Tensions Rise as City Grapples with Police Defunding Consequences

(HorizonPost.com) – The city of Austin, Texas was one of many Democrat-run cities that rushed to defund the police in the wake of the Black Lives Matter riots that followed the in-custody death of George Floyd in 2020. And now, residents are paying the price for the city council’s rash decision, Fox News reported.

Last month, it was reported that one entire section of East Austin lacked a single patrol officer for several hours on a Saturday due to the shortage of police in the city.

It is taking longer for officers to respond to 911 calls and according to Austin Police Association President Michael Bullock, the erosion of public safety is putting Austin on the “brink of disaster.”

Bullock told Fox News that since the city council defunded the police, the Police Association’s contract has been either voted down or allowed to expire twice.

Over the last seven years, the Austin police have lost more officers than they’ve hired, leaving specialized units and detectives to help pick up the slack by going on patrol and responding to 911 calls, Bullock said.

In 2023, the Austin police had 40 officers file for retirement after the city council voted to cancel the four-year contract it previously agreed to accept in favor of a one-year contract that the union rejected.

One Austin resident told Fox that when she was in a car accident in 2022, she was unable to get a response from her 911 call.

FOP Vice President Joe Gamaldi told Fox that the Austin City Council members who approved police defunding do not care about the people of Austin.

A spokesperson for the city told Fox that the Austin Police Department has been experiencing some concerns, especially in training and staffing, and finding additional resources is a priority for the interim city manager.

The spokesperson said that the city council had authorized “significant investments” in staffing for the police, including additional funding for cadet classes and retention bonuses.

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