Austin Police Department Reimagining Public Safety – Phase-B

NOTE: There are a total of 3 related postings on Futureofpolicing that pertain to Austin Texas’ efforts for Public Safety Reimaging
The City of Austin released the second part (Phase B) of an independent analysis studying the impact of racism, discrimination, bigotry, and bias on Austin Police Department (APD) culture, policies, and practices.

The 14-month review conducted by Kroll Associates (Kroll), centered on three priority areas:

  • Use of force: Analyzing four years of use of force incident data.
  • Public interaction with civilians: Analyzing traffic stops, arrests, citations, and searches.
  • Recruitment, selection, and promotion policies and practices.

Read the report HERE.

“The completion of this report is an important milestone in our on-going effort to reimagine public safety in Austin,” said Rey Arellano, Assistant City Manager for Public Safety. “This in-depth analysis offers a roadmap to addressing systemic inequities that erode trust between Austin Police and the public.”

Key takeaways highlighted in a summary report:

  • Analysis of existing APD data reveals consistent disparities in use of force, traffic stops, searches, and arrests among whites and communities of color.
  • Existing APD data collection needs improvement to better pinpoint the underlying causes in policing disparities.
  • More effort is needed to shift APD personnel demographics to more accurately reflect diversity in Austin.
  • APD recruitment practices are creative, comprehensive and reach a diverse audience of potential recruits.

“I look forward to reviewing the report findings and prioritizing recommendations that can better inform updates to APD policies and practices to evolve how we meet our community’s public safety needs, recruit and retain a diverse and well-trained force, and provide greater transparency with improved data collection processes,” said Joseph Chacon, Austin Police Chief.

The Kroll analysis is an outcome of Council Resolution 66 which directed the City Manager initiate a comprehensive, multi-pronged investigation and evaluation of the presence of bigotry and discrimination in the protocols, practices, and behaviors of the officers of the Austin Police Department and how those factors impact hiring, promotion, workplace culture and community interactions. 

Kroll’s scope of work also included a review (Phase A) of the APD Training Academy and its progress updating curriculum to better prepare cadets for policing in a multi-ethnic, diverse urban population consistent with contemporary best practices.  The findings of the Phase A review were published in a report released in April 2021.

The findings of today’s Phase B report will be discussed during a presentation at the January 25 City Council work session.

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