It’s an honor to take over from an Austin legend, Pete Winstead, as president of the Greater Austin Crime Commission. I’m a fourth-generation Austinite and have worked in the title insurance industry since 2003. My wife, Stephanie, and I are blessed with three young daughters who all attend public schools.
I look forward to working with first responders and you to keep our businesses and neighborhoods safe.
Last week, the past presidents of the Crime Commission sent a letter to the Austin City council and city manager about demands by social justice activists to remove Police Chief Brian Manley. Major public safety decisions should involve the entire community, not just a loud few.
If you support Chief Manley and the Austin Police Department, email the Austin City Council.
Even before the pandemic, Chief Manley and the Austin Police Department faced daunting challenges. Aggravated assaults, property crimes, and robberies were up last year. Violent crime also increased significantly downtown. Response times were slower, and traffic fatalities spiked.
Social justice activists criticize Chief Manley for lack of progress, despite the considerable work done during the past two years. Please take a few minutes to read his recent memo to the city manager that outlines many of the department’s accomplishments, including extensive operational and training improvements.
The Crime Commission pledges to work with other criminal justice reform, neighborhood, and social justice groups and report back to the Austin City Council about those discussions. The community and police department can find solutions by working together.
Work on next year’s city budget has begun. Please show your support for public safety by taking the online survey here. The proposed budget will be presented on July 13. Public hearings are scheduled on July 23 and 30. The city council will begin budget readings (i.e., voting) on August 12.
Stay safe and well!