Press Release: Austin City Manager Selects New Police Chief | SARC

5PM – Austin, TX USA

South Austin Republican Club

Dallas Emerson, SARC Senior Communications Director & Data Analyst

southaustinrc@gmail.com


Austin City Manager Selects New Police Chief

Congratulations to Austin’s new Chief of Police, Chief Joseph Chacon. He has been Austin’s Interim Chief during difficult times of rising crime and a police staffing crisis.

We do wish that the City Manager had considered a potential Chief from outside the department, aligning with the wishes of the police officers.

But, we hope the council will show its full support, not just for the new Chief, but for all officers going forward. We wish Chief Chacon the best of luck, and ask all Austinites to pray for him as our city faces unprecedented challenging times.

Statement from City Manager Spencer Cronk

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An anti-gun violence rally on the steps of New York City Hall in 2019. (William Alatriste/NYC Council)

America the Violent | SARC

In the wake of mass shootings, Americans are regularly told that these atrocities do not happen in other developed countries. This, we are to believe, is the damnable result of the Second Amendment to the Constitution.

Austin’s Doomed Experiment | SARC

Austin has decided to launch an experiment with Universal Basic Income (UBI) in partnership with the nonprofit UpTogether. The program, when implemented, will send $1000 per month to 85 low-income individuals in the city.

Gov. Abbott Response to Austin Police Defunding | SARC

Austin city council has voted to defund the Austin Police Department and move funds to “social programs.” Does that make you feel safe? Does this make you want to move to Austin with your family? Check out the details in this article to come to your own conclusion. But, we are confident that you won’t be optimistic about the leadership in Austin by the end…

Gov. Greg Abbott and top Texas leaders announced Tuesday that they will push for legislation next year that would freeze property tax revenues for cities that cut police budgets, just days after the Austin City Council approved a budget that will cut police funding by up to one-third by moving areas like forensics outside of the management of the police department to become separate municipal offices and by reinvesting money in social services.

BY JUAN PABLO GARNHAM AND JOLIE MCCULLOUGH

These are some of the police department units that were cut or reduced during the budget approval:

  1. 911 Call Center – $17.7 million
  2. Forensic Sciences – $12.7 million
  3. Support Services – $14.1 million 
  4. Community Partnerships – $2.5 million 
  5. Victims Services – $3.1 million 
  6. Internal Affairs – $4.5 million 
  7. Special Investigations – $1.8 million 
  8. Special Events – $4.4 million 
  9. Mounted Patrol – $2.1 million 
  10. Traffic Enforcement – $18.4 million 
  11. Austin Regional Intelligence Center – $2 million 
  12. Park Police – $5.8 million 
  13. Lake Patrol – $1.4 million 
  14. Organized Crime/K-9 – $1.2 million 
  15. Nuisance Abatement – $312,000
  16. Canceling 3 Cadet Classes – $2.2 million this year
  17. Officer Overtime – $2.8 million 
  18. License Plate Readers – $133,000

Would you consider this to be “transformative?” No. Let’s explore some scenarios where these defundings directly impact you.

Scenario 1: You are in a wreck on I-35. Which will impact you? #’s 1, 3, 10, 16 and 17.

Scenario 2: You are driving with your families or friends and a drunk driver speeds through a stop sign. Which will impact you? #’s 1, 3, 10, 15, 16, 18 and 17.

Scenario 3: An intruder is trying to, or has, entered your home. Which will impact you? #’s 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 10, 14, 15, 16, and 17.

Is this okay? Is this the standard we hold for the great city of Austin?…

“Any city in the state of Texas that defunds law enforcement will have their property tax revenue frozen as of that time,” Abbott said in Fort Worth, where the press conference was held. “This will be an effective tool that effectively will prevent cities from being able to reduce funding support for law enforcement agencies. Some cities are more focused on political agendas than public safety,” said Gov. Abbott. “Austin’s decision puts the brave men and women of the Austin Police Department and their families at greater risk, and paves the way for lawlessness. Public safety is job one, and Austin has abandoned that duty. The legislature will take this issue up next session, but in the meantime, the Texas Department of Public Safety will stand in the gap to protect our capital city.”

Gov. Greg Abbott

The choice is yours. Make your voices heard and contact Austin City Council and Gov. Greg Abbott’s office bellow.

