Neighborhood Network

June 8, 2020

Dear Neighbor,

You can’t solve one public safety crisis by creating another.

During this generational moment, the community has an opportunity to join together and make Austin safer for everyone.

On Thursday, the Austin City Council will vote on resolutions that impact the police department and public safety in our community.

The Greater Austin Crime Commission supports many of the recommendations in Item 50 (Garza), Item 95 (Casar), and Item 96 (Harper-Madison), such as reducing racial disparity in traffic enforcement, using de-escalation tactics instead of deadly force, increased staffing for mental health response, and training for the use of Naloxone for overdose response.

Unfortunately, commendable policy changes are overshadowed by parts that put the community at risk. Policing reforms are possible without jeopardizing the safety of our neighborhoods.

Item 95 indefinitely delays the next police cadet class.

Item 96 cuts cops in an already understaffed police department. 

Police cutbacks will make response times worse when aggravated assaults, robberies, and property crimes are rising. Recruiting and training will be limited for years.

What can you do?

Call and email the mayor and city council.

Tell city leaders you oppose cutting police positions and delaying the July cadet class. Express your support for Chief Brian Manley and 1,793 police officers who are keeping us safe under unthinkable circumstances.

Speak out at the virtual city council meeting on Thursday. Sign up here.Public comment will be allowed via telephone. The sign-up deadline is noon on Wednesday.

Help us grow the Neighborhood Network of public safety advocates in each council district. Ask your customers, family, and friends to join here.

Austin needs justice and peace. That’s why the Greater Austin Crime Commission has pledged to continue working with criminal justice reform, neighborhood, and social justice groups to find solutions.