Austin Police Department

Audrey McGlinchy / KUT

Following the announcement of Chief Art Acevedo's retirement, Austin Police Department Chief of Staff Brian Manley has been named as interim police chief. Manley's assignment will take affect Dec. 1.

flickr/snre

Update: The Austin City Council has approved a $3.6 million, six-year contract with Dallas County to send the evidence there for testing. 

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

Decades ago, the area around the intersection of 12th and Chicon streets was a central corridor in historically black East Austin, but over the years, drugs became a presence at the corner. Prostitution and other illegal activity happened in broad daylight there, and in 2012, Austin police took a new approach to the problem – what’s called a drug market intervention.


While the implementation of a planned deployment of body cameras on Austin Police Department officers is on hold until at least late November, city leaders and public accountability advocates are still working out the issue of how the city will decide when to release video footage from those cameras for public review.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

In today’s politically charged environment, it’s not often you get together with a group of strangers and talk about racial profiling and prejudice. But this week the Austin Police Department is doing just that with a series of community discussions designed to improve interactions with police.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT News

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo spoke with KUT's Kate McGee this morning, saying that the department will assist the Dallas Police Department in any necessary capacity and that APD will remain on high-staffing levels for the remainder of the summer. At a press availability this afternoon, he reiterated that staffing plan, but also denounced comments from Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick that blamed the Black Lives Matter movement for Thursday night’s shootings.


Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

According to the City of Austin’s latest annual performance review released June 22, the time it takes Austin police officers to respond to high-priority calls has been steadily increasing over the past five years.

Miguel Guitierrez Jr./KUT

More power over more highways.

That’s part of what the Austin Police Department hopes to attain in its effort to reverse last year’s record number of fatal car accidents, which resulted in 102 deaths, and limit the number of pedestrian deaths, which totaled 30 last year.


ACLU of Washington via Texas Tribune

Local police agencies outfitting their officers with body cameras may have the option to store their data with the state. On Monday, Dale Richardson, chief operating officer of the Texas Department of Information Resources, told members of the House Select Committee on Emerging Issues in Texas Law Enforcement that his agency was working on opening its state-run storage data centers to local agencies.


Michael Tefft/Texas Tribune

Open carry of handguns will be legal in Texas starting in 2016. The Austin Police Department has been prepping for the fact that, most likely, more people will be carrying holstered guns in public view.

ACLU of Washington via Texas Tribune

The Austin Police Department held an AMA (short for Ask Me Anything; it's a Q&A forum) on reddit Friday morning to take questions about officer body cameras. Technology Commander Ely Reyes fielded the questions submitted on the forum, many of which focused on who'd be able to access footage, and how. Redditors also wanted to know more about how the footage would be stored, and how the department planned to insure that officers turned cameras on and off at appropriate times.

ACLU of Washington via Texas Tribune

The Austin Police Department is moving ahead on plans to start wearing body cameras next summer, but some officers are already recording their actions on the beat. 


Marjorie Kamys Cotera/Texas Tribune

The Austin Police Department plans to buy 500 body cameras for their officers by next fall, and a meeting last night at the Palmer Events Center laid out the department’s plan for the $3 million project.

Those in attendance last night questioned whether the proposed body camera policy would hold police more accountable.


Trey Shaar/KUT

A federal judge has dismissed a manslaughter charge against former Austin Police Detective Charles Kleinert in the death of Larry Eugene Jackson, Jr.

Kleinert, who's white, shot Jackson, an African-American, following a foot pursuit and a scuffle after Jackson approached the scene of a bank robbery in Central Austin on July 26, 2013.

YouTube

The YouTube video that surfaced last weekend of an Austin Police officer pepper-spraying a suspect on Sixth Street has many questioning use of force by APD. In 2014, the department documented 147 incidents of the use of pepper spray, but when can they use it, how is it justified and how exactly does the review process work?

Let's take a look at APD's guidelines.

Nathan Bernier for KUT News

In the wake of high profile police shootings across the country, a lot of cities are considering equipping their police officers with body cameras

Today, Austin’s Public Safety Commission will vote on recommendations for Austin Police.

@ArtAcevedo

From Texas Standard.

Austin Police returned a pretty special Gibson guitar this week. It was one of only three produced. Willie Nelson owns one, Dan Rather owns one, and now, Walt Wilkins has his back. Wilkins is a singer-songwriter based in the Texas Hill Country.

Drunk Driving Awareness March

Apr 17, 2015
Anthony Green/KUT News

Austin police Chief Art Acevedo and Texas state representative Jason Villalba joined AAA Texas, community members and leaders Friday in honoring local lives lost to drinking and driving. 

A press conference was followed by a silent march around a cloud-covered Texas Capitol for the city's third annual March for Change. Last year, Texas drivers experienced more than 24,000 alcohol related crashes that resulted in over 1,000 deaths, according to the Texas Department of Transportation.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT News

This Sunday, the city of Austin will start ticketing drivers and cyclists who are texting or talking on their mobile phones without a hands-free device.

The Austin Police Department says they'll fine drivers up to $500, depending on several factors. For those who plead "no contest" and pay on time, the fine with court costs will total about $220.

Nathan Bernier for KUT News

Update (2:19 p.m.): Officer Andrew Pietrowski officially retired from the Austin Police Department on Friday, Dec. 12 after learning KUT would air his comments this week.

Original Story (9:07 a.m.): Police Chief Art Acevedo suspended two officers in November for making jokes about rape victims. The Austin Police Association said at the time that the respective three-day and five-day suspensions were "fair and appropriate." The incident took place after a local attorney had released a video in which the two Austin police officers are laughing and one of the officers comments: "Go ahead and call the cops. They can't un-rape you."

Recently, offensive comments were made to KUT's reporter Joy Diaz, while she was covering a police-related story. A quick warning: This story contains offensive remarks made about women. 

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo is convinced APD's culture is changing for the better. And says comments like "[cops]can't un-rape you" are examples of behavior that he calls "[the] extreme minority."

Statistically, when you consider the couple of thousand police officers in Austin, he’s right. However, there are still regrettable police shootings and some minorities still feel targeted by police. But Austin is no longer the ticking bomb some say it was before Acevedo took over the department in 2007. Questions still linger, however, about whether or not APD is clearly letting its officers know that inappropriate comments will not be tolerated.

Take for instance the recent comments of Officer Andrew Pietrowski.

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