Statement on APD / DPS Partnership

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Colleen Pate
Posts: 128
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2023 1:22 pm

Statement on APD / DPS Partnership

Post by Colleen Pate »

Council,
Please see my statement on the APD / DPS partnership.

The Texas Department of Public Safety has determined that it needs to deploy additional resources to the border because of the expiration of the federal Title 42 border policy. At the time the partnership was announced, the director of DPS explained that DPS could support and supplement the Austin Police Department because it was able to make Austin a priority. Because of needs that the state sees with the expiration of Title 42, DPS sees the border as a higher priority for its resources at this time.

The partnership has proven what we knew: Austin is seriously understaffed in its police department. The partnership has led to less crime and a reduction in response times when people call for help. We have also been able to re-calibrate it in an effort to address troubling issues and prevent people from feeling targeted, profiled and overpoliced.

The partnership is intended to be a bridge until we can get APD’s staffing level up to a more acceptable level. I believe the City Council will continue to show support for APD officers. That’s why we have not only guaranteed salaries and retirement but also given raises and instituted recruitment and retainage efforts. Now that the May 6 election is over, my hope is we get back to the bargaining table with the Austin Police Association and reach a contract agreement.

Chief Chacon will be in contact with DPS to determine when the partnership can resume. It is anticipated that the effort at the border will be DPS' priority for at least two weeks.

Thanks,
Kirk

On behalf of Mayor Watson
Chief of Staff, Mayor Watson's Office