Help APD Get The Funding It Needs!

Lack of funding for needed police services in Austin is a critical problem.  We have longer response times and less time for community engagement, as well as an increase in crime rates.  Since 2012, the city council has failed to fund even minimal police staffing levels, while at the same time ordering multiple taxpayer funded studies which all show the need for more officers – recently 257 additional sworn officers needed by 2017.  The council’s FY 2017 budget provided NO funding for 12 new positions – and the proposed FY 2018 budget includes NO new patrol officers NOR does it fund the 12 positions from last year.  All the while, the population in our big city is increasing by about 100 people every day, that’s 36,500 every year.  That’s 146,000 in the past four years.  Add to that all the people who commute in to Austin from outside the city every day, the thousands of tourists who visit every year, and the very large amount of traffic that passes through Austin going to other locations.

The following message from the Greater Austin Crime Commission provides more information, along with a request for action to urge the city council to approve funding for police officers in the FY 2018 budget and implementation of a plan to achieve a minimum goal of 35% community engagement time.  Included in the message are the email addresses for the mayor and all of the council members.

A message from David Roche, president of the Greater Austin Crime Commission

The second (and last) public budget hearing on the proposed City of Austin FY18 budget is tomorrow afternoon at City Hall. Please contact the mayor and council and urge them to fund public safety first.

The City of Austin FY18 budget will be adopted early next month. The proposed budget does not include any new police patrol positions or fund the twelve officers approved last year. Despite increases in both response time and violent crime, population growth, and the recommendations of taxpayer-funded police staffing studies, public safety spending will decrease as a percentage of the city’s budget next year.

The Greater Austin Crime Commission and our public safety coalition partners are asking the council to fund the twelve police patrol positions authorized last year and implement a police staffing plan that achieves a minimum goal of 35 percent community engagement time.

What can you do?

  1. Contact your council member by email and phone (see details below).
  2. Share this message with family, friends, and neighbors.
  3. Sign up to speak at the public budget hearings (scheduled to begin at 4:00 p.m.) on August 31 at City Hall.

To email the mayor and entire Austin City Council use the homepage link HERE. Or contact the mayor and your council member individually using the information below.

Sample email message

Dear Mayor and Council:

As a concerned citizen, I urge you to fund the twelve police patrol positions authorized last year and adopt the latest staffing study recommendations to achieve 35 percent community engagement time.

The City of Austin experienced a troubling increase in violent crime last year and police response time continues to rise. Two taxpayer-funded studies have found the Austin Police Department is significantly understaffed and unable to patrol our neighborhoods effectively. A recent survey of likely Austin voters found a majority believe increasing the number of police officers will improve overall public safety. Eight out of ten voters think additional police officers should be hired immediately or over the next three or four years.

Please fund public safety first.


Concerned Citizen

Austin City Council

Mayor Steve Adler

Ora Houston
Council Member (District 1)

Delia Garza
Council Member (District 2)

Sabino “Pio” Renteria
Council Member (District 3)

Gregorio “Greg” Casar
Council Member (District 4)

Ann Kitchen
Council Member (District 5)

Jimmy Flannigan
Council Member (District 6)

Leslie Pool
Council Member (District 7)

Ellen Troxclair
Council Member (District 8)

Kathie Tovo
Council Member (District 9)

Alison Alter
Council Member (District 10)

Large ACPA Graduating Class for Spring 2017

The growth trend continued at the May 18, 2017, graduation of the 90th and 91st CPA classes which totaled 76. This brings the number of CPA graduates since 1987 to 2,398. The size of the twice yearly classes has tripled which greatly increases the number of people in Austin with information and education to help them understand APD. Officer Surei Scanlon was recognized for her diligent efforts and great success in developing, organizing, and administering the classes.

GACC Survey Shows Austin Supports More Police Officers

A public opinion survey of Austin voters conducted in April 2017 found they believe increasing the number of police officers will improve community policing and decrease response times to emergency calls. The survey showed that eight out of ten respondents think the best option for the City of Austin is to hire additional police officers immediately or over the next few years. David Roche, president of the Greater Austin Crime Commission, explained that the city has commissioned study after study showing the need for more officers to prevent crime in neighborhoods and cut response times. The entire survey is at

APD Shows Appreciation for Volunteers

On the evening of May 23, 2017, the command staff and ACPA staff honored Austin CPAAA volunteers at an appreciation dinner to demonstrate their support for the efforts and hours given in support of APD. Volunteers gave a total of 4,465 hours that equated to $112,079 in savings to the Austin Police Department and the City of Austin. Chief Brian Manley thanked the volunteers for their dedication and commitment. He also recognized Officer Surei Scanlon for her success in developing and producing the outstanding Austin CPA program and furthering their mission of understanding through education. Chief Manley presented his special Chief’s Coin for exceptional service to Melinda Rodriguez, Theresa Hoytal, and Rich Simental.

Great Chicken with the Chief Event!

Hoover’s Restaurant was the site of a fun event for the sizeable crowd which helped raise money for the association thanks to the time that Chief Brian Manley spent with everyone, the delicious food provided by Hoover Alexander (an Alumni member!), and the prize drawings!  This April 19 event was the second annual Chicken with the Chief that provides an opportunity for ACPA members and the public to visit with the APD Chief – and enjoy some of Austin’s best food.  A BIG thank you to Hoover and to all who purchased tickets and came out to greet the Chief, support APD, and support the Austin CPA Alumni Association!

