Dear Neighbor, The Greater Austin Crime Commission believes Mayor Kirk Watson’s recently announced agreement with the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is a lesson in leadership. We also thank the city council and Interim City Manager Jesús Garza for supporting the partnership. Our local and state leaders put political differences aside to develop a plan that… 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
September 14, 2022
Dear Neighbor, The Austin City Council will consider three police-related items tomorrow that will have far-reaching effects on law enforcement in our community. Every public safety decision by city leaders is now even more consequential. The impact of budget cuts and canceling police cadet classes is evident. The Austin Police Department currently has 278 operational vacancies, creating… Read more »
August 11, 2022
Dear Neighbor, The Austin City Council will adopt a budget for the upcoming fiscal year starting next Wednesday. Public safety spending has declined in recent years. In 2015, public safety was 72 percent of the General Fund. The proposed budget lowers it to 62 percent. That reduction represents $422 million less in public safety spending as a percentage of… Read more »