The Austin Police Department introduced it’s going to now not reply to requires “non-emergencies” after a minimize to the police funds in 2020 led to staffing shortages. Mackenzie Kelly, an Austin City Council member, stated the choice to defund the police has led to “disastrous consequences” within the metropolis.

The Austin City Council voted in August 2020 to chop as much as $150 million – roughly 34% – from the police funds. By the top of July, Austin reported that the variety of homicides in 2021 had already matched the entire homicides in all of 2020.

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“A lot of what we’re seeing happening starting today is coming home to roost from that decision,” Kelly stated. “And it’s disastrous.”

The metropolis now plans to ship social staff to reply to “non-emergency” calls to make up for the shortage of accessible officers. 

Residents had been directed to name 311 to report crimes like theft and housebreaking which might be now not lively.

Texas police department to stop responding to 'non-emergencies'Video

“One of the biggest concerns I have is that prostitution is on that list,” Kelly stated on “Fox & Friends.”

“We have victims of human trafficking happening, and they’re going to send a social worker and not a police officer? That’s absurd to me.”

Kelly informed host Steve Doocy that public officers are usually not prioritizing public security if civilians are being despatched to reply to calls.

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“That’s what police officers are for. They’re trained to respond to those sorts of incidents, not a civilian,” she stated. 

The division had 150 vacant positions as of the top of July, an quantity that interim Austin Police Chief Joseph Chacon referred to as a “crisis” degree. 

Kelly expects one other 147 officers to be minimize by the top of the yr.

“I don’t see this ending well for anyone, especially the taxpaying citizens of the city of Austin.”