Dear Neighbor, It has been 102 days since the last class of forty-two cadets graduated from the Austin Police Department Training Academy. The police department now has seventy-six vacancies, on top of the 150 positions cut by the Austin City Council in the current fiscal year budget. Much work has been done to improve police recruiting and… Read more »
Highly-trained law enforcement dogs are one of the most effective non-lethal aids in the prevention and detection of crime. Acting as patrol partners, in search and rescue, and in the detection of explosives, narcotics, and biological and chemical weapons, many of these dogs are injured and physically stressed for their entire lives. Like their human counterparts, these certified police dogs deserve to be safe in the field and receive benefits once they are no longer able to serve.
The 401K-9 Program Thanks Their Sponsors:
In 2002, the Greater Austin Crime Commission responded to a critical need for services and equipment to support active and retired canines and their handlers. The state’s first 401 K-9 program was born. The program has since been called upon to provide first aid trauma kits, bullet-proof vests, medication, disaster relief, emergency veterinarian services and numerous other types of support.
Each year the Crime Commission works diligently to match resources with canine/handler team needs. Through the creation of veterinarian provider networks and access to low-cost medications and supplies, the Commission offers financial relief to law enforcement agencies and officers who provide lifelong care for retired animals. Additionally, the Crime Commission offers education and training to law enforcement through annual conferences and hands-on opportunities. Some of the issues covered during the annual Police K-9 Emergency Medical Conference
are international response procedures, decontamination procedures, heat stroke, snakebites, cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, and canine training to detect chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction. Participation at the conference includes a diverse mix of law enforcement agencies: local police departments, Department of Homeland Security/TSA, Texas Department of Public Safety, FEMA, ATF, FBI, University of Texas, and Austin ISD Police Department.
GACC continues to partner with K-9 units to raise awareness in the community and the media in support of worthy causes such as the thousands of animals displaced by natural disasters, most recently witnessed during the tragic Bastrop, Texas wildfires. Their constituency includes numerous local, state, and federal agencies. The 401 K-9 program has been recognized for its accomplishments by law enforcement agencies and leaders such as Kay Bailey Hutchison, Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell and local police and fire leaders. In 2004, former Austin Mayor Will Wynn of proclaimed June 29, 2004 the K-9 Medical Training Conference day.
In the News
Dear Neighbor, Austin faces serious public safety challenges, notably homelessness and police staffing. This week, let’s discuss police patrol shortages and academy training. The first round of Austin Police Department staffing reassignments went into effect this month, which moved eighty-nine officers from specialized units back to patrol. These reallocations were made to adjust the patrol workload to account… Read more »
Dear Neighbor, Last year was defined by the pandemic and politics. This year, the community will work together to end a public health crisis and focus on homelessness and public safety. The Texas Legislature convened yesterday for the 87th Regular Session. Criminal justice and public safety will be among the top issues facing state lawmakers. For example,… Read more »