SURVEY: Weigh in now on Austin Police Department’s use-of-force policies

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The City of Austin’s Office of Police Oversight is gathering feedback from the community on the Austin Police Department’s use-of-force policies. The office has created a survey for the public and plans on hosting virtual community meetings this month and next month to hear from residents.

All meetings will start at 6 p.m. on the dates below:

  • April 28 
  • May 12  
  • May 19  
  • May 26

You can RSVP to the virtual public meetings online here. You can also access the survey online here in English and Spanish through May 31.

After the feedback is collected, OPO will make a report to submit to the City Manager, Austin City Council and APD. 

In January, OPO released another report on its review of APD policies and provided recommendations for changes. The report suggested changes in eight use-of-force policies that align with Campaign Zero’s “8 Can’t Wait” recommendations.

8 can't wait policies
A graphic depicting the “8 Can’t Wait” policies Campaign Zero is calling for related to law enforcement use of force. (Image from 8 Can’t Wait website)

OPO said there is room for improvement in safety for both APD officers and members of the community, and the office wants to involve the public in the recommendation process.

“The survey and community meetings are an opportunity to include the voices of those most frequently and directly impacted by police policies and practices in this process,” said Farah Muscadin, director of OPO, in a press release. “We want to hear their experiences and ideas as we work with APD to revise policies so they reflect our collective values and needs.”

An extensive rewrite of APD policy was ordered by Austin City Council and the City Manager following last May’s nationwide protests sparked by the deaths of George Floyd in Minneapolis and Mike Ramos in Austin.

OPO said the rewrite will cover other areas in addition to use of force, including search and seizure, body-worn cameras, dash cameras, mental health response, discipline, bias, language and courtesy.

To learn more about getting involved in the community feedback sessions, click here.

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