City of Austin
Name of Intended Department
ATT: Name of Intended Recipient
2006 East 4th Street
Austin, Texas 78702

Austin City Hall

Address: 301 W. Second St., Austin, Texas 78701

Mayor Stephen Adler512-978-2100
District 1 Council Member Natasha Harper-Madison512-978-2101
District 2 Council Member Delia Garza512-978-2102
District 3 Council Member Sabino “Pio” Renteria512-978-2103
District 4 Council Member Gregorio “Greg” Casar512-978-2104
District 5 Council Member Ann Kitchen512-978-2105
District 6 Council Member Jimmy Flannigan512-978-2106
District 7 Council Member Leslie Pool512-978-2107
District 8 Council Member Paige Ellis512-978-2108
District 9 Council Member Kathie Tovo512-978-2109
District 10 Council Member Alison Alter512-978-2110

Mailing Address:
Texans for Greg Abbott
PO Box 308
Austin, TX 78767

Office of the Governor
State Insurance Building
1100 San Jacinto
Austin, Texas 78701

Office of the Governor
P.O. Box 12428
Austin, Texas 78711-2428

Email Address: Info@GregAbbott.com

Scheduling Requests: Scheduling@GregAbbott.com

Press Inquiries: Press@GregAbbott.com

Telephone

(800) 843-5789 – Information and Referral Hotline (for Texas callers)

(512) 463-1782 – Information and Referral and Opinion Hotline
(for Austin, Texas and out-of-state callers)

(512) 463-2000 – Office of the Governor Main Switchboard
(office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. CST)

Call 711 for Relay Texas – Citizen’s Assistance Telecommunications Device, if you are using a telecommunication device for the deaf (TDD)

Poll: Majority supports full funding for Austin PD; indicates unrest with City Council | SARC

by Andy Hogue

A poll commissioned by the Greater Austin Crime Commission helps confirm that there is growing dissatisfaction with the direction the Austin City Council and the Travis County Commissioners Court has taken the city.
Some takeaways from the poll:

  • 53% responded they oppose slashing funding for the Austin Police Department
  • 40% responded they support reducing funding for APD
  • 47% responded city is on “wrong track”
  • 34% responded city is going in “right direction”
  • 84% responded they are dissatisfied with the city’s homelessness policy
  • 74% responded they are dissatisfied with how traffic is being addressed
  • 92% responded they feel safe at home and in their neighborhoods
  • 56% responded they feel safe downtown
  • 80+% responded they are satisfied with Austin Fire and county EMS

“Most Austin voters oppose reducing police positions,” said Corby Jastrow, president of the Greater Austin Crime Commission, in a press release. “There is strong community support for police reform but not cutting cops when violent crime is increasing and response times are slower.”
The survey was conducted from July 14 to 17 of likely Austin voters.  
“The Austin City Council should invest in public safety reform and reject budget cuts that put the community at risk,” said retired Adm. Bobby R. Inman, former president of the Greater Austin Crime Commission, in the release. “Austin voters strongly back Chief Brian Manley and the Austin Police Department.”
Resistance is beginning to grow. 


The Travis County Republican Party was among a handful of entities that opposed de-funding the Austin Police Department, though public support is strong for keeping funding. 


In the media…

The Austin City Council unanimously voted to cut its police department budget by $150 million, after officers and the city’s top cop faced months of criticism over the killing of an unarmed Black and Hispanic man, the use of force against anti-police brutality protesters and the investigation of a demonstrator’s fatal shooting by another citizen.

 MEENA VENKATARAMANAN, Texas Tribune

Of the cuts, $21.5 million is shifted in the form of “reinvestments” to programs such as $100,000 for abortion access and $6.5 million a year for the homeless under the “Housing First” policy of sheltering and feeding the homeless, with no expectation for them to seek treatment—essentially allowing them to live off taxpayer support until they die.

Chuck DeVore, Forbes

Beginning in October, about $21 million will fund social services, community resources including response to the coronavirus, mental health aid programs, violence prevention, victim services and food, housing and abortion access. Another $80 million will be redistributed to similar city services throughout the year, and $49 million will be spent on city’s Reimagine Safety Fund, which aims to provide alternative forms of public safety and community support besides policing.

ACACIA CORONADO, AP

“Some cities are more focused on political agendas than public safety,” said Governor Abbott. “Austin’s decision puts the brave men and women of the Austin Police Department and their families at greater risk, and paves the way for lawlessness. Public safety is job one, and Austin has abandoned that duty. The legislature will take this issue up next session, but in the meantime, the Texas Department of Public Safety will stand in the gap to protect our capital city.”

Governor Greg Abbott