Texas Governor Drops The Hammer On Austin’s Police Cuts

OPINION | This article contains political commentary which reflects the author's opinion.

Thank goodness for Texas Governor Greg Abbott.

The Republican governor is doing what he can to keep his state’s big cities safe from leftist policies.

Gov. Abbott’s tweet came in response to a major reorganization of the Austin Police Department (APD), as reported by KXAN-NBC.

The Austin Police Department plans to move 95 officers from specialty units – including Park Patrol, Narcotics, DWI Enforcement, Organized Crime, and Gangs – to patrol as part of its adjustment to budget cuts imposed by the Austin City Council.

Earlier this month, the Austin City Council approved a budget that will move $150 million dollars over the next year from the APD to various other public health and safety initiatives.

The budget changes include cancelling some cadet classes. In a world where thousands of people are taking to the streets to protest against alleged police brutality, it seems counter-productive to take money away from police training opportunities.

KXAN received a list of specialty units of the APD affected by officer reassignments due to the budget cuts:

  • A specialty unit of 31 officers patrolling the city’s parks would be disbanded and handled by normal patrol.

  • A street gangs unit would be dissolved.

  • The number of officers in a unit to combat drunk driving would be cut in half.

  • Four units of “district representatives” whose goal is to build community relationships would also be transferred into patrols.

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I’m a little confused about that last point. Hasn’t the left been claiming that we need MORE community-minded representatives and fewer cops? Getting rid of “district representatives” seems to have the opposite effect.

Oh, right. They want community outreach completely separate from police – not community outreach by trained individuals who know what to do if a situation goes south.

At any rate, this is madness. The left continues to claim that the call to “defund the police” doesn’t mean “abolish the police.”

Maybe not, but that distinction ignores the fact reductions in policing, and in particular the elimination of units that investigate drugs, gangs, and organized crime will have a direct, disproportionate negative effect on exactly those communities the left claims it wants to protect.

Turning a blind eye to drugs and gangs will allow those drugs and gangs to further decimate minority communities, making those communities more dangerous and less stable for all who live there. Insufficient policing does not make these communities safer – it gives criminals an opportunity to thrive.

Luckily, Gov. Abbott isn’t having any of it. He’s committed to keeping his state safe despite leftist lunacy.

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