A group in the Texas capital city of Austin is petitioning to get a new initiative on the November ballot, one that would potentially force the city to hire hundreds of new police officers. The city has cut millions from its police budget in a defunding effort.
Save Austin Now announced Wednesday that the ordinance it’s seeking to get on the ballot would do the following, according to KXAN:
* Increase Austin Police staffing to two officers per thousand people, potentially adding hundreds of brand new positions
* Double the amount of yearly training that officers receive after they graduate from the cadet academy
* Increase minority hiring and put more of a focus on community policing
* Give retention bonuses to officers who have not received complaints
“Homicides are on track to double last year’s all-time record,” Save Austin Now said in a statement. “Our current police staffing level is equal to 2008 when Austin was 45% as large as it is today. Attrition is harming readiness and response times. Police morale is at an all-time low.”
“I think it sounds good in their head, but I don’t see, practically, how this is going to be funded,” said activist Chas Moore, who serves on the Reimagining Public Safety Task Force.