Category: Neighborhood Network

Neighborhood Network

April 7, 2021

Dear Neighbor, Gun violence in Austin increased by 47 percent in 2020, according to a report released last week by the Austin Police Department. There was a 69 percent spike in non-family aggravated assaults involving firearms, which is an indicator of violent crime trends. Gun violence in Austin is up 124 percent since 2015. Two weeks ago, the Austin… Read more »

Neighborhood Network

March 22, 2021

Dear Neighbor, 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… Read more »

Neighborhood Network

March 15, 2021

Dear Neighbor Austin is ready to restart police cadet classes. On March 25, the Austin City Council will consider a resolution that restarts the police training academy no later than June 7. In response to community concerns and city council direction, the Austin Police Department has overhauled recruiting and training. Restarting cadet classes is the best opportunity to change police culture… Read more »

Neighborhood Network

March 1, 2021

Dear Neighbor, Two weeks ago, as a winter storm threatened lives, firefighters, medics, and police officers responded. When power and water failed, first responders didn’t. Many first responders could not get home to their families, sleeping in EMS, fire, and police stations. The city manager and staff worked tirelessly to coordinate emergency relief and maintain essential services.… Read more »

Neighborhood Network

February 2, 2021

Dear Neighbor, It has been 102 days since the last class of forty-two cadets graduated from the Austin Police Department Training Academy. The police department now has seventy-six vacancies, on top of the 150 positions cut by the Austin City Council in the current fiscal year budget. Much work has been done to improve police recruiting and… Read more »

Neighborhood Network

January 26, 2021

Dear Neighbor, Austin faces serious public safety challenges, notably homelessness and police staffing. This week, let’s discuss police patrol shortages and academy training. The first round of Austin Police Department staffing reassignments went into effect this month, which moved eighty-nine officers from specialized units back to patrol. These reallocations were made to adjust the patrol workload to account… Read more »

Neighborhood Network

January 13, 2021

Dear Neighbor, Last year was defined by the pandemic and politics. This year, the community will work together to end a public health crisis and focus on homelessness and public safety. The Texas Legislature convened yesterday for the 87th Regular Session. Criminal justice and public safety will be among the top issues facing state lawmakers. For example,… Read more »

Neighborhood Network

December 7, 2020

Dear Neighbor, Is this the Austin we want? In the first ten months of this year, murder increased 54 percent in Austin, arson is up 34 percent, auto theft increased 30 percent, and aggravated assault is up 19 percent. Robberies, building thefts, vandalism, and burglaries have also increased. (The latest Chief’s Monthly Report is available here.) Despite rising crime… Read more »

Neighborhood Network

November 16, 2020

Dear Neighbor, At the cost of thirteen police officers for a year, we have another city study. Last week, the Austin City Council approved a contract worth up to $1.3 million with Kroll Associates Inc. to “conduct a comprehensive, multi-pronged investigation of the extent to which forms of racism, bigotry, and discrimination are present in the protocols, practices, and… Read more »

Neighborhood Network

October 26, 2020

Dear Neighbor, The last scheduled class of forty-two police cadets graduated Friday. They deserve the support of the community and its leaders. How did one Austin City Council member thank them? By saying, “The academy we have is not training people consistent with the values of this community.” It’s a claim as alarming as it is wrong.… Read more »