The interim police chief of Austin, Texas, declared that his department is in the midst of a what he called “dire” situation that was a “crisis” due to the defunding efforts that denuded the department’s coffers of $150 million.
“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,” The Center Square noted.
Interim Police Chief Joseph Chacon revealed that the response times to 911 calls have slowed to 20-30 minutes on average, adding that the homicide rate has reached numbers “we’ve never really seen here before.” Chacon added that he has contacted “each council member to explain the dire situation we are in. And I’m going to call it a crisis, because that’s what it is, and they all get it.”
Chacon delineated how responses to “P0” calls, which comprise shootings, stabbings, rape, and domestic violence in progress, have averaged nine minutes and two seconds while “P1” calls, in which the assailant is still in the area, have averaged 10 minutes and 41 seconds, and both of those average response times might be too late for the victims. He attributed the slower response times to an understaffed force, as 15-20 officers have left the force each month; he contended that the current number of employees is “not sustainable.”
“The department is projecting 235 vacancies by May 2022, and 340 vacancies by May 2023.” The Center Square noted.- READ MORE
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