Task Force

City-Community Reimagining Public Safety Task Force

Created at the direction of City Manager Spencer Cronk, The Reimagining Public Safety (RPS) City-Community Task Force brought together City staff and community members to co-create a framework for public safety to be reimagined.  The Task Force first convened in August 2020. The group met regularly to develop guiding values , a history of policing timeline, and recommendations for policy, cultural and structural changes to improve the quality of the public safety experience for all communities.

The task force’s scope included forming several work groups in key theme areas for reimagining. The work groups conducted in-depth community engagement to ensure those most impacted by negative interactions with public safety were represented in the recommendations development process.

Outreach included a community listening session on April 10 with more than 150 people participating in the conversation in Arabic, Burmese, English, Korean, Mandarin, Spanish, Urdu, and Vietnamese.

The Task Force finalized a comprehensive set of public safety reform recommendations and presented them to Austin City Council April 20, 2021.  Read the Task Force recommendations report. View the recommendations presentation video in English or Spanish.

 

Read the Task Force recommendations report in other languages:

Spanish
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese
Korean
Arabic
Urdu
Burmese
Vietnamese

"I created the Reimagining Public Safety Task Force to ensure community voices and experiences were at the center of conversations and decisions about the future of public safety in Austin. Members of the Task Force answered the call to serve on the collaborative body of city and community leaders with empathy, passion, and dedication. I deeply appreciate their commitment to this process.

The comprehensive set of recommendations brought forth by the Task Force challenge us to think boldly as we advance work to transform how we deliver holistic public safety services to equitably meet the needs of all Austinites.”  

--Spencer Cronk, City Manager

RPS Task Force Recommendations Review Teams

In April 2021, cross-departmental RPS Review Teams formed to conduct a comprehensive analysis of Task Force Recommendations to determine feasibility, fiscal impact, and any potential policy or ordinance changes that may be required.  Each team includes representatives from the Equity and Budget offices as well as the law department.

The review team analysis dashboard summarizes the results of the study of the Task Force recommendations. Click the image below to visit the dashboard page.

Analysis dashboard tile

To view the dashboard in other supported langauges, click the desired language from this list: Spanish, Vietnamese, Korean, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Arabic, Urdu, Burmese.

To view the analysis by category, click on the corresponding review team box below.

Equity community reinvestment tile

Services to violence survivors and violence prevention tile

Reimainging 911 and non-crisis response tile

Patrol and criminal investigation tile

Meaningful community engagement tile  

Public health reinvestment tile

Patrol and surveillance tile

Uprooting punitive and harm culture tile

The approved FY 2021-22 City budget includes ongoing and one-time funding of $9.3 million that funds numerous public safety reform recommendations brought forward by the City-Community RPS Task Force including:

  • Increased funding of $2.8 million to the Housing Trust Fund for anti-displacement initiatives including emergency relocation assistance, the tenant stabilization program, and for projects providing affordable housing,
  • Expansion of the current community health worker career ladder initiative, finalizing infrastructure development of the community health worker program, adding 9 new temporary community health workers, and increasing contracts to community organizations in order to build on their community-focused public health work totaling $1.5 million,
  • Matching funding for an ongoing guaranteed income pilot project that is currently being implemented through local organizations and philanthropic partners in the amount of $1.1 million,
  • Enhanced funding for the Office of Violence Prevention in the amount of $1.0 million to procure the technological infrastructure to assess, monitor, and utilize violence-related data to develop better informed violence intervention policies, to direct funding toward violence intervention programs, and to develop a Community Safety Grant Program to provide seed funding for community-led prevention and intervention efforts,
  • Increased funding for the Parks and Recreation Department in the amount of $900,000 to expand after-school programs, providing childcare and serving families across six recreation centers in the city’s eastern crescent,
  • Increased funding for Victim Services in the amount of $769,000 to fund two new positions, expand funding for community emergency financial assistance programs, and contract providers for specialized therapeutic and trauma healing along with training for victim services counselors who work with violence survivors,
  • Expansion of the Park Ranger program by adding $615,000 and six full-time positions to enforce park rules, provide information and assistance to park visitors, and connect people experiencing homelessness to services,
  • Funding for a “Resilient Communities/Resilient Schools” two-year pilot in the amount of $520,000 which will fund four community school coordinators that will link community partners, local campuses, parents, and grassroot organizations with family resource centers across the city,
  • A multilingual public education campaign to raise awareness regarding appropriate emergency service use in the amount of $105,000.

