AUSTIN (KXAN) — As shortages in the Austin Police Department continue the Austin Police Retirement System said it was expecting about 80 retirements by the end of April.

These retirements would come as APD’s contract expires Friday, March 31.

“I expected to be here another two and a half years at least, but decided to go now that the contract was going away,” said Mo Forshee, who recently retired from APD after 23 years. “I think everyone saw the writing on the wall and so you got a lot of early retirements.”

The City of Austin and the Austin Police Association (APA) came to an agreement on a four-year contract following about a year of negotiations, but Austin City Council later voted 9-2 to pursue a one-year extension agreement with APA instead. The council majority wanted to wait to pursue a long-term deal until voters weigh in on two police oversight measures, which will hit the ballot in May. Council members Alison Alter and Mackenzie Kelly voted against the measure.

After the council made that decision, the APA board unanimously agreed to not enter negotiations regarding that one-year extension and to instead let the police contract expire in March.

Forshee said support from city management was lacking and he was disappointed.

“Absolutely no support, no support whatsoever,” said Forshee.

According to APRS, 70 officers have signed to retire by the end of April with a few other officer’s statuses pending because of paperwork or signatures needed, but these numbers could be higher.

APRS said these numbers only represent officers that are accessing retirement benefits with them. It does not include officers that leave employment and take a refund or leave but is vested and keep their retirement account intact to access a retirement benefit someday in the future when they become eligible.

On Monday, Mayor Kirk Watson announced that the Texas Department of Public Safety would have troopers throughout the city because of a new partnership announced Monday to assist with local police staffing issues.

“This is what happens when you can have a good relationship between your local government and your state capital when you serve the same constituents,” Watson said during the press conference.

“In Texas, public safety remains our top priority, and we will do whatever it takes to support the brave men and women in law enforcement who protect our communities,” said Governor Abbott in a statement. “I welcome the opportunity to work with Mayor Watson and city officials to provide the personnel and resources needed to make Austin safer. Texas has always been—and always will be—a law and order state.”

“The City of Austin is experiencing a staffing crisis across many departments and has begun to address this matter by implementing long-term solutions, such as increasing the City’s minimum wage to $20 per hour. While these long-term changes start to take effect, short-term partnerships with other government entities can present a temporary solution to our staffing problem.

If we cooperate with the TX Department of Public Safety to increase law enforcement, we must ensure that Austin’s values are protected. We await further details of the proposed partnership, including the rules and safeguards under which DPS will operate. We want to emerge from the negotiation process with a friendly collaboration between two agencies which share a common goal – the safety of our city.

If the State of Texas and the City of Austin can reach an agreement which preserves municipal protections for Austin residents, we hope it will set the stage for future mutually-beneficial arrangements on issues requiring intergovernmental cooperation.”- statement from Councilmembers Chito Vela and Jose Velasquez