ACPAAA Board Officers Begin 2017 Terms

Elections for Board of Director positions with terms beginning July 1, 2017, resulted in the following:

President: Melinda Rodriguez
1st Vice President – Communications: Susan Reed
2nd Vice President – Membership: Rich Simental
3rd Vice President – Events: Esther Johnson
4th Vice President – Sponsorship Development: Missy Osterman
Secretary: Nivedita Sharma
Treasurer: Cynthia Herrera
Board Member – Innovations: Ian Hoffman
Board Member – 1st CPA Liaison: Theresa Hoytal
Board Member – 2nd CPA Liaison: Gabriel Jamail-Gutierrez
Board Advisor: James Duncan

The Alumni Association’s Bylaws were amended to reflect the new director position names at the June meeting. Another busy year under the leadership of Melinda Rodriguez will include growing the membership base, assisting with the continuing large numbers of people in the CPA classes, website updates, increasing volunteer opportunities, new logo shirts to be received, selling class shirts, more fundraising, and advocating for APD’s increasing budget needs.

Austin American Statesman Calls Attention to Overworked Police

Cops want to serve and protect, not be all-purpose society fixers

Austin American-Statesman · 22 Sep 2016 · A9 · CHARLES A. LAUER, DRIFT WOOD

In the aftermath of this summer’s tragedy in which five law enforcement officers were killed by a sniper in downtown Dallas, Police Chief David Brown spoke the truth that every cop has known for too long. “We’re asking cops to do too much. We are. Every societal failure, we put it off on the cops to solve.”

Lock up the bad guys. Write traffic tickets. Help citizens in distress. That used to be the job description for our police. Not any more. New laws and policies written by state and local governments may look good on paper, but they just pass more and more responsibility onto our already over worked police.

Through out Texas, police officers have become a fall back solution for cities cutting back on budgets. Stray dog in a neighborhood? Let the cops handle it. Citizens with mental health issues wandering the streets? Let the cops handle it. Racial tension dividing the city? Let the cops handle it. Homeless people setting up camps? Let the cops handle it. Kids skipping school? Let the cops handle it.

This kind of unwise, knee jerk use of police force not only wastes tax dollars, it also greatly increases the response times during real life and death emergencies. Imagine calling 911 to report an armed robbery only to be told officers can’t arrive quickly because they are dealing with code enforcement issues.

Yet even with the additional responsibilities being laid on the shoulders of our officers, they are almost always the first city employees who feel the brunt of budget cuts with low pay and worsening benefits. The same goes with cuts at the Texas Department of State Health Services, which forces local police to pick up the slack.

Yet when anti-police activists shove cell phones in the face of an officer performing one of their hundreds of duties, he or she is told to suck it up and deal with it.

City governments are also greatly restricting the use of physical or intermediate force by police officers dealing with a volatile suspect, which ultimately puts their personal safety at risk. And a splitsecond decision made by an officer during a life-or-death encounter often results in in tense public, political and judicial scrutiny for years to come.

We train our officers to be the very best. They keep the peace, they monitor our streets, and they protect our homes and businesses. But now they also serve as dog catchers, counselors, and child minders — in effect becoming nothing more than armed nannies.

We have the most educated and well-trained police force in the history of the country, and they are more than qualified to be a part of the solutions to the problems that we face. They are equipped with the knowledge and training to step in and assist and work to make the city safer from the front lines.

But our officers, no matter how well-trained and qualified, can not do all the things of which they have been asked. They want to serve our community, and they want to do it by work ing along side city leaders, who unfortunately seem unwilling to make the tough decisions necessary to find real solutions to solve our social problems. So the men and women who proudly wear the badge are tasked with the repercussions.

It is time that we lis ten to Chief David Brown. His wise words should trigger serious discussion about the role of police officers in our community. Relying on law enforcement to solve every societal ill instead of fighting crime is not smart policy, and it puts families at risk. It’s time we let our police officers get back to their real job — serving and protecting the citizens of their community


Board Officers Begin New Term

July 1, 2016, is the first day of a new one year term for the elected officers of the Austin CPAAA board of directors.
The board officers are:
President: Melinda Rodriguez
1st Vice President-Communications & Law Enforcement Liaison: Susan Reed
2nd VP-Membership & CPA Liaison: Travis Wesley
3rd VP-Events & Volunteers: Esther Johnson
4th VP-Fundraising & Sponsorship: Kristina Adams
Treasurer: Cynthia Herrera
Secretary: Nivedita Sharma Arms: Ian Hoffman (also serves as webmaster)
Historian: Chris Ernst
The board advisor (appointed) is James Duncan.
This year will be a busy one for the officers and members of Austin CPAAA:  membership is increasing, the size of the CPA classes remains large, the website is being updated, volunteer opportunities are increasing, new logo shirts will be ordered, APD budget/staffing needs have increased requiring CPA advocacy, sponsorships and fundraising are needed, a business plan will be developed, and preparations for Austin’s coordination and production of the 2018 State CPA and Law Enforcement Conference will be gaining speed.

Spring 2015 ACPA Graduation Numbers High

The 82nd and 83rd Citizen Police Academy classes together were a total of 66 people!  The graduation ceremony held on May 21 at Crossroads Church drew about 150 people to witness the ceremony and hear