Austin Police reported no police units were available to respond to a shooting that happened on Sunday morning for 16 minutes.
It happened around 5:35 a.m.
Police say there appeared to be a disturbance between two vehicles, and it’s possible that the victim who was shot in the head was a bystander, CBS Austin reports.
Ken Casaday, president of the Austin Police Association, says the first APD patrol unit assigned was at 5:47 a.m., and police arrived at the scene at 5:51 a.m., 16 minutes after the call came through.
KXAN reported last week that an officer shortage is forcing the Austin PD to downsize and even eliminate some units, in order to beef up patrol ranks.
An internal memo from interim Austin Police Chief Joseph Chacon to the department outlined 82 officer positions from 14 departments that will move to cover patrols over the summer. These moves will take place on June 1 and Aug. 1 as outlined below.
The department that will be impacted the most is the Motors Unit, which will be downsized on June 1 and completely suspended on Aug. 1.
Austin Police Association President Ken Casaday said the officers and the community will start to feel the impact of these changes over the summer.
“These officers are going back to a job that they haven’t done in many years, and it’s mostly older officers, so it’ll be a physical and mental challenge for them,” Casaday said. “The challenge is going to be for the community, because these are officers [the Motors division] that run radar here on 35 and school zones, when the kids start going back to school.”
Earlier this month, the Greater Austin Crime Commission said since the start of the fiscal year, which was Oct. 1, APD lost 130 officers due to retirements and resignations.