Gov. Abbott Planning State Takeover Of Austin Police


AUSTIN — Amid scenes of increased violent crime on the streets, lawlessness among the homeless, and a police department financially gutted by one-third, Gov. Greg Abbott is plotting for the state government to take control of the public safety in Texas’ capital city.

On Monday, Abbott announced the potential takeover law on Twitter.

“Just in time for Christmas,” wrote Abbott. “The Legislative Council has sent draft language for a proposed law that would transfer control of that Austin Police Department to the Texas Department of Public Safety. One way or another we will pass a law to keep Austin safe.”

Abbott’s action comes after Austin’s leftist local officials made a variety of harmful public safety decisions.

The controversy began in the summer of 2019, when the all-Democrat Austin City Council legalized homeless camping in nearly all public spaces throughout the city, which sparked a wildfire of backlash and public safety risk. A slew of law enforcement and elected officials warned against the move, and more than 115,000 citizens signed a petition calling for the council to reverse their decision.

In 2020, after violent crime increased by double digits and homicides surged by 64 percent, the council voted to defund the Austin Police Department by $150 million—one-third of their budget—and spend the money on other government programs.

“U. S. Attorney says ‘defunding [APD]’ is contributing to the dramatic increase in violent crimes in Austin. The state will fix this,” tweeted Abbott last week. “Texas will pass a law this session supporting law enforcement and defunding cities that defund police.”

Abbott’s latest takeover law proposa… (Read more)

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