Public Safety
3:36 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

What Do Dog Bites, Wildfires, and 12th & Chicon Have in Common?

City of Austin officials will address all these titular topics and more at a jam-packed meeting of the Public Safety Commission this afternoon, the group that makes safety-related recommendations to the City Council.

Following a 15-minute allotment for public comment, the members of the commission will hear from speakers on several topics. Speakers and their topics include:

  • Austin Fire Department Chief of Staff Harry Evans and Austin Firefighters Association President Bob Nicks, on wildfire risk.
  • Austin Police Department Assistant Chief Patrick Ockletree, on neighborhood enforcement issues in the 12th and Chicon area.
  • APD Assistant Chief Rail Munguia, on neighborhood enforcement issues in the downtown area.
  • A representative from APD, on Travis County Animal Services' report on "dog bites in relation to public safety."

On the anniversary of the Labor Day wildfires, Bob Nicks has concerns that not enough is being done to prevent future wildfires. It's not the first time that he's voiced them. Nicks says he's appeared before the commission in the past and the risk is under-addressed.

Nicks says he will suggest to the commission that $1 million should be spent on mitigation of wildfire fuel, like thinning trees in at risk areas. He also recommends a new fire station in the Loop 360 area.

Patricia Fraga is with Travis County Animal Services. She says Animal Services prepared a report on dog bites in the city after a citizen complained that Austin's "no kill" policy have lead to an increase in bites. The report found that relative to population growth, bites have not increased.

The meeting begins at 4 p.m. at City Hall.