APD Sexual Assault Case Investigations and Victim Services Unit Briefing
On December 7, 2021, APD Chief Chacon provided an update to City Council on the department's handling of sexual assault cases and the Victim Services Unit. Watch the presentation.
Evaluator Releases Preliminary Assessment of Reimagined APD Training Academy Pilot Class
An independent evaluator, appointed by the City to review and assess progress toward implementing short and long-term recommendations for the 144th and 145th cadet classes of the reimagined police training academy, provided a preliminary assessment to City Council on October 21, 2021. Implementation of the recommendations is key to achieving the goals outlined in the City Manager's Blueprint for the reimagined training academy which prioritize transformative change, increased community involvement, and establishing a culture of adult learning. Watch the preliminary assessment presentation . Watch Police Chief Joseph Chacon's Response. Read the full report.
Office of Police Oversight Report Recommends Changes to APD Use of Force Policies
On October 13, 2021, the Office of Police Oversight released a report titled Community Feedback and Final Recommendations for 8 Can't Wait Policy Initiatives. The report contains recommended changes to the use-of-force policies in the Austin Police Department policy manual and shares community feedback on those policies. Read the report.
RPS Funding and Task Force Recommendations Update
On October 1, 2021 Assistant City Manager Rey Arellano provided an update to City Council regarding an analysis of RPS Task Force recommendations and RPS related funding included in the FY22 budget. Read the update.
Austin City Manager Spencer Cronk has named Joseph Chacon as Chief of the Austin Police Department.
Chacon, whose APD career spans more than two decades, has served as Interim Chief since March 2021, following the retirement of former Chief Brian Manley. Prior to that, Chacon served as an Assistant Chief for almost five years, overseeing Patrol, Special Operations, Specialized Patrol, Investigations, Intelligence, Professional Standards and Training/Recruiting.
City Council confirmed Chief Chacon's appointment on Sept 30, 2021.
APD Chief Top Three Finalists Announced, Public Meetings Scheduled
Austin City Manager Spencer Cronk has announced the top three finalists for the Chief of Police position out of a field of 46 applicants.
In July, seven candidates were interviewed by three panels which included Community Stakeholders, Law Enforcement Partners, and City of Austin Executives. After consideration and feedback from the panels, City Manager Cronk has identified:
- Joseph Chacon, Interim Chief of Police, Austin Police Department
- Avery L. Moore, Assistant Chief, Dallas Police Department
- Emada E. Tingirides, Deputy Chief, Los Angeles Police Department
Opportunities to meet the top finalists and hear from them have been scheduled for August 18th and 19th. To learn more and access the meeting details, click here.
APD Chief Finalists Named
Austin City Manager Spencer Cronk has announced the top seven candidates for the Chief of Police position out of a field of 46 applicants.
Finalists for the position are:
• Joseph Chacon
• Anne Kirkpatrick
• Avery L. Moore
• Celeste Murphy
• Mirtha V. Ramos
• Gordon Ramsay
• Emada E. Tingirides
RPS Progress July Report Released
The Reimagining Public Safety Leadership team has released a report outlining progress on key RPS initiatives between April and July 2021. Read the report.
Forensic Science and Emergency Communications Update
In February and April 2021, City Council approved two ordinances authorizing the City Manager to transfer the Forensic Science Division and Emergency Communications Division from the Austin Police Department (APD) and create separate departments. On June 26, 2021, Rey Arellano, Assistant City Manager, Public Safety, provided an update on budgeting and transition of the two divisions in light of recent state legislation. Read the update.
Mental Health Diversion Initiative Implementation Update
The Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute (MMHPI) has published an interim report outlining progress on implementation of the Austin CARES program which provides an alternative response to behavioral health emergency calls. The program was created to help the City achieve a goal of safely diverting 100 percent of mental health emergency calls to 911 that do not pose a risk to public safety from a law enforcement response into appropriate care. Read the report.
City Manager Proposes Balanced Budget that Renews Commitment to Public Safety
On July 9, 2021, Austin City Manager Spencer Cronk reinforced the City’s commitment to continuing progress on Reimagining Public Safety (RPS) Initiatives during the presentation of his proposed Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) proposed budget to Mayor and City Council.
