'Huge' parts of Austin left 'unpoliced' after city contract fight triggers mass officer exodus

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The Austin, Texas Police Department is connected nan verge of a staffing illness aft 40 officers record status papers 1 week amid a statement conflict pinch nan metropolis council.

Austin Retired Officers Association President Dennis Farris warned nan section is successful "dire straits" connected "Fox & Friends First" Monday arsenic 150 officers scope retired to nan status board.

"It's not only astir nan money. It's astir nan respect and nan deficiency of respect they're getting from this metropolis council, little 1 assembly member," Farris said.


Austin constabulary officers past and coming warned Fox News Digital that nan Texas capital's constabulary unit is critically depleted arsenic a consequence of defunding successful 2020 and nan existent breakdown betwixt nan metropolis and nan constabulary connected a caller contract. The metropolis assembly voted a fewer weeks agone to scrap a four-year statement that nan metropolis had previously agreed to successful rule and alternatively prosecute a one-year statement that nan constabulary union's committee has rejected.

That move is believed by galore to beryllium owed to aggravated unit from anti-police activists successful nan metropolis who look to clasp disconnected a agelong word woody until aft voters determine connected competing ballot initiatives dealing pinch "police oversight" that spell earlier voters successful May.

An Austin constabulary cruiser.

An Austin constabulary cruiser. (Austin Police Department)

"The constabulary section really is successful dire straits," Farris warned of nan staffing shortage. "There are shifts that are going retired each time understaffed, sometimes conscionable 1 serviceman and a sergeant, and sometimes conscionable nan sergeant showing up. So location are immense sections of nan metropolis that are going unpoliced connected a regular basis."

Farris added that nan metropolis is "emboldening criminals" by refusing to support nan constabulary department.

"When your governmental leaders successful nan metropolis don't support nan constabulary department, nan criminals understand that. And they figure, well, if nan metropolis is not going to backmost them, we tin do what we want."

Rioters successful Austin, Texas. 

Rioters successful Austin, Texas.  (TWITTER/@aaroncrews)

According to Farris, 310 officers successful nan Austin Police Department are eligible to discontinue and of nan officers that person put successful their paperwork, six are high-ranking.

"I fearfulness we're going to spot a wide exodus of nan elder group pinch longevity to wherever you're going to have a department wherever possibly nan mean work clip was in nan precocious teens now and I deliberation it's going to driblet into nan debased teens," Farris told Fox News Digital, explaining that departments without beardown elder activity often acquisition much problems owed to "inexperience."


Farris said that 2 waves of retirements –  officers who person already revenge and officers who will record erstwhile nan statement officially expires astatine nan extremity of March – could consequence successful arsenic galore arsenic 100 vacancies.

"Both sides person to want to spell to nan array and negotiate, and nan Police Association's position connected this is they person a statement that needs to beryllium voted on. It was a statement agreed to by nan city's negotiators and nan bargaining squad from nan Police Association. It's retired location and they either request to ballot it up aliases ballot it down earlier they tin spell and do thing else," Farris said. 

Fox News' Andrew Mark Miller contributed to this report.

Elizabeth Heckman is simply a integer accumulation adjunct pinch Fox News.