Due to a significant lack of staff, Austin’s sworn policemen will no longer attend in-person to non-emergency calls beginning next week. Incidents with no injuries or thefts that are no longer in operation or if the suspect has escaped do not need a 911 call under this policy.
Residents in these and similar circumstances will need to phone 311 and make a non-emergency report. Whereas a sworn police officer may not attend to non-emergencies, a civilian officer, such as a crime scene investigator, may respond to a scene to gather evidence.
In August 2020, the Austin City Council decided to slash up to $150 million from the local police budget which is almost a third of the overall budget, and spend the savings on other social programs. The decision occurred after a violent summer that included worldwide riots following the police shooting of George Floyd.
Individuals are encouraged to report offenses that are no longer in operation or that pose no urgent danger to humans or damage using iReportAustin.com or calling 311. Whenever there is a danger to life or damage, people should proceed to dial 911, according to the APD.
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