Since the Austin Police Department patrol staffing model was released last month, the Greater Austin Crime Commission has met with city council members and community groups to review the research. The Austin Chamber of Commerce board voted unanimously to support the patrol staffing model recommendations. The second research phase is underway to model administrative and specialized units, including investigations, with findings expected this summer.
What’s next? Business and community groups are working with city leaders to:
- Implement the patrol staffing model recommendations. The machine learning model finds adding 108 authorized patrol positions will achieve the target response time for urgent calls (six minutes and thirty seconds).
- Increase training capacity. Even with the graduation of sixty-six cadets last month, the police department will have 188 operational vacancies by the end of the month.
- Lower attrition. Due to limited academy instructors and facilities, the police department can’t recruit and train enough officers to fill every vacancy at the current attrition rate.
Tomorrow, the Austin City Council considers a resolution (Item 36) by Council Member Mackenzie Kelly to develop an ATX Public Safety Vacancy Staffing Plan for EMS, Fire, and Police by April 30. The plan will include strategies and timelines to fill vacancies and identify facility needs. The resolution is co-sponsored by Mayor Pro Tem Alison Alter and council members Paige Ellis and Leslie Pool.
What can you do? Call and email the mayor and council. Urge city leaders to support the public safety staffing plan resolution (Item 36).
During the Austin City Council work session yesterday, Chief Joseph Chacon presented a progress report and update on the police training academy. The 145th cadet class is scheduled to start March 28. At least two more classes are planned this year.
Local judicial races affect public safety. Early voting began this week for the primary election on March 1. Take time to find out where candidates stand on criminal justice issues.
P.S. The Austin City Council is also expected to confirm City Manager Spencer Cronk’s selection of Robert Luckritz as the new EMS chief tomorrow. A grateful community thanks Interim Chief Jasper Brown for his years of dedicated service and welcomes Chief Luckritz.