DIVISIONS

The Austin Police Department Air Support Unit assists APD officers on the ground in patrol and support missions during the day and night. Additionally, a crew is on call and available to respond to incidents on a 24-hour basis.

The Austin Police Department’s Animal Cruelty Unit has both an enforcement and investigative branch. The primary mission of the Animal Cruelty Unit is to investigate allegations and reports of cruelty, neglect and illegal exploitation of domestic, feral and wild animals within the jurisdictional boundaries of Austin.

The APD 911 Emergency Communications Division is the first point of contact when a community member calls 9-1-1 in an emergency. In collaboration with Police, Fire, EMS, and Mental Health Services, they deliver public safety resources to our community and work to improve safety and response times for all in the City of Austin. 

The District Representative Program serves as a liaison between neighborhood communities and the police department’s regional commands.

The Austin Police Department Sex Crimes Unit was created to investigate felony sexual assaults in Austin, Texas (sexual crimes committed against victims 17 years of age or older). The unit also investigates other crimes such as indecent assault, public lewdness, indecent exposure, window peeping, assault by contact/sexual nature, and invasive visual recording.  

The APD Special Events Unit assists with the planning and execution of closure permits for events within the city limits, as defined by City of Austin Ordinance 14-8. 

The Austin Regional Intelligence Center (ARIC) serves the public by providing a centralized, comprehensive, multi-agency criminal information and intelligence network that works to enhance operational effectiveness and efficiency of the public safety agencies involved and to maximize the region’s ability to detect, prevent, apprehend, and respond to criminal and terroristic activity. 

Austin Police Department's Auto Theft Unit has specialized programs designed to reduce vehicle crimes through ATIP, a proactive program to investigate, identify, arrest, and charge criminals.

The APD Burglary Unit investigates crimes against property and is specifically tasked with investigating residential and non-residential/commercial burglaries, inside the City of Austin. 

The APD Child Abuse Unit is responsible for investigating all criminal cases of physical abuse and neglect of children 14 years of age or younger and sexual abuse of children younger than 17 years of age, occurring in the City of Austin.

The primary purpose of the Commercial Burglary and Metal Theft Unit is to investigate Burglary of Non Residence (commercial) and facilitate the identification and recovery of stolen property that has been taken to local pawnshops, scrap metal dealers and secondhand stores. 

The Austin Police Department Commercial Vehicle Enforcement (CVE) Unit works to ensure Austin has the safest roadways in Texas with regard to commercial vehicle traffic.

Following FMCSA, State and Local Law, the APD Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit will:

The Court Services Unit is responsible for providing building security to the Austin Municipal Court and other City Judicial Buildings.  In addition to providing security service to the Courts, personnel conduct warrant services on outstanding municipal Class “C” and Traffic violators.

As of June 2021, due to staffing shortages the DWI Enforcement Unit was temporarily suspended as a full time unit and the officers were placed back on patrol as part of an Auxiliary DWI / DRE team.  Now, each DWI Liaison officer is a certified Drug Recognition Expert and are the de facto DWI experts within the Department.

The Family Violence Protection Team (FVPT) is a collaborative, community response to family and dating violence that provides multiple services. We improve access to law enforcement, counseling, crisis management and legal services for survivors of family violence and their children. We hope to increase batterer accountability, empower survivors to lead violence-free lives and lead the community's zero tolerance policy toward family and dating violence.

The Financial Crimes Unit is responsible for investigating crimes in which a financial instrument is used by the criminal element. The Financial Crimes Unit works offenses of credit card abuse, identity theft, counterfeit or forged checks, false statement to obtain credit and counterfeit U.S. Currency cases (in conjunction with the U.S. Secret Service).

The Firearms Review Unit was formally created in March 2005 in response to the growing concerns about gun crime in Austin. The unit is under the Investigations Bureau, Organized Crime Division and is responsible for investigating firearm violations in the Austin, Texas area. The unit is also responsible for the filing of State and Federal firearms related offenses. The unit assists other law enforcement agencies on firearm related matters when needed.

The Fugitive Apprehension Unit (FAU) was created in August 1998 during a departmental reorganization.  It was established with the purpose of executing warrants not served by uniformed patrol officers or departmental detectives.  The unit, by executing departmental warrants, will allow uniformed patrol officers to remain in their assigned sectors available for calls while also allowing detectives additional time to conduct their criminal investigations.

In 2005 the Joint Juvenile Gang Unit was formed to address youth gang activity in and around the Austin area.

The Austin Police Department Homicide Unit is tasked with the investigation of all homicides, accidental deaths (non-traffic related), suicides, and deaths of a suspicious or undetermined nature inside the jurisdiction of the City of Austin.  

The Human Trafficking Unit enforces organized gambling, organized prostitution, and pornography-related state laws and city ordinances. The unit also investigates cases related to the trafficking of persons for sexual or labor exploitation. The unit works closely with members of the Central Texas Federal Law Enforcement Task Force to combat human trafficking. This unit was established in 2009 and is part of the Organized Crime Division.

