APD officer suspended indefinitely, accused of lying about attending training

Austin
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AUSTIN (KXAN) — An Austin Police Department officer has been suspended indefinitely after APD says she lied about her attendance at a required training in November 2019, according to a disciplinary memo.

Officer Christina Branscum was given the suspension after an internal investigation found her in violation of four sections of the Austin Police Department Code: responsibility to know and comply, honesty, training procedures and neglect of duty, the memo says.

Branscum was scheduled to attend a mandatory 40-hour Crisis Intervention Team training course, and the memo says she wrote her name on the TCOLE sign-in roster, considered a governmental record, each day.

It was found she didn’t attend one of the days, and she was late more than once, the memo says.

Branscum initially said she attended each day, and the memo goes on to say she changed her story throughout the investigation. She said she was late several days, then later admitted to missing one full day and half of another, the memo says.

“Officer Branscum was dishonest with her immediate supervisor (both verbally and in her written memorandum) when he inquired about accounting for her time, and was also dishonest in allowing him to submit her time sheet that she knew contained false information (that she attended all 40 hours of the CIT training),” the memo, signed by APD chief Brian Manley, says.

In continues, “Those false statements are considered an official false statement, which calls for an indefinite suspension under the Department’s Disciplinary Matrix.”

After the internal investigation was complete, a criminal referral was made to the Special Investigations Unit. Ultimately, the Travis County District Attorney’s Office chose not to pursue charges of tampering with a governmental record.

Branscum has the right to appeal the decision within 10 days of its filing, which was April 22.

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