The Austin police union says the Texas city’s residents are feeling the aftershocks of the "defund the police" movement as staff shortages reportedly are leaving 911 callers on hold and crime continues to spiral out of control.
Thomas Villarreal, president of the Austin Police Association, blamed the city council for neglecting local law enforcement, telling "Fox & Friends" on Monday that the alleged missteps have concocted a larger problem.
The dismal numbers come as the department saw a $150 million budget cut – roughly a third – in 2020.
"I've got about 1,475 officers in our police department and, you know, we're moving in the wrong direction. There's less and less and less resources to go out and do the job. I've got detectives who are pulled away from their caseload to just help answer 911 calls because we just don't have the resources to adequately police the city."
Austin Police Chief Joseph Chacon announced his retirement this week.