After seven outside reviews and more than a year since the last cadet class started, Austin is ready to restart the police training academy.
This Thursday, the Austin City Council will vote on a resolution (Item 37) to restart police cadet classes no later than June 7. The city manager provided an update and “blueprint” for a “reimagined cadet training academy” to the mayor and council last week.
Click HERE to contact the Austin City Council and urge them to support Item 37 on Thursday.
In response to city council direction and community concerns, the Austin Police Department has overhauled recruiting and training. Restarting cadet classes is the best opportunity to change police culture and lessen the staffing strain impacting patrol response and cuts in specialized units.
With rising crime and slower response times, reopening the police training academy will relieve strained staffing. In addition to the 150 police positions cut last year by the Austin City Council, the department will have more than a hundred vacancies by the end of March. Resignations and retirements are outpacing projections.
Austin now has fewer officers than were authorized a decade ago. Since 2011, the city has grown by more than 150,000. That is comparable to leaving a population the size of Round Rock without police.
What can you do? Click HERE to contact the mayor and council. Tell them the community is ready to restart police cadet classes. Ask them to support Item 37on Thursday. You can also sign up to speak at the virtual city council meeting. Speaker registration begins today at 10:00 a.m.
Stay safe and well.