Austin Police Have Been Defunded, Enter At Your Own Risk
Check out this new billboard in Austin.
But in all fairness, I have to give you the whole story.
So last month, the Austin City Council voted unanimously to make budget cuts to the city's police department. Some are considering it "defunding the police", while Austin's mayor calls it "reallocating" funds".
For starters, the Austin City Council voted to give major upgrades to its police department for needed technology by approving a $300,000 state grant that would pay for new rifle resistant body armor for 400 of its officers, and an additional $157,000 grant to Austin PD for upgrades and new technology for its police helicopters.
Good stuff, right?
Welp, here's where the problems come in: According to KVUE AUSTIN, $150 million dollars of their police budget has been "reallocated".
The Mayor of Austin, Steve Adler, said $80 million will go to numerous entities including decoupling city agencies from being police run, such as forensics labs and some policing units.
An additional $21 million will go to cadet classes, filling officer vacancies, social services, hiring more paramedics, and other needed resources.
The last $49 million will go into "reimagining", which reportedly will wipe out the lake patrol and traffic enforcement units and explore other public safety options.
Which leads us to the billboard.
The Texas Municipal Police Association put the billboards up after receiving news of the funds being allocated.
What people need to realize is that when the term "defunding the police" is used, it doesn't mean to fire police officers and do away with or abolish the police department.
It does mean that funding will be directed toward non-policing public safety and independent agencies outside of corrupt police systems to direct their own investigations and also to provide much-needed resources.
The Billboard in my opinion is UNNECESSARY.