In August, Austin City Council approved a new budget that cut $21.5 Million from APD’s $440 million budget, moved some agencies out from APD control, and marked another $49 million for further consideration as part of a “re-imagine public safety” fund. Since that time, opponents of reform have tried to stoke fear that these changes have already made Austin less safe. It’s not true.
First, this misinformation relies upon the assumption that more police make communities more safe. That assumption is almost certainly false, but is a moot point in regard to the August budget vote, because the system has not yet changed.
Instead, APD patrol levels were not impacted by the budget vote and will not be impacted for at least another six to nine months. So when your neighbors or co-workers state that APD has been defunded and crime has increased, let them know they have bad information. In fact, any current crime is an indictment of the existing system, not the reform-oriented August budget.
Find out more here, which is an excellent summary from “Austin Is Safer When”, a coalition of Austin’s leading community groups. While you are at the site, please sign the petition calling on our elected officials to follow through on the promised “re-imagine public safety” referenced above and invest in public health and housing services that improve the lives and safety for all Austin residents. Please sign the #AustinIsSaferWhen Petition HERE and share it with 5 of your neighbors.
Join us on October 25th at 3pm for a World Without Policing workshop exploring the difference between police reform and police abolition. RSVP here.