The mission of Internal Affairs is to review officer involved critical incidents and investigate complaints received on sworn and non-sworn employees of the Austin Police Department. Critical incidents include officer involved shootings, pursuits resulting in serious injury, or any incident resulting in serious injury or death of a person, regardless of any allegations of misconduct.

The Austin Police Department Canine Unit.

The Austin Police Department Lake Patrol Unit patrols the three public lakes in the City of Austin; Walter E. Long, Lady Bird, and Lake Austin. The Lake Patrol Unit fulfills two principle functions; safety through deterrence and law enforcement, as well as public education directed toward recreational or commercial activities.  The Lake Patrol Unit is the principal law enforcement entity on the City of Austin waterways and a cooperating agency with organizations with concurrent jurisdiction.

The Missing Person Unit is responsible for investigating reports of missing persons and unidentified located persons in accordance with Texas Code of Criminal Procedures Chapter 63.

The Austin Police Department has temporarily suspended their full time Motor Unit.  In order to provide the services that require the agility and training that are unique to a motorcycle unit, a Motor Auxiliary Unit was created.  The Motor Auxiliary Unit is composed of volunteer officers that are motorcycle operator certified, and actively participate in motorcycle skills training and motorcycle officer required events.  There are forty APD officers that participate in the Motor Auxiliary Unit.

The Austin Police Department Mounted Patrol Unit is currently made up of 10 officers, 2 Corporals and 1 Sergeant. This number can increase during special events when the unit brings in auxiliary riders, to field more horses. The unit currently has 16 horses.

The APD Narcotics Unit Investigates all types of narcotics violations, processes patrol narcotic administrative cases, and assists other APD investigative details, including Metro Response, District Representatives, as well as assisting local, state and federal agencies.  In addition, the unit works with confidential informants, does surveillance, conducts search warrants and acts in an undercover capacity.

The Nuisance Abatement Unit is composed of one Detective and one Sergeant. The Nuisance Abatement Unit works “behind the scenes” with property owners and other city departments in an attempt to first gain voluntary compliance with properties that have been deemed a “nuisance”. If voluntary compliance is not met then detectives utilize various statutes to remedy the nuisance.

The Office of Community Liaison (OCL) works in each of APD's 3 regions as dictated by the department's and the community's needs. Outreach objectives include attending safety fairs, participating in Town Hall/neighborhood meetings, collaborating on projects with officers and community groups, and more. 

The Robbery Unit is responsible for investigating robberies of individuals, businesses, and banks within the City of Austin. The unit conducts and documents robbery and robbery related investigations to include going to crime scenes, conducting interviews and interrogations, issuing and executing warrants and making referrals to courts and other agencies.

The Sex Offender Apprehension and Registration (SOAR) Unit was created in February of 1999 to register and monitor persons residing within the city limits who have been declared as sex offenders (Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Chapter 62) and have a duty to register. Currently, the unit is incorporated into the Investigations Bureau. 

The Unit's motto is "Leave No Stone Unturned in Seeking the Truth". While this unit was initially created to investigate only APD officer involved incidents, it quickly grew to include criminal investigations involving all sworn peace officers alleged to have committed a criminal offense within the jurisdiction of the Austin Police Department.

The primary mission of the Austin Police SWAT team is to professionally resolve life threatening critical incidents, while striving to minimize negative impact on Austin’s residents and visitors.  In addition, SWAT is to provide tactical, administrative and training support to all members of the Department.

The Austin Police Department, as part of the City of Austin Vision Zero Task Force created this page to prevent traffic fatality, serious injury and overall traffic crashes and to better inform the public, educators and the media about information related to these events. Users should check regularly for updates. 

The goal of the Traffic Incident Management System (TIMS) program (towing) is to provide safe, prompt and efficient removal of disabled vehicles from the right-of-way of designated major highways.

The Vehicle Abatement Unit will now handle abandoned vehicles.To report an abandoned vehicle, call 311 or submit a service request electronically to 3-1-1 here.

Vehicle Abatement Information Sheet

The Vehicular Homicide Unit was created to conduct follow-up investigations on traffic related crashes that involve fatal or life threatening injuries, in order to determine if a criminal offense has occurred. The Unit uses extensive training in crash reconstruction, computerized mapping and animation, and on-board data recorders in order to accomplish this.

The Vice unit enforces organized gambling, organized prostitution, and pornography-related state laws and city ordinances.

Created in 1981, the long held mission of the Victim Services Division of the Austin Police Department is to respond to crime victim’s psychological and emotional needs.

We believe that a volunteer workforce will strengthen community relations and build strong partnerships. The Volunteers in Police Service VIPS program is part of the Austin Police Department's Office of Community Liaison (OCL). We are committed to finding quality volunteers who will enhance the work of the police department.

The Wrecker Enforcement Unit oversees various components related to towing in Austin, which include coordinating the APD Rush Hour and collision rotation rosters, inspecting trucks and licensing drivers, investigating crimes related to towing ordinances, and lastly, working with City Council, citizens, and local wrecker companies to address current issues.