Respondents want improved response times, decreased criminal activity and more community policing
AUSTIN, TEXAS — May 16, 2017 — A majority of likely Austin voters believe that increasing the number of police officers on Austin streets would improve overall public safety. A survey sponsored by the Greater Austin Crime Commission found 75 percent of respondents believe increasing the number of patrol officers would help improve the Austin Police Department’s response times to emergency calls.
Survey highlights include:
- 65 percent of likely Austin voters think increasing the number of officers would improve community policing.
- 56 percent of likely Austin voters believe increasing the number of officers would help combat the city’s growing K2 epidemic.
- 84 percent of likely Austin voters believe the best option for the City of Austin would be to hire additional police officers immediately or over the next three to four years. The responses are consistent across all 10 city council districts.
“Safety is important across all of our neighborhoods,” said Rachel Pry, president of the Heritage Hills-Woodbridge Neighborhood Association and vice chair for Restore Rundberg. “We saw how increased walking patrols and community policing in our neighborhood had a positive impact on reducing crime incidents and the overall safety of our community. Having officers engage with our community builds trust and reduces crime.”
“The city has commissioned study after study showing the need for more police officers,” said David Roche, president of the Greater Austin Crime Commission. “The experts have spoken, and now the people of Austin have, too. We need more officers to prevent crime in our neighborhoods,” he added. “We cannot fall behind on public safety, as we have with traffic and affordable housing in Austin.”
“It is validating to see that Austin voters are in full support of our need for more officers,” said Ken Casaday, president of the Austin Police Association. “It is very difficult for the men and women of the Austin Police Department to ensure the safety of our community when we are so severely understaffed.”
The survey, conducted April 24–25, 2017, had 1909 respondents. The margin of error is ± 2.2 and the confidence level is 95 percent based on a City of Austin voter population of 566,253.
The Greater Austin Crime Commission was established in 1997 to support Central Texas first responders and promote regional homeland security and public safety planning. For more information, visit austincrime.org.
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