Austin mayor wants to begin police cadet classes this spring

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.

Austin Mayor Steve Adler and several city council members said they hope the city will be ready to resume teaching police cadets in the spring of 2021.

It did so four months after the council unanimously decided to immediately cut $ 21 million from the police budget, in part through the cancellation of three cadet classes.

The mayor started the discussion during the city council’s working session on Tuesday. “For one thing, I would like to see that we move forward with greater urgency than would otherwise be possible to do what is necessary to initiate a cadet class this spring,” said Adler.

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The city council takes the budget and relieves the police

After months of demonstrations against police brutality following the death of George Floyd, a Minnesota man, activists are urging the city to exempt the Austin Police Department of $ 100 million.

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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. These materials have yet to return to the council, although they were originally expected to be reviewed last summer.

However, Adler said it might be possible to move forward with a class while the council ponders new training materials. “As I understand it, APD training begins with several weeks, if not several months, of government-mandated courses that I understand are not currently under review because they are mandatory,” Adler said.

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City manager Spencer Cronk said starting classes would mean reducing cuts in the APD budget.

“This would also require budget changes, as all of the money allocated to these training courses was reallocated by the Council in August. So that’s what we’re going to work on, ”said City Manager Spencer Cronk.

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A typical cadet class lasts eight months with an additional three months of field training. A record request from FOX 7 Austin found that 112 officials had resigned or retired as of October 1, 2020 for that year alone. If officers continue to leave the department at the same rate, nearly 300 vacancies will remain before the next cadet graduation.

“I think through this academy class that is keeping the boss from getting rid of our special forces … but if they don’t start a class by March I don’t see any kind of highway enforcement or specialized units because I think the boss is going back to these people Must bring patrol, “said Ken Casaday, president of the Austin Police Association.

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In order to fill the vacant positions this year and next, the council would have to approve more than two cadet classes. Casaday proposes a modified class by recruiting transfers from other cities to speed up the process.

Currently, some of the cadets who were recruited to the class last June are still waiting in Austin for the academy to begin.

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