City staff will continue to explore innovative strategies for implementing additional task force recommendations beyond the FY 2021-22 budget.

Task Force Meeting Agendas, Notes, and Documents Archive

April 15, 2021

Agenda Summary

Welcome

Debrief community listening session

Review working group recommendations

Discussion and Vote on Working Group Recommendations: Read the completed Task Force Mid-Year recommendations report.

Preparation for April 20th presentation to City Council

Watch the meeting video.

 

April 10, 2021

Community Listening Session

The Task Force hosted a community listening session to solicit feedback on ways to reimagine policing and center those voices most directly harmed by policing or other public systems. 

 

April 7, 2021

Agenda Summary

Welcome

Work Group recommendation presentations:

Meaningful Community Engagement - watch video , read the final recommendations

Equity Re-investment in Community - watch video , read the final recommendations

Reimagining 911 and Non-Police Crisis Response - watch videoread the final recommendations

Public Health Reinvestment - watch video, read the final recommendations

Patrol and Criminal Investigations - watch video, read the final recommendations

Patrol and Surveillance - watch video, read the final recommendations

Business and Economic Development - watch video

Violence Survivor Services and Prevention - watch video, read the final recommendations

Uprooting Punitive and Harm Culture in Intersecting Systems - watch video, read the final recommendations

Statement on Cadet Class Vote- read the statement

Discussion of 4/10 community listening session

Process questions

Closing

Watch the meeting video

 

March 10, 2021

Agenda summary

Revisit Values and Outline Facilitation Approach
Review New Proposed Dates and Larger Timeline
Discussion and Process Questions
Work group presentations
Overall Questions on Community Engagement process, Updates, Other matters
Identify Next Priorities for Next Meeting and Review Next Steps

Read the meeting minutes

February 10, 2021

Agenda summary

Update and Possible Vote on Adding New Task Force Members
Update and Decision-making on New Consultant/Facilitators
Work Group Updates
Confirm Dates and Times for Following Meetings
Conversation re: Meadows Project

Watch the meeting video.

Read the meeting minutes.

Meeting Materials

Austin Cares Program

 

January 20, 2021

Presentation from community representatives of the APD-Community Video Review Panel, discussion on Work Group progress and process, update on search for permanent Task Force consultants, discussion on adding new members to Task Force, etc. 

Watch the meeting video.

Read the meeting minutes.

Meeting Materials

Video Review Panel Facilitator Final Report

APD Training Videos Community Review Report

Community Review Panel Summary Reports

*These reports are an outcome related to City Council Resolution 66 - Investigate Racism within the Austin Police Department

Community Review Presentation

 

December 9, 2020

The task force voted to approve the values that will guide the body’s work. City Staff presented an outline of RPS related work underway, key components, timelines, as well as an overview of decoupling and council action. The presentation also included an overview of APD Operations including organizational chart, budget, inter-local agreements, etc.

Watch the meeting video

 

    Meeting Materials

    Staff Presentation

    Austin Police Department Inter-Local Agreements

    APD Command Org Chart

     

    November 5, 2020

    Task force members discussed finalizing working groups and received briefings about  Reimagining 911 from Kerry O'Connor, Chief Innovation Officer, and progress on the Mental Health Diversion Initiative from Rey Arellano, Task Force Member, Assistant City Manager for Public Safety.

    Watch the meeting video.

    October 20, 2020

    Task force members received nominations and voted to select a co-chair. A task force working group provided a presentation on the history of policing. Read meeting notes.

    You can view a recording of the meeting here. Mire la reunión en español aquí

     

    History of Policing Interactive Timeline

    View the history of policing timeline in Arabic.
    View the history of policing timeline in Burmese.
    View the history of policing timeline in Simplified Chinese.
    View the history of policing timeline in Traditional Chinese.
    View the history of policing timeline in Korean.
    View the history of policing timeline in Urdu.
    View the history of policing timeline in Vietnamese.

    September 10, 2020

    A new member was introduced, the members reviewed and modified the draft governance document, agreed to vote on co-chairs at the beginning of the next meeting, and decided on the next meeting agenda. Read notes. 

     

    September 2, 2020

    Members discussed priority areas and expectations with City leadership, reviewed their priorities for work, established Community Agreements, and decided on the next meeting agenda. Read notes.