“We’ve already made tremendous strides in our efforts to reimagine public safety,” said Cronk. “Our core mission is to ensure that everyone – everyone – no matter who they are or where they live in our community – is valued, is respected, and can count on us to show up for them in a crisis, without fear that they will be treated differently,” he said. Read more.
Update on Evaluation of Sexual Assault Investigations
On June 17, Assistant City Manager Rey Arellano provided an update on the ongoing evaluation of how the Austin Police Department investigates and processes reported sexual assaults. In addition to providing information on progress to date and preliminary observations from the evaluation, the update also included a revised scope of work, budget, and timeline for the project.
The team anticipates being able to complete case review in November 2021, and anticipated completion of the final report is now May 2022. The evaluation is an outcome related to City Council Resolution 20190131-077.
APH Names Office of Violence Prevention Manager
On June 28, Interim Director of Austin Public Health Adrienne Sturrup provided the Mayor and City Council with an update on the department's efforts towards the development and implementation of community violence prevention and intervention programming. The update included the announcement of the hiring of Michelle Myles, who will serve as the Manager for the Office of Violence Prevention (OVP). In this role, Myles will lead violence reduction and community safety programs and strategies to meet the specific needs of Austin and Travis County.
Office of Police Oversight (OPO) Inaugural Annual Report
On June 16, OPO published its inaugural annual report to document and share OPO’s activities and achievements over 2019 and 2020. OPO accomplished its mission by providing impartial oversight, informing the public to increase transparency, and creating sustainable relationships.
To learn more, read the full report on the OPO website (click here).
144th Reimagined Cadet Class Now Underway
One hundred recruits started their journey toward becoming police officers Monday as the Austin Police Department kicked off its 144th cadet class.
To learn more, please read the full press release on the RPS blog.
Reimagined APD Cadet Training Academy on Track to Start on June 7th
The Blueprint to a new Academy called for the completion of 23 specific tasks, of which 17 have been completed, three are expected to be completed by the 7th, and three have begun/will continue throughout the new Academy. For a status report by task, read the full memorandum here.
City Council Authorizes Domestic Violence Shelter Service Agreement
On May 20, the City Council authorized an agreement with the nonprofit SAFE (Stop Abuse for Everyone) Alliance to manage a City-owned domestic violence shelter and provide supportive services, housing assistance, and direct client assistance. This agreement will provide up to $8.1 million to SAFE for shelter and other service operations through 2025.
The City will be converting an existing hotel property, currently serving as a Protection Lodge for homeless individuals at risk for COVID-19, into the new domestic violence shelter. Once a contractor is identified for the project the timeline for the renovations may take 18-24 months. Shelter services may begin with reduced capacity during renovation.
New Forensic Science Department Progress Update
On May 27 City staff provided Mayor and City Council an update on the transitioning forensic services to the new independent Forensic Science Department. The new department is expected to be formally established starting July 1, 2021. Read more.
City Council Approves Pilot Cadet Class for a Reimagined APD Training Academy
On May 6 The Austin City Council today approved moving forward with a reimagined Austin Police Department (APD) training academy. The 144th cadet class will be a pilot class, the first to complete training with the Academy’s new curriculum and expanded community engagement programming. The class will begin in June. Read more in English or in Spanish.
Initial Results of Community Engagement Now Available
Since September 2020, RPS has offered residents a variety of ways to provide input and make their voices heard. Nearly 1,000 residents and community members have provided feedback up to now. The initial data has been analyzed, and the results are available.
APD Training Academy Final Assessment Report Presented to City Council
The City Manager has delivered a final report detailing an in-depth assessment of the APD Training Academy to City Council. The report, authored by independent consultant Kroll and Associates, is expansion of a preliminary analysis released in March 2021. Findings and recommendations were presented at the May 4, 2021 City Council work session. Read the report.
