Neighborhood Network

May 11, 2021

Dear Neighbor,

Last week, the Austin City Council voted to start a police cadet class next month. The training academy begins in early June. The 144th Cadet Class is tentatively scheduled to graduate on January 28, 2022.

The Greater Austin Crime Commission and its public safety coalition partners have worked for more than a year to restart police recruiting and training. Much work has been done by the community, city manager’s office, and the police department, particularly the dedicated training academy staff.

Mayor Steve Adler and council members Alison Alter, Paige Ellis, Vanessa Fuentes, Mackenzie Kelly, Ann Kitchen, Leslie Pool, Pio Renteria, and Kathie Tovo supported the resolution to restart police cadet classes. Mayor Pro Tem Natasha Harper-Madison abstained. Council Member Greg Casar opposed.

Proposition B ordinance enforcement begins today. City Manager Spencer Cronk, Interim Police Chief Joseph Chacon, and Homeless Strategy Officer Dianna Grey will host a virtual news conference today at noon to outline the implementation plan. The news conference will be livestreamed on ATXN and Facebook.

The implementation plan, which begins today, “is focused on a safe and humane approach that helps persons experiencing homelessness comply with the new ordinances.”

  • Phase One begins today and will focus on community engagement and education. Austin Police Department will provide available resources and verbal warnings, except when imminent threats to health or safety are present.
  • Phase Two begins June 10. During this period, the police department will issue warnings and citations. Downtown Community Court will handle citations and connect individuals to services.
  • Phase Three begins July 10. Austin Police Department may initiate arrests and clear camps where homeless individuals have not complied.
  • During Phase Four, arrests and citations will continue. The police department will coordinate with homeless outreach teams and provide resources to individuals about alternate campsites, available shelter, and other resources.

City Manager Spencer Cronk will present his proposed fiscal year 2022 budget on July 9. The city council will pass the final budget no later than August 13. The Greater Austin Crime Commission and its coalition partners will work to fund future police cadet classes, prevent more cuts to authorized positions, and support unmet budget needs for EMS and Fire.

The search is underway for the next chief of police. The first résumé review is scheduled for June 7. City Manager Cronk outlined the search process in a memo to the mayor and council in March.

virtual candlelight vigil at the National Law Enforcement Memorial will be held Thursday at 7:00 p.m. CDT and livestreamed as part of National Police Week. Established in 1962 by a joint resolution of Congress, the weeklong commemoration recognizes law enforcement officers who lost their lives in the line of duty.

Take time to thank a first responder this week.

Best,

Corby

P.S. Join the Neighborhood Network and thousands of public safety advocates who support Central Texas first responders.