Yet Another City ‘At the Brink of Disaster’ After Defunding The Police

Residents and officials in Austin, Texas, are facing the consequences of their actions — as the decision to defund the police has led to serious issues.

In the aftermath of the deadly and destructive George Floyd riots of 2020, the Austin City Council voted unanimously to strip police funding by $150 million — roughly 34% of the city’s police department budget — and instead spend the money on other services.

However, the Texas state legislature passed a law in 2021 that forced Austin to restore the funding that it had stripped from the police department.

Nonetheless, Austin’s officer shortage has persisted — with the city facing police staffing shortages and longer response times to 911 calls. In 2023, the Austin Police Department was facing an impending staffing collapse following yet another attack on the police, where the city council voted 9-2 to scrap a four-year contract that was previously agreed upon — instead pushing through a one-year contract that the Austin police union’s board rejected.

“As a result, our staffing has been set back at least 15 years and at the same time we’ve dealt with a population growth of over 250,000 new residents. Combine that with a district attorney who has made it very clear that targeting officers and releasing criminals is his priority — not public safety,” Austin Police Association president Michael Bullock told Fox News Digital.

Just last week, the police staffing shortage led to one section of the city being without any police officers at all for several hours.

“Previous councils and leadership have actively worked against our officers and department, which has now put us in a free-falling staffing crisis,” Bullock told the outlet. “Twice now we’ve had our contract voted down or it has been allowed to expire. Each year since 2017, we’ve lost more officers than we’ve hired. We had to gut our specialized units and force detectives to work backfill on patrol just to try and respond to 911 calls.”

One Austin resident, Lauren Klinefelter, told Fox News Digital about the effects that the police staffing shortage had on her family — noting that residents are no longer able to count on receiving prompt assistance after calling 911. In 2022, Klinefelter was in a car accident with her young children in the vehicle, but was unable to get help from police.

“We needed an ambulance and some emergency assistance because not only was my car totaled, but my children were both bleeding and visibly injured,” she explained. “I called 911 and, to my surprise, it rang and rang endlessly, only to be routed to a 311 operator for non-emergencies.”

After more than an hour of waiting for emergency services to respond, Klinefelter was forced to use a rideshare service to bring her bleeding and injured children to the hospital.

“My children were bleeding and over an hour had passed, so with no other option, we got a Lyft to the hospital and back home,” she told the outlet. “The police never showed up, I was never contacted by anyone to follow up on the incident.”

Another Austin resident, Nick Kantor, blamed the murder of his brother on the defund the police movement. Kantor’s brother Doug was murdered during a June 2021 mass shooting in Austin, and he believes that his brother would still be alive if Austin had not defunded its police department. Doug was killed when two rival gangs of teenagers engaged in a shootout, which came after the defund the police movement caused Austin to specifically defund the anti-gang task force over claims that criminals were being targeted based on their race.

Please leave your comment below!