The City of Austin has made numerous reforms to public safety over the years, including conducting an investigation of systemic discrimination and bias within APD and establishing the Office of Police Oversight.
The April 24, 2020 death of Mr. Michael Ramos during an interaction with APD officers amplified calls to end disparities in how communities of color are treated when they interact with officers. Those calls became part of a moment of national racial reckoning with the May 25, 2020 death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer.
In August 2020, after hours of community testimony, the City Council passed a historic budget to redefine public safety. Also, the City Manager charged his Executive Leadership Team with creating a City-Community Reimagining Public Safety Task Force to consider new ways to help and support the community in times of crisis.
The City of Austin is committed to implementing policy and cultural changes to address the disproportionate impact of police violence on people of color and other affected communities.
In this historic moment, the City Manager and City Council have acted on a series of public safety changes.
As of February 1, 2021, 9-1-1 callers are now asked if they need police, fire, EMS, or mental health services. This addition is in response to community requests, and Austin represents the first department in the country to include mental health crises in the emergency call triage process. Read more about the initiative.
Reimagining Public Safety Comprehensive Quarterly Update Released
The Reimagining Public Safety (RPS) leadership team has published the first RPS quarterly update summarizing significant milestones in the RPS initiative and from spring 2020 through the end of January 2021. The report is organized by RPS priority categories: Decoupling, Reimagining and Reinvestment. Read the report.
Community Video Review Panel Recommendations Released
A community panel assembled by the City of Austin Equity Office conducted a review of selected Austin Police Department (APD) Training Academy videos to determine their suitability from an equity perspective. The group has issued recommendations for improvement as a result of that review. Those recommendations are outlined in the APD Training Videos Community Review Report drafted by the community representatives serving on the panel as well as the Video Review Panel Facilitator Final Reportfrom the facilitator of the video review process. The review and recommendations are one of the outcomes resulting from City Council Resolution 66: Investigate Racism within APD.