Austin voters pass Prop C, allowing city council to appoint, remove director of police oversight

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FILE – In this Monday, June 22, 2020, file photo, Metropolitan Police Department bicycle division officers stand guard after police closed the area around Lafayette Park near the White House after protesters tried to topple a statue of Andrew Jackson in the park in Washington. On Monday, April 26, 2021, the Washington, D.C., police department said that its computer network was breached, and a Russian-speaking ransomware syndicate claimed to have stolen sensitive data, including on informants, that it threatened to share with local criminal gangs unless police paid an unspecified ransom. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo, File)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin voters passed a measure that would strengthen oversight of the police department. The final vote was 96,888 for, 57,271 against.

Proposition C will allow the city council to appoint and remove a director of police oversight as outlined by future ordinance. The director will be responsible for ensuring police transparency and accountability. The current director of The Office of Police Oversight is Farah Muscadin.  

In a past statement to KXAN, Council Member Gregorio Casar said, if the city wants police accountability, then the police oversight office must be as independent as possible. 

“In other cities, the Office of Police Oversight is independently appointed or is overseen by a civilian board, but right now our options as a city are limited,” Casar said. “By making this proposed charter change in May, the community and city council have the opportunity to create more transparency and accountability of our police department in the future.” 

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