In an effort to combat a rise in violent crime, the Austin Police Department (APD) has launched a Violence Intervention Program aimed at preventing gun crime through a collaboration of APD’s Organized and Violent Crimes Divisions, Travis County District Attorney’s Office and state and federal partner organizations.
Effective immediately through August 31, 2021, the Austin Police Department is working with prosecutorial liaisons at the District and County Attorney’s Offices to increase the visibility, thoroughness, and prosecution of violent offenses. The goal of the program is to improve the safety of the Austin community through a series of proactive measures.
“We are intentionally focusing our combined efforts on cases that are violent in nature, and this plan will work well to fight back against criminals who would do harm to Austin residents,” said Interim Police Chief Joseph Chacon.
The Department will review cases and refer any of those cases suitable for the program, to the appropriate partner agencies for prosecution and investigation. Crime analysis will be conducted to continually track violent gun crime trends, and apply the data to inform and direct overall efforts.
“From day one, our office has been clear that we take violent crimes very seriously,” said Travis County District Attorney José Garza. “We look forward to working with the Austin Police Department and other partners to focus our resources on crimes of violence that make our community less safe.”
APD’s Major Crimes Suppression Unit, Firearms Unit, Mid-Level Narcotics Unit, Robbery, Aggravated Assault Unit, and Homicide will collaborate with federal partners, including the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Task Force members to investigate persons actively engaged in ongoing violent crime in the city involving a firearm and to increase the number of federal referrals for offenses. The intention of this joint effort is to increase seizures of illegally-possessed firearms through proactive efforts.
APD will work with each federal partner agency to increase the number of federal referrals for firearm offenses. Use of the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) system will help to further gun crime investigations. The NIBIN system is the only national network that allows for the capture and comparison of ballistic evidence to aid in solving and preventing violent crimes involving firearms. The intention of this joint effort is to increase seizures of illegally-possessed firearms through proactive efforts.
APD’s partnership with the US Attorney’s Office, and the Travis County District and County Attorney’s Offices will ensure that prosecutions of crimes of violence receive the attention and resources they need.
The Austin Police Department is grateful to our partners for working with us to reduce gun violence in our city.