Austin Mayor Steve Adler announced that he wanted to “reimagine” public safety in the city. If the use of the word “reimagine” pinged your “I’ve got a bad feeling about this” radar, you will soon know how right you are.
Thus far, “reimagining” public safety has gravely damaged it in Austin. It has amounted to cutting about $150 million from the Austin Police Department’s budget and standing idly by while violent crime rates have soared in the once peaceful and slightly weird city. Two APD cadet classes were also canceled.
Breaking Bad has come to Austin. By my last count, Austin police officers have been shot on duty four times already in 2021, and there have been 22 homicides, all while officers cannot leave the force fast enough. They’re retiring and resigning at a pace that would take about 10% off an already undermanned police department by the end of 2021. Travis County DA Jose Garza is focused more on prosecuting police officers for old, closed cases than prosecuting criminals. Each case he files against APD officers takes more officers off the street.
One might see all this as the Democratic Party working together in concert to crush the Austin Police Department and destroy public safety. Democrats control all of the offices involved in defunding and “reimagining.”
Adler et al. established a “reimagining” task force to come up with proposals. As you can see from the list of folks on that task force, it was packed from the start with one very dominant political perspective. It’s made up almost entirely of activists from the left and far left.
Task Force Community Members
- Quincy Dunlap – Austin Area Urban League
- Hailey Easley – Austin Asian Community Health Initiative
- Emily Gerrick – Texas Fair Defense Project
- Monica Guzmán – Go! Austin/Vamos! Austin (GAVA)
- Priscilla Hale – allgo
- Dawn Handley – Integral Care
- Chris Harris – Texas Appleseed
- David Johnson – Grassroots Leadership
- Amanda Lewis – Survivor Justice Project
- Nelson Linder – National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
- Kathy Mitchell – Just Liberty
- Chas Moore – Austin Justice Coalition
- Cary Roberts – Greater Austin Crime Commission
- Paula Rojas – Communities of Color United
- Matt Simpson – American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
- Alicia Torres – ICE Fuera de Austin
- Cate Graziani – Texas Harm Reduction Alliance
No business owners or leaders. No neighborhood watch captains. Only one of the members is even a crime victims’ advocate and one other, the Greater Austin Crime Commission (GACC), reports on crime trends, pending legislation, and the impact of the defunding across the city. The rest of the committee actually voted the GACC off the committee before adopting the proposals. The remaining are agenda-driven political activists from the left. The direction the proposals would take was baked in during selection, and further reinforced when they kicked GACC out.
The proposals they voted out of committee this past week head straight to the city council for consideration. They read like a note from Joker asking the Penguin for his thoughts on how to make Gotham their perfect crime lair.
The Austin Police Association condemned the proposals on social media:
The Patrol & Surveillance Working Group Recommendations from the City of Austin have surfaced, recommending an almost wholesale defunding of the Austin Police Department. With violent crimes on the rise in Austin, now is the time for our community and law enforcement to work together, not against each other. City leadership must stop allowing these kinds of extremist views to guide their policy decisions and help us all unite toward protecting the people of our city.
None of the task force proposals would actually help deter crime in Austin. They would all in one way or another make the streets safer for gangs, drug dealers, and other criminals.
The proposals would amount to blinding and disarming the Austin Police Department while ensuring it cannot use overtime to fill in gaps in patrols that are worsening due to the ongoing predicted officer exodus.