Austin Police Department Amidst Dangerous Staffing Crisis: ‘We’ve Lost More Officers Than We’ve Hired’ - Conservative Nation
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Austin Police Department Amidst Dangerous Staffing Crisis: ‘We’ve Lost More Officers Than We’ve Hired’



The repercussions of the 2020 “defund the police” movement in Austin, Texas, have plunged the city’s police department into a dire situation regarding “staffing woes,” entire neighborhoods being left without police coverage for extended periods, and 911 response times ballooning.

Michael Bullock, President of the Austin Police Association, has been outspoken about the crisis, highlighting how past decisions by city leadership have worsened the current predicament.

He told Fox News that the city is on the “brink of a disaster.”

“Previous councils and leadership have actively worked against our officers and department, which has now put us in a free-falling staffing crisis,” Bullock said. “Twice now we’ve had our contract voted down or it has been allowed to expire.” 

“Each year since 2017, we’ve lost more officers than we’ve hired,” he continued. “We had to gut our specialized units and force detectives to work backfill on patrol just to try and respond to 911 calls.”

After protests associated with the Black Lives Matter movement resulted in arson and looting across American cities following George Floyd’s death, Austin’s city council members unanimously voted in 2020 to “cut up to $150 million from its police department budget — about 34% of its current total — and reinvest the funds in other services,” as explained by Fox Digital. 

“The following year, the Texas Legislature passed a law essentially forcing Austin to restore the funding, but the officer shortage persists,” the outlet added.

In February, Bullock took to social media and revealed that, for two hours, there wasn’t a single police officer available to patrol an entire section of Austin.

“Staffing woes continue,” he wrote. “Due to our staffing being at 2006 levels, an entire sector in East Austin went two hours without a patrol officer assigned to the sector today.”

This glaring lapse underscores the severity of the situation, prompting understandable outrage among residents over the lack of police presence and the alarming delays in emergency response times.

For example, Lauren Klinefelter, an Austin resident, recounted a distressing incident highlighting the dire consequences of delayed emergency response times. In 2022, Klinefelter found herself in a harrowing situation after a car accident involving her young children.

“We needed an ambulance and some emergency assistance because not only was my car totaled, but my children were both bleeding and visibly injured,” she recalled. “I called 911 and, to my surprise, it rang and rang endlessly, only to be routed to a 311 operator for non-emergencies.”

With no immediate assistance available, Klinefelter had no choice but to rely on a Lyft to transport her and her injured children to a nearby hospital.

“The police never showed up, I was never contacted by anyone to follow up on the incident,” she recounted.

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