911 calls, instead of the police department. Response times to 911 calls are now 20–30 minutes on average, and the homicide rate is at a level that “we’ve never really seen here before,” Chacon told attendees at a recent lunch held at the Headliner’s Club. Chacon said he’s met individually with “each council member to explain the dire situation we are in. And I’m …

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