Who Leads Reimagining Public Safety (RPS) In Austin?
The commitment to maintaining public safety and making sure all people in Austin feel safe in their communities is a core value of the City of Austin. The city has focused on policing reform before the Reimagining Public Safety (RPS) initiative was launched in the summer of 2020, and some of the city entities that are part of RPS today were in place before.
This blog is designed to identify and provide a short description of the key teams that are working on RPS. Future posts will go into further detail about each of these teams and what they do.
Resident Input is a Cornerstone
Ultimately, you may be surprised to learn that YOU are in charge of RPS. As the specific descriptions will illustrate, resident and community input is a key part of the process and residents are included in variety of the teams. While direct participation on the commissions and task force may be limited, residents may provide their input in a variety of ways. For more information on how to make your voice heard, visit the Share Input page which lists all the ways to provide input.
The Teams and Their Functions
The following four groups are the primary entities involved in the RPS initiative:
- Public Safety Committee of the Austin City Council: Consists of four members of the Austin City Council. Reviews issues related to the public safety departments of the city.
- Public Safety Commission: An 11-member commission that advises the city council on budgetary and policy matters concerning public safety.
- Community Police Review Commission: Consists of 10 unpaid volunteers appointed by the city manager and seeks to represent the community’s voice in policing and public safety
- City-Community Task Force: Created by the city at the start of the Reimagining Public Safety initiative in 2020, it brings together City staff and community members to co-create a framework for public safety to be reimagined.
City staff are also a critical part of the team managing RPS.
The team is made up of leaders from a wide range of City departments that work on public safety issues. Offices involved include the Office of Police Oversight, the Equity Office, Public Health, and many others.
Key City Staff Include:
- Deputy City Manager Nuria Rivera-Vandermyde
- Assistant City Manager Rey Arellano
- Interim Assistant City Manager Shannon Jones
- Director of the Office of Police Oversight Farah Muscadin
- City of Austin Chief Equity Officer Brion Oaks
Resident involvement and input is critical to RPS, and the City has dedicated a number of resources to the effort that incorporate your input along with city executives tasked with implementing reforms based on the guiding City Council Resolutions.
Stay tuned as we take a deeper dive into each of these teams and some of the key personnel involved.