Austin has taken away funding from the police, now voters will decide if the city needs more police officers

During nationwide protests over police reform last year, the Austin, Texas City Council decided to cut about a third of its police budget, the largest reduction of any major city in America.

But since the cut, Austin has become increasingly less secure, Fox News reported Sunday.

Protester confronts police in Austin, Texas, Saturday, June 6, 2020. (AP Photo / Eric Gay)

“According to statistics compiled by data analysis firm AH Datalytics, the city has seen a nearly 71 percent increase in homicides in the past year. While the number of homicides has increased nationwide since 2020, the Austin increase is one of the largest the company has tracked, ”the magazine wrote:

The cut in funding has brought a series of changes to the Austin Police Department. Cadet classes were canceled, making it more difficult to bring more officers into the force. Some specialized units have been reduced. Exhaustion grew. By May 2021, a shortage of police personnel had resulted in a 30% increase in response time 911.

Protesters gathered near the State Capitol in Austin, Texas, on Saturday, June 6, 2020, to protest the death of George Floyd, a black man who was in police custody in Minneapolis.  Floyd died after police in Minneapolis detained him on Memorial Day.  (AP Photo / Eric Gay)

Anti-police protesters gather near Austin State Capitol, Texas, Saturday, June 6, 2020. (AP Photo / Eric Gay)

In August, a council feeling pressured by an increase in violent crime and a state law punishing cities that pay police turned the direction when it came to downsizing and approved a significant increase in law enforcement funding.

“But activists at Save Austin Now think it’s too little, too late. They successfully tried to put the referendum, proposal A, on the ballot, and special elections were announced for Tuesday, “the Fox report said.

It would require the city to retain two police officers per 1,000 population, encourage more training, and offer incentives to hire police officers who speak multiple languages.

“People here at the local level don’t want to fund police efforts to recover funds. They don’t want to pay money to the police, “Sava Austin Now co-founder Matt Mackowiak, a Republican activist, told the magazine.

In May, Governor Greg Abbott (R) announced he would sign a bill banning cities from confiscating funds from their police administrations.

In a statement to Breitbart Texas, Abbott said:

Texas has been – and always will be – a state of law and order. Lack of law enforcement means invites crime and chaos in the community and risks the lives and survival of innocent people. We will not allow cities in Texas to follow the leadership of cities like Portland, Seattle and Minneapolis by confiscating funds from the police. We don’t demonize or burden our law enforcement officers here in Texas – we support them.

“And that’s exactly what I’m going to do when I sign a legislative bill to protect our law enforcement agencies from crazy liberal attempts to get their money back and leave our communities unprotected,” he added.

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