City Council Approves Pilot Cadet Class for a Reimagined APD Training Academy

The Austin City Council today approved moving forward with a reimagined Austin Police Department (APD) training academy in June. 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.

In March, the City Council approved the City Manager’s blueprint for the reimagined academy. The blueprint outlined a collaborative and iterative process of transforming the academy and creating a core focus on community input, emphasizing servant leadership, and curriculum and teaching methods that are infused with diversity, equity, and inclusion.

New academy curriculum will include:

  • 30 more hours of community engagement programming,
  • a two-week community immersion orientation program,
  • anti-racism training
  • a newly designed course on the history of police
  • regular physical fitness training
  • fewer week-long blocks of technical course content to allow for more effective implementation of adult learning strategies
  • a formal process of community and civilian input into training content to ensure that issues of racial equity and procedural justice are reflected in all aspects of cadet training

The 144th Academy will be 34 weeks long and is expected to begin on June 7, 2021. Kroll & Associates, an independent consultant will continue to evaluate APD’s readiness to launch and implementation of the pilot class.

The reimagined academy is an outcome of City Council Resolution 20191205-066 with a core focus on eliminating racial bias, bigotry, and discrimination in APD policies, practices and behaviors. The resolution directed City Manager Spencer Cronk to conduct an audit of recruitment and training policies, procedures, protocols and materials for cadets and officers, develop plan for continuing education for officers and management training for supervisors on eliminating racial bias, and to delay the start of a cadet class until this work was completed.

The resolution is part of the founding reforms under the Reimagining Public Safety (RPS) framework.  Details about this and other initiatives can be found on the RPS website in English and Spanish.