The damage wrought by the defund the police movement and the installment of George Soros-backed progressive district attorneys has continued to manifest, leaving one Texas city in the throes of a law enforcement crisis, “right there with Portland and Seattle and San Francisco.”
The capital of the Lone Star State was used to facing around 50 retirements per year from the Austin Police Department prior to 2020. Now, not only has that average doubled in the three years since the Black Lives Matter movement overtook the country, there had already been 50 retirements in the first two months of 2023 alone, with dozens more expected by the end of March, according to the Austin Police Retirement System.
Though no specific reason was attributed to any of the retirements, former Lt. Brian Moon who retired last month after 23 years of service with the APD told the New York Post, “We’re right there with Portland and Seattle and San Francisco as being one of those places where if you’re at all conservative or in law enforcement, it’s become a hostile place.”
The police department’s current contract is set to expire at the end of March and the Austin Police Association (APA) was prepared to agree to a new four-year contract when the Austin City Council voted in mid-February in favor of a limited one-year deal.
According to the APA, there were already 264 vacancies in the department before this year’s retirements which will bring that number to well over 300 by the end of March. For a force that employs less than 2,000 officers, the considerable vacancies have meant pulling personnel like detectives from their normal duties just to cover patrols.
Police union president Thomas Villareal also commented on the shift in non-emergency 9-1-1 calls being directed to 3-1-1. “If you come home and find your home burglarized, calls like that are now going to 311. You’re not getting a police response to many property crimes if it’s not a violent crime that is currently ongoing.”
“You could see that the city’s attitude towards its police department had started to shift and, personally speaking, I didn’t feel that the city was really appreciating us the way they used to,” Moon expressed. “Austin had always been a pretty liberal-leaning city, but it was pro-law enforcement at the same time. They expected us to do things the right way, obviously, but they weren’t hyper-critical like they became.”
The retired lieutenant’s position has manifested in a number of ways like how Soros-backed DA José Garza pushed for charges against officers for their response to George Floyd-related riots in May 2020 when tear gas and rubber bullets were utilized to disperse those violent protesters when they refused to abide by police instructions.
Texas DA wants grand jury to consider charges against 20+ officers for George Floyd riot response https://t.co/Ued9ljK66L
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) February 12, 2022
“It almost felt like there was a target — like the District Attorney’s Office and the city was looking for an opportunity to do something to you,” Moon said, “to prosecute you or fire you, no matter if you did it right or did it wrong.”
Austin Police Officer Justin Berry pointed out that those leaving aren’t just retirees as some are looking for opportunities where law enforcement is respected.
“There are a lot more that are planning on just resigning once they get their acceptance letters from other agencies. The City Council fails to understand the gravity of what this means for the general safety of the very community they are responsible for,” he tweeted.
There are a lot more that are planning on just resigning once they get their acceptance letters from other agencies. The City Council fails to understand the gravity of what this means for the general safety of the very community they are responsible for. https://t.co/6yedw082Qx
— Justin Berry (@realJustinBerry) February 28, 2023
The inability to properly serve and protect recently manifested in Austin when street racers took over roads and used overwhelming numbers to deter a police response.
Meanwhile, faced with rising violent crime, budget cuts, and severe suffering from attrition, the APD told the Post, “Our officers work hard every day to provide a safer environment with the resources we have at hand. We will continue strategizing about providing safety to the community and with other tasks ranging from patrol to investigations.”
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