Austin Firefighters Association opposes Proposition A ballot item for police staffing

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Austin Firefighters Association, the union for firefighters in the city, announced Friday it will not support Proposition A.

That’s the item on the November ballot that calls for two police officers for every 1,000 Austin residents. The city’s chief financial officer estimates it would cost between $270-600 million over five years.

“The AFA membership, discussion and vote to oppose Proposition A was never about disrespecting police. It was only about examining the negative consequences of a poorly written law, that if passed, would have enormous negative impacts on public safety as a whole, including fire and EMS, as well as parks, libraries and other central city services,” Austin Fire Association President and Battalion Chief Bob Nicks said.

The union says the Austin Police Department is fully funded and already has the money to hire hundreds more officers.

Austin Mayor Steve Adler released a statement Friday in response to the AFA’s announcement.

“We appreciate the Austin Firefighters Association’s willingness to shoot straight with the residents of Austin about the true cost of Proposition A,” said Adler in the statement. “If passed, it would lead to budget cuts to city services like parks and pools and positions like firefighters, paramedics, and mental health care responders. We know this was a difficult and highly unusual endorsement for the Austin Firefighters Association to make, and we applaud their objective approach to this election.” 

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