Gov. Greg Abbott starts state task force on street takeovers
During a recent street racing incident, Austin residents faced long 911 wait times. City officials say they need to increase staffing for 911 call takers, but state license and background check requirements make it difficult to fill positions.
Hays County commissioner pleads to lesser charge in 2021 DWI crash case
A Hays County commissioner who was charged with driving while intoxicated after crashing into a vehicle in Austin last year has been sentenced to nine months of community supervision in the case, Travis County court records show.
Texas law enforcement groups, firearms instructors voice concerns over permitless carry handgun bill
Tyler Representative Matt Schaefer says law-abiding citizens are at a disadvantage to criminals on the street and his bill, House Bill 1927, is a way to restore a right for 21-year-old Texans and older to be able to carry a handgun without the need for a license.
Silver Alert for 84-year-old Austin man has been discontinued
AUSTIN – UPDATE: A Silver Alert for a missing 84-year-old man has been discontinued. According to the Austin Police Department, Owen Proctor has been found. ---(Original Story)Police are searching for an 84-year-old man who was last seen Monday in Austin. He has white hair and brown eyes and was wearing a red and black striped long-sleeve shirt with khaki pants. Anyone with information on Proctor’s whereabouts is asked to call the Austin Police Department at 737-228-2068.
Austin police officer who shot and killed Michael Ramos charged with murder
A protester holds a sign at a rally for George Floyd and Michael Ramos at Austin Police headquarters on May 30, 2020. (Credit: Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas Tribune)A murder warrant was issued Wednesday for the arrest of the Austin police officer who shot and killed Michael Ramos last year, according to the Travis County Sheriff’s Office. The Travis County District Attorney’s Office has previously said that Taylor’s criminal case in Ramos’ killing would be presented to a grand jury this month. Travis County District Attorney José Garza did not comment Wednesday evening. AdThe city cut the budget following calls for defunding following the deaths of Ramos, Ambler and Floyd.
2 dead following hours-long standoff in Austin
AUSTIN – UPDATE: Two people were found dead inside a doctor’s office in Austin late Tuesday night after an hours-long SWAT situation, the Austin Police Department said. MEDIA - The SWAT situation has ended. -PIO6 — Austin Police Department (@Austin_Police) January 27, 2021---(Original Story)The Austin Police Department reported that officers are responding to a “active and ongoing” SWAT situation in the 1900 block of West 35th Street. Austin police have surrounded a medical office, evacuated residents from surrounding areas and told others to stay inside. John Majefski, an officer with the department’s public information office, said the department did not have very many details of the incident.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott pledges to make it ‘fiscally impossible’ to defund police
Greg Abbott said the state legislature must pass laws that make it “fiscally impossible” for cities to reduce their police budgets. Abbott made the comments Thursday in a roundtable on public safety that was held with several law enforcement officials from across the state. “We must make it fiscally impossible for cities to defund police,” Abbott said. Another bill, filed by San Antonio Rep. Steve Allison, would institute a referendum if public safety funds are cut by more than 5%. “Texas is a law and order state and we are going to ensure that we keep it that way,” Abbott said.
Silver Alert for missing 73-year-old man discontinued
AUSTIN, Texas – UPDATE: A Silver Alert for a missing 73-year-old man from Austin has been discontinued. According to the Austin Police Department, John Goodlett has been found. ---(Original Story)The Austin Police Department is asking for the public’s help in locating a missing 73-year-old man in Austin, Texas. He was last seen wearing a blue North Face shirt and basketball shorts, according to officials. RELATED: La Vernia PD seeks help in finding missing 15-year-old girl
As major Texas departments press forward with releasing police shooting footage, SAPD remains in neutral
WARNING: The links below include footage of fatal shootings that some viewers may find disturbingWhat other departments are doingIn the Metroplex, major police departments release footage within days of officers shooting a suspect. Many large police departments in Texas now release footage after officers shoot someone. (KSAT)The Austin Police Department instituted a footage release policy at the start of June. Mayor Ron Nirenberg has publicly called for SAPD to create a video release policy for police shootings. Reamey said departments should have at the very least a working framework on how and when to release officer shooting footage.
Woman missing since April may have been in San Antonio, Austin police say
SAN ANTONIO – The Austin Police Department announced Tuesday that a woman who has been missing since April may have been in the San Antonio area when she disappeared. Susanna Duncan, 22, was reported missing on May 24, according to detectives with APD’s Cold Case Missing Person Unit. She was last seen at 4 a.m. on April 21, on 7th Street and IH-35 in Austin. Duncan is known to travel frequently between Marble Falls and Austin, APD said in a statement. Anyone with information about Duncan’s whereabouts is asked to call 9-1-1 or the APD Cold Case and Missing Person Unit at 512-974-5250.
Austin police will no longer cite or arrest people for possessing small amounts of marijuana
The Austin Police Department will no longer cite and arrest people solely for possessing a misdemeanor amount of marijuana, according to a Thursday police memo. The distinction caused numerous prosecutors to drop hundreds of marijuana cases and stopped accepting new ones, arguing they could not tell the difference between the two without unavailable lab testing. The number of new marijuana cases filed by prosecutors in the state dropped by more than half in six months. In January, the Austin City Council approved a resolution to stop arresting or ticketing people for most low-level marijuana possession offenses. At the time, Manley said though cracking down on those possessing a small amount of marijuana was never a priority, police would continue to cite or arrest people if officers “come across it.”But on Thursday, that policy was changed.
Austin City Council unanimously backs policies limiting police officers' use of force and asks for cuts to department budget
Protesters demonstrating against police brutality raise their arms and chant, Dont shoot! after Austin officers fired tear gas and rubber bullets at the crowd on May 30. The council also directed the city manager to propose reductions to the departments budget next year. All 11 members of the Austin City Council co-sponsored the resolutions passed Wednesday. The police department budget is more than one-third of the citys budget: larger than the Austin Public Library, Austin Public Health, Parks and Recreation, and EMS, combined, she said. How are you going to handle 911 calls defunding public safety? she said.
Black and Hispanic drivers in Austin, Texas, are disproportionately stopped by police, report says
(CNN) -- Black and Hispanic drivers in Austin, Texas, continue to be pulled over by police disproportionately, according to a city report released Thursday. Blacks and Hispanics are also disproportionately searched as a result of those stops, the report found. Some might say the disparities exist partly because black and African Americans are more likely to commute into Austin from surrounding communities. Austin police also released a report on racial profilingThe report was the result of a joint effort between Austin's Office of Police Oversight, and the Office of Innovation and Equity. Report calls on police to eliminate disparities by 2023The three departments that produced the report also outlined a series of recommendations.