Austin Police Association President addresses new DA’s policies

The President of the Austin Police Association addresses the guidelines of the new prosecutor’s office

A handful of Garza’s new policies directly affect officials like Casaday.

On Monday, the Travis District Attorney’s Office implemented guidelines from new District Attorney Jose Garza.

“That county and the voters voted for DA Garza and we have to try to support him as much as we can because that is the elected official we get to work with. But at some point we come when we feel like him.” If we make decisions that put the community at risk, we’ll talk about them, “said Ken Casaday, president of the Austin Police Association, the division’s union.

A handful of Garza’s new policies directly affect officials like Casaday.

Directives such as new guidelines to reform the deposit. Under the guidelines, those who missed the court but did not try to evade the police should no longer be considered a flight risk. Other bail reform measures advise judges to unconditionally release low-ranking offenders unless they pose a future security or flight risk.

Senior offenders should be released under the minimum conditions – only those necessary to mitigate flight and security risks. Says Garza, “Anyone who risks harm to our community or a flight that cannot be addressed by conditions other than pre-trial detention should remain in detention.”

Casaday, who says he understands bail reform for low-ranking offenders, questions the other guidelines. “It comes from the mouths of people who have never dealt with violent people. When it’s time to bring that person back to court and they don’t show up and.” [the police] I have to arrest them again, it puts our officials in danger and it is a ill-advised process that is being set up by [Garza]. ”

During an interview with FOX 7 Austin in January, Garza explained what parameters his office will use to determine if someone poses a “future risk of harm”.

“We will certainly deal with the criminal offense and related behavior. We will look at the criminal history of the past. We will examine evidence of threats of violence against people. We will deal with escalation cases.” Violence against our community, but each case will be unique as the law prescribes and we will carefully consider each circumstance. ”

New Travis County DA shares the list of guidelines its office will adopt

Travis County Attorney Jose Garza has released a list of guidelines his office is adopting, including guidelines on bail reform and prison sentences.

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Garza’s office has also promised not to prosecute low-level drug traffickers. “From the data we know that people who deal in low-level drugs are often themselves users and struggle with substance abuse disorders themselves.” he said.

Casaday says the policy is not a big change. “Low-level drug dealers have never been prosecuted in this county, you know, it’s no different from the last 20 years.” Still, he said politics was not without its problems. “It (low-level drug dealers) creates a process in which people can be robbed or even murdered.”

Garza’s office will also create a formal “Don’t call to testify” list. It prohibits officials from doing what their office thinks is questionable when they testify in court. Casaday says officers will see little change as it has only been a practice set in stone for years. “It’s just a formalization of what Margaret Moore has already done,” he explained.

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