Governor Abbott statement on Austin City Council decision to defund Austin Police Department

Gov. Abbott: Texas DPS will help protect Austin

AUSTIN, Texas – Governor Greg Abbott today issued a statement following Austin City Council’s decision to cut $150 million from the Austin Police Department’s budget:

“Some cities are more focused on political agendas than public safety,” said Governor Abbott. “Austin’s decision puts the brave men and women of the Austin Police Department and their families at greater risk, and paves the way for lawlessness. Public safety is job one, and Austin has abandoned that duty. The legislature will take this issue up next session, but in the meantime, the Texas Department of Public Safety will stand in the gap to protect our capital city.”

More on Austin City Council vote:

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – The Austin City Council has voted to cut one-third of the city’s $434 million police budget amid national calls for “defunding” law enforcement in favor of spending more money on social services. Council members voted unanimously Thursday to reallocate just over $150 million in the 2021 fiscal budget to social services. That budget starts Oct. 1. Of that, $21 million will fund community resources including response to the coronavirus pandemic, mental health aid programs, victim services and food, housing and abortion access in October. Approximately $80 million will be redistributed to similar city services over the year. Another $49 million will be spent on alternative forms of public safety and community support. 

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