Renewed Commitment and Collaboration between Austin Police Department and Office of Police Oversight
On April 23 the Austin Police Department and the Office of Police Oversight (OPO), outlined a renewed commitment to improve the working relationship between the two departments and the steps each will take to facilitate a comprehensive and impartial review of complaints and policy recommendations. Read more.
RPS Mid-Year Budget Amendments Approved
On April 22 the Austin City Council approved a series of mid-year budget amendments related to Reimagining Public Safety Initiatives.
The changes, focused on realigning City services and resources to allow the Austin Police Department to focus on its core mission of law enforcement, includes the creation of a new Emergency Communications Department to handle emergency calls.
Report: Redefining “Resistance” and Considering Alternative Tactics and Tools to Prevent the Need for Lethal and Less-Lethal Munitions
The Office of Police Oversight released the "Redefining Resistance and Considering Alternatives" Report on April 15 in response to City Council Resolution 95. The report outlines research findings and recommendations for amendments to the Austin Police Department General Orders to better define what constitutes “resistance” and alternative tactics and tools that can be used by officers to prevent the need for lethal or less lethal munitions. Read the report.
City-Community Reimagining Public Safety Task Force Recommendations
The Reimagining Public Safety Task Force presented a comprehensive body of public safety reforms to Austin City Council on April 20. Read the recommendations report.
RPS Leadership Team Releases Quarterly Progress Report
The RPS leadership team and City staff have advanced progress on key public safety initiatives throughout February and March including City Council approval of the City Manager's blueprint for a reimagined Austin Police Department training academy and the creation of a new Forensic Sciences Department as well as the launch of the mental health option to the 9-1-1 call triage. Read the report.
City Council Approves Reimagined Police Cadet Academy Blueprint
The Austin City Council approved City Manager Spencer Cronk's blueprint for a reimagined Austin Police Department (APD) cadet academy during its March 25 meeting. The pathway to a new reimagined academy will consist of three parts:
- Increased co
- Establishing a culture of adult learning
- Transformative change
If the blueprint is approved by council and the academy can be conducted in accord with all the objectives outlined in the plan along with additional progress reporting, community input, independent evaluation, and budget criteria directed by Council, the first class of the reimagined APD cadet academy could commence on June 7, 2021. Read More.
Office of Police Oversight Presents Findings of APD Training Academy Assessment
On March 23, 2021, the Office of Police Oversight hosted a virtual conversation to share the preliminary findings of independent consultants Kroll & Associates' assessment of the Austin Police Department’s training academy. Over 40 community members representing many local organizations attended, and session was extended to include everyone's questions. Click here to watch a recording of the meeting. To read more, click here.
Search Begins for New Austin Police Department Leadership
City Manager Spencer Cronk announced the search for a new Chief to lead the Austin Police Department on March 22. The search and hiring process will involve extensive engagement with the community. The City Manager's timeline sets a target for completing the process and announcing a finalist by August. Read more.
RPS Leadership Team Provides Update on Reimagining Activities
On March 10, the Public Safety Committee of the Austin City Council received a briefing from the RPS leadership team which provided an update on reimagining activities. The briefing focused on progress in the areas of decoupling (shifting) services and operations from APD to other City Departments, and reinvestments.
RPS Leadership Team Updates Timeline for Mid-Year Recommendations to Council
City’s Reimagining Public Safety Core Leadership Team and City-Community Reimagining Public Safety Task Force plan to bring forward mid-year updates and recommendations to City Council on April 20, 2021. The timeline, updated from March 2021 to April 2021, will help provide the Task Force and community members with additional time to consolidate their input on RPS recommendations. Read more.
Kroll Associates, Inc. Releases Initial Assessment of the APD Training Academy
The initial report, delivered on March 2nd, covers the APD Training Academy's ability to prepare cadets for policing in a multi-ethnic, diverse, urban population, consistent with best practices. To read more about the findings and next steps, click here.
APD Releases 2020 Racial Profiling Report
The Austin Police Department publishes a yearly report which analyzes demographic data relating to motor vehicle stops. The 2020 report was released on March 1, 2021. Read the report.
Mental Health Services Option Added to 9-1-1
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 Report from 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.