Austin city council will vote on the reintroduction of the police academy on Thursday
Austin City Council will vote Thursday on Item 37, which will reinstate the city’s police academy by June.
Austin, Texas – – The Austin Police Department has not sworn in a new class of cadets in over a year. On Thursday, Austin City Council will decide whether to reinstate the academy.
The council will vote on item 37 to reinstate the city’s police academy by June.
“It’s critical that we can get this cadet class going and fill some of these gaps,” said Cary Roberts, executive director of the Greater Austin Crime Commission.
Future cadets who moved for Austin Police College feel lied to.
Months after receiving the assignment to report to Austin, the would-be cadets studied their class and the following two cadet classes were canceled.
According to the APD, there are 95 vacancies in the police department as of Wednesday. Roberts said new cadet classes will be able to help with staff shortages.
“We’re losing officers at a rate that wasn’t even predicted a year and a half ago,” said Roberts.
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Roberts added that we have fallen behind, but tomorrow’s council action can be an important step in helping the city catch up.
“We are a rapidly growing community, so the need for services and the workload on the police department increases as the population grows,” he said. “So, you know, we have fallen behind and we hope we can catch up and the action of the Council tomorrow will be an important first step in making that happen.”
Mayor Adler, several council members are pushing for the APD cadet class
Mayor Steve Adler and other city council members plan to train new officials in the new year.
RELATED: APD Plans To Move 95 Officers From Specialized Units To Patrol To Cut Budget
City Manager Spencer Cronk has identified changes that need to be made before the academy can begin, including choosing training videos, working with community organizations, and developing a refresher course for on-site trainers.
In a statement to FOX 7 Austin, Mayor Steve Adler said he would vote for the cadet class to return. The statement reads:
“Austin needs a new cadet class, and we also need a class that meets the goals of the ward. I believe we can be in this place to start a cadet class on June 7th by following town and tomorrow I will vote for it. ” Manager’s blueprint. “
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However, not everyone agrees. In a statement, Jessica Johnson of the Texas Fair Defense Project said:
“The discussion of launching the 144th Academy without a solid curriculum review process, without considering the recommendations of the Reimagine Public Safety Taskforce, and without the independent assessment embedded from beginning to end of this pilot program is more than premature. It is a message to the community that our contribution is nothing more than a formality. “
The Austin Mayor plans to begin teaching police cadets this spring
The mayor and councilors said they left the option of a cadet class or two on the table in 2021, as long as the training academy’s materials were revised and approved before classes began.
Ken Casaday, president of the Austin Police Association, said the new class of cadets will bring more boots to the ground. “It will help and provide more coverage and we will be able to make calls faster,” he said.
RELATED: Future Cadets Who Moved for Austin Police Academy feel “lied to”.
Casaday also said there were some concerns as the boss and many others were not included in the process. “We have concerns because we don’t know exactly what they’re going to be teaching out there,” said Casaday.
Casaday said if the council doesn’t vote for approval, the next step would be to seek help from the sheriff’s department and the governor. “And we’re embarrassed to even have to consider this, but you know what we’re going to do, what it takes to protect the community and our officials.”