(Natural News) A Texas county is asking Gov. Greg Abbott to send in state troopers after the Austin city council slashed around $150 million off the budget of its police department. County Judge Bill Gravell Jr. of Williamson County, which covers part of Austin, expressed his concern that recent budget cuts by the Austin city council placed officers in the city and their families “in great peril.”
In addition, Gravell noted that citizens of Austin living within Williamson County will not remain protected at current levels.
“It is clear that the Austin city council has abdicated [its] responsibility to protect [its] citizens and in turn, citizens of Williamson County,” said the country judge, promising to not let politics get in the way of protecting the people.
In Texas, a county judge, or county administrator, is the chief executive of the local government.
In a letter addressed to Abbott, Gravell also requested for state troopers to be assigned to work with the area’s sheriff in protecting Austin citizens.
Willamson County Sheriff Robert Chody responded to Gravell’s letter request, tweeting “Austin politics do impact WilCo.”
Austin politics do impact WilCo. https://t.co/pXQDRq0mTG
— Williamson County Sheriff Chody (@SheriffChody) August 19, 2020
In an interview with Breitbart Texas, Chody said that the police force’s reduced budget could negatively affect the county where he serves as the chief law enforcement officer.
Abbott also denounced the Austin police budget cuts, saying: “Some cities are more focused on political agendas than public safety.” He also warned that the reduced budget for Austin’s police department paves the way for lawlessness. Despite the budget cuts, Abbott promised that the Department of Public Safety will stand in the gap to protect the city. In addition, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said the recent rioting brought about by Black Lives Matter protests in downtown Austin did not end in anarchy, thanks to state troopers. (Related: 3 Antifa rioters in Austin, Texas charged with LOOTING a Target store.)
Austin city council: Budgets cuts “born out of a lot of hurt”
The $150 million budget cut came in three tranches. An initial $21.5 million was slashed off through the cancellation of three classes for the police force and reduction of the overtime budget. A second tranche amounting to $79.6 million came from the separation of police functions such as internal affairs, forensics laboratory and 911 dispatch. The last tranche of the police budget cuts amounting to $49.2 million affected typical police expenses such as training and traffic enforcement.
Austin city councilman Greg Casar said that the decision to slash the budget for the city’s police was “born out of a lot of hurt in the community.” Currently, the city council is planning to redirect funds slashed from the police department into other sections such as other relevant community programs.
“We know we have a long way to go,” Casar added.
Jimmy Flannigan, another Austin councilman, posted his “reconstruct and deconstruct” proposal in the city’s online forum. In his proposal, Flannigan explained the “reconstruct” portion as a reorganization of the existing force into civilian-led departments, while the “deconstruct” portion outlined plans to demolish the current Austin police headquarters and relocate staff to other buildings.
Find out more news about defunding the police and its consequences at PoliceViolence.news.