AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas Municipal Police Association launched a billboard campaign on Wednesday in response to Austin City Council cuts to police funding.
Two billboards along I-35 read ‘Warning! Austin police defunding – Enter at your own risk!’ accompanied by the TMPA logo and the social media hashtag #BACKTHEBLUE.
“The safety of Austin citizens and visitors has never been more at risk from dangerous policies propagated by their own locally elected officials,” said Kevin Lawrence, executive director of TMPA. “We applaud Governor Abbott’s consideration of a legislative proposal that would put the control of the Austin Police Department under state authority.”
Governor Greg Abbott said last week that he would consider legislation that would place the Austin Police Department under the control of the Texas Department of Public Safety if approved by the state legislature.
The Austin City Council approved the Fiscal Year 2020-21 budget that immediately cut $20 million from the APD budget and started a year-long process to move $130 million in services away from police control.
Earlier on Wednesday, a newly-formed political action committee, Fight for Austin, launched to support local candidates who prioritize public safety and an effort to reinstate the city’s public camping ban, while opposing those who do not. The Fight for Austin PAC has a goal of raising $300,000 for the November elections.