At the Austin City Council’s direction, City Manager Spencer Cronk released a proposed budget this week that cuts 100 police officers.
What does that mean for the community?
Download our Crime in Austin report. It details crime by council district, response times, traffic fatalities, and other public safety information.
Please read it for yourself and decide. Can we afford to cut cops?
Citywide, aggravated assaults and individual robberies were up last year. Violent and property crime also increased significantly downtown and in the entertainment district. Response times are slower and traffic fatalities increased.
Public hearings on the city budget are scheduled for July 23 and 30. Instructions for citizen participation will be shared soon. Budget adoption begins on August 12.
What can you do?
- Call and email the mayor and council. Urge smart police reform without putting the community at risk.
- Organize your neighborhood. Request a call or virtual group meeting with your council member.
- Ask your council member to justify cutting cops using data and research. Will crime go down? Will response times improve? Will police have more time to handle property crime? Does a growing city need fewer cops than it had five years ago?
Neighborhood Network supporters will get more data and research that analyzes the link between police staffing and safety in the weeks ahead.
If the Austin City Council supports data-driven policy, that means making evidence-based budget decisions this summer.