Neighborhood Watch: New neighborhood watch groups for single family homes and for apartment complexes are being developed and CLASP representatives will be providing instruction and training. In addition, CLASP representatives have recently made joint watch training presentations with APD.
There is no charge for this training and any neighborhoods that would like information on setting up their groups are encouraged to contact CLASP for details.
Budget: This is City of Austin budget season and public safety budget forecast presentations been made to the Council and the Public Safety Commission. City Manager required that all departments submit forecasts with 5% reductions for 2016.
Word is that the Austin Police Department could face a reduction in the District Rep Program and Highway Enforcement Unit. Proposed budgets are due June 5. The City Council is out during most of the month of July, with the first budget work session on July 30. There will be two work sessions and two public hearings during August, and in September another work session and, in the second week of September, adoption of the budget and tax rate.
Watch your email for information and updates on how you can participate as this process moves along!
Police Force Strength: The Greater Austin Crime Commission partnered with the University of Texas to produce an extensive analysis of police force strength models. The report made a compelling recommendation for an effective method of determining staffing using patrol officers’ “uncommitted time” (time used for interacting with the public) rather than basing size of the force on population figures as currently used (2 officers per 1,000 people).
The GACC plans to discuss force strength and APD funding in its contacts with the council members during the budget cycle.
Forum: Planning is in process for a CLASP Education Forum to be held later this year in North Austin with potential topics to include details on the APD budget request, an explanation of police force strength using community engagement time, and the District Representative Program.
Watch your email for date, place, and programs for this year’s Forum!