Austin Police

Photo for KUT News

The Austin Police Association is holding a ceremony to dedicate a hall in their new facility to the people who worked to restore safety during the Texas Tower shooting. Today is the 45th anniversary of the shooting.

The shooter, Charles Whitman, was a student at the University of Texas. A former Marine who grew up with an abusive father, he admitted to killing his mother and his wife in a suicide note.

The next day, Whitman began shooting people from the top of the Texas Tower with a sniper rifle. He climbed up to the top of the tower with hundreds of rounds of ammunition, water and food supplies.

Erika Aguilar, KUT News

Austin Police say they are trying to get to know the Rundberg and North Austin community better. The department invited residents to a meet-and-greet event Saturday in the Northgate Boulevard area.

Austin Police say crime in the neighborhood is higher than other parts of Austin, but is often not reported.

Photo by Katrina Tollin for KUT news.

If you see uniformed emergency response teams around the University of Texas' Wooldridge Hall this week, don't worry. The U.T Police Department and other Central Texas first responders will use the vacant building for training exercises through Thursday.

Sergeant Scott Weyland said UTPD tries to train in an empty building when one is scheduled for demolition, usually about once a year. Weyland says this week’s training will focus on “active-shooter” scenarios, including suicide-bomber and hostage situations.

Photo by Caleb Bryant Miller for KUT News

The Austin Police Department held another “No Refusal” weekend on Friday and Saturday nights, meaning officers can request a warrant to draw blood by force if a driver refuses a breathalyzer. It was the first time during the Republic of Texas motorcycle rally that APD implemented the policy. Last year, there were three alcohol-related fatal motorcycle accidents during the ROT Rally.

Here are the numbers from APD:

There were a total of 37 DWI's over the No refusal weekend.

Photo by Chris-Håvard Berge

The Austin Police Department had planned to install 23 crime surveillance cameras downtown by the end of March this year. But that date has now been pushed back until October, in part because APD wanted to wait for the firm with which it is contracting to upgrade its video surveillance technology.

“It’s like the commercial where the guy buys the 3D TV, and then the truck pulls up with the sign saying, ‘New 4D TV,” Austin police commander Troy Gay told KUT News. “We want to make sure that we’ve got at least the most current of today, so we’re not automatically a year or two obsolete.”

The memorial service for 20 year-old Byron Carter, Jr. will be held Friday June 2 at 2:30 at Mount Zion Baptist Church.

Carter was shot and killed by APD Officer Nathan Wagner. Carter was a passenger in a car with a 16-year old driver who allegedly hit another officer and pinned Wagner, who then fired shots into the car, killing Carter and injuring the 16 year-old driver, according to an APD press release.

Image courtesy of the Austin Police Department.

Officer-Involved Shooting in Austin

The Austin Police Department is investigating an officer-involved shooting that happened late last night.  Police say drivers should expect detours or delays at 8th Street and the I-35 frontage road. 

Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News.

The Department of Justice has closed its investigation into the Austin Police Department. The investigation began back in 2007 after the Austin Chapter of the NAACP and the Texas Civil Rights Project filed a federal complaint over use of force against minorities.

The Justice Department said it did not find reasonable cause to believe that APD has engaged in a pattern or practice that violates the Constitution or U.S. laws. At a press conference Monday morning, Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo called the report one of the highlights of his career.

Image courtesy of the Austin Police Department.

SWAT Officer Fired Following DWI Charge

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo has fired an APD SWAT officer who was charged with drunken driving in December. Police say Officer Michael Hamilton crashed his unmarked police car after leaving a colleague's party.  Six other officers were suspended between four and fifteen days for drinking while on call, driving city vehicles under the influence and failing to report these actions to supervisors.

Photo by KUT News

UPDATE 12:00 p.m.:  Austin Police are releasing more details about this morning's officer-involved shooting in Southeast Austin. 

Officials say a Hispanic man pointed a weapon at officers and fired at least one shot.  Officer Steven Pena, a three-year APD veteran, returned fire with several rounds from a shotgun.  The suspect later died at University Medical Center-Brackenridge. 

Police also say a witness told investigators that the suspect may have shot himself.  Pena has been placed on administrative leave, while the case is investigated.

Photo courtesy the Texas Forest Service

APD Officer Shoots and Kills Armed Suspect

One man was killed by an Austin police officer early this morning in Southeast Austin.  About 1:00, police responded to a "shots fired" call in an apartment complex on Burton Drive, near East Oltorf Street.

"The suspect's a male Hispanic, about—approximately 29 years of age.  And what occurred in this incident is he was trying to gain entry by shooting into—at a apartment door, trying to get into a house where his ex-girlfriend resided," said Police Chief Art Acevedo.

Photo by KUT News

Austinites might have to wait longer for police to respond in an emergency if the Texas Legislature adopts a law similar to Arizona's controversial anti-illegal immigration measure, Austin Police Department chief Art Acevedo said today.

"I'd rather spend my time responding to public safety threats than going after the day laborer at the Home Depot," Acevedo said in a media conference call hosted by the Law Enforcement Engagement Initiative.

The Austin Police Department launched a new online reporting system today called CopLogic. It allows you to file the kind of non-emergency, low priority cases complaints you might normally report to 3-1-1.

In fact, APD says it processed more than 58,000 reports last year through 3-1-1.  That's an average of 158 calls a day. The new system, APD hopes, will improve the quality of reporting and case tracking.

Photo by mn_francis

The Austin Police Department announced today that its officers will begin testing four different wearable video cameras that can be activated by the cop when he or she is encountering a suspect. The police force has been stepping up its video recording capabilities ever since an officer killed a teenager in 2009 and failed to capture the shooting on his VHS-based dashboard camera.

Photo by KUT

We received this rather unusual press release from Austin Police Department this morning and felt like sharing it with you.  Please remember to drink responsibly.

Austin Police Department Reminds Citizens to Remember Where They Park

The Austin Police Department would like to remind citizens to remember where they park when visiting the downtown entertainment district.  Recently citizens have been parking their vehicles and not remembering where they left them.  Because of this, APD has received several auto theft reports. 

Image by Jeff Heimsath for KUT News

Here comes Mardi Gras weekend in Austin...and here comes Austin's police department to keep an eye on crowds along 6th Street, taking part in the pre-Lenten festivities. 

Image by KUT News

A Travis County Grand Jury voted not to indict an Austin police officer in connection with the fatal shooting of a teen in South Austin last fall.

Image by KUT News/Erika Aguilar

Austin Police are planning a second "Guns-for-Groceries" effort this Saturday at Oak Meadows Baptist Church, 6905 South IH-35.

The first effort last June saw more than 300 guns given to police, in exchange for grocery vouchers and gift cards.  The big selling point was that police asked no questions about where the gun came from or how the person turning it in got it. 

APD is working with the Greater Austin Crime Commission and the Jastrow Family Foundation to set up the second effort.


Image Courtesy by Austin Police Department

Austin police think they've solved a case that's seen hundreds of tires slashed in the Hyde Park neighborhood.

Image courtesy APD

Police say they seized 39 pounds of "high quality" marijuana that was shipped to two separate addresses in Austin. The bust was conducted by an APD K-9 unit, an APD SWAT team, and United States Postal Inspectors.  You can see a slideshow of the alleged haul below.