I can only imagine how difficult and stressful it would be to be a police officer, and I support our police department. That is why I believe we need to alleviate duties of the police that would be better served by other professionals. In trying to find help for my own brother who experiences dementia and severe mood swings, I was told someone could go to his house and do a “wellness check.” While I was answering the intake questions, I realized the wellness check was not going to be done by a social worker, but a police officer. It terrified me that in my brother’s state of mind, he could have panicked seeing an officer and injured the officer or injured himself. And what could have happened if he were a person of color?
I signed the APOA, Austin Police Oversight Act, petition. I wish I could have voted on it. It is questionable why the current city council members didn’t respect the 20,000 voters that signed the petition. https://www.kvue.com/article/news/police/austin-police-oversight-initiative-equity-action-may-2023-ballot/269-dc8e589e-e947-465b-99dd-0e0a4c5ca513
I propose to:
Amend the COA police contract to be negotiated for 1 year. so the initiative can be included in the next 3 year contract and go into effect sooner than 4 years after it passed.
Re-organize police department to include staff professional social workers, psychologists, and therapists. We need to safely let professionals handle their own professions.
Ban guns in public places in Austin. We love the old west here in Texas. Just like in the westerns, you can check your guns when you come to town.
Employ metal detectors for entering the 6th Street area on weekend evenings.