     

    August 24, 2020

    Members discussed how they will work: public versus private meeting models, voting and decision making methods, group collaboration, and understanding the history of policing. Read notes.

     


    Task Force Community Members

    • Quincy Dunlap - Austin Area Urban League
    • Hailey Easley - Austin Asian Community Health Initiative
    • Emily Gerrick - Texas Fair Defense Project
    • Monica Guzmán - Go! Austin/Vamos! Austin (GAVA)
    • Priscilla Hale - allgo
    • Dawn Handley - Integral Care
    • Chris Harris - Texas Appleseed
    • David Johnson - Grassroots Leadership
    • Amanda Lewis - Survivor Justice Project
    • Nelson Linder - National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
    • Kathy Mitchell - Just Liberty
    • Chas Moore - Austin Justice Coalition
    • Cary Roberts - Greater Austin Crime Commission
    • Paula Rojas - Communities of Color United
    • Matt Simpson - American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
    • Alicia Torres - ICE Fuera de Austin
    • Cate Graziani - Texas Harm Reduction Alliance

    Task Force City of Austin Members

    • Nuria Rivera-Vandermyde - Deputy City Manager
    • Rey Arellano - Assistant City Manager                             
    • Shannon Jones - Interim Assistant City Manager                                
    • Farah Muscadin - Director, Office of Police Oversight
    • Brion Oaks - Chief Equity Officer, Equity Office    

    City Community Task Force Work Groups


    Combined Work Group: Reimagining 911 and Non-Police Crisis Response

    Developing a deeper understanding of the needs of people who call 911 to develop recommendations to best address those needs including transitioning 9-1-1 communications from APD to independent or alternate City department management and reimagining a new response system which diverts 9-1-1 calls that come that do not warrant a police response to a non-police crisis line and response team similar to other models other cities.

    Contact:

    Kathy Mitchell 

    mitckagardener@yahoo.com 

    Cate Graziani

    cgraziani@harmreductiontx.org


    Police Staffing: Patrol and Criminal Investigations

    Evaluating current police staffing and patrol models to develop recommendations for effective alternative approaches to crime deterrence while reducing the negative impact of patrol and criminal investigation procedures on vulnerable communities.

    Contact: 

    Kathy Mitchell

    mitckagardener@yahoo.com


    Public Health Reinvestment

    Exploring ways redefine public safety (and in some ways public health) to include access to affordable, equitable, accessible, high quality healthcare and housing. Focus will center on recommendations for public health reinvestments in the community while divesting from harmful punitive models.

    Contact:

    Cate Graziani

    cgraziani@harmreductiontx.org


    Uprooting Punitive and Harm Culture in Intersecting Systems

    Assessing the ways punitive culture directs public safety efforts and develop recommendations and processes for their deconstruction and replacement.

    Contact: 

    David Johnson

    criminaljustice@grassrootsleadership.org


    Patrol and Surveillance

    Addressing why and how patrol and surveillance policies harm Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities and fail to develop community safety. The group will explore how to divest funding from these operational areas towards creative solutions to community needs.

    Contact: 

    David Johnson

    criminaljustice@grassrootsleadership.org


    Business and Economic Development

    Consider how public safety issues affect businesses and economic development, including ordinance changes and staffing levels.

    Contact: 

    Cary Roberts 

    info@austincrime.org


    Equity Re-investment in Community

    Identify and create upstream mechanisms that prevent the need for policing and invest in impacted communities to address long standing inequities.

    Contact:

    Paula X. Rojas

    paulax@mamabaila.com


    Meaningful Community Engagement

    Centering the voices of those most directly harmed by systems in Reimagining Public Safety conversations by creating processes and opportunities for disproportionately impacted residents to offer up their experiences and own thoughts on what they need to feel safe. The input will ensure task force working group proposals and recommendations are informed by community members and not just organizational representatives.

    Contact:

    Alicia Torres 

    atorres@grassrootsleadership.org


    Violence Survivor Services and Prevention

    Exploring opportunities to improve services to survivors of violence both within and outside of APD. So few survivors report their abuse to law enforcement yet so much of the resources to mitigate violence are funneled through that department. We hope to explore ways that victims/survivors can access these resources.

    Contact: 

    Amanda Lewis

    amichellewis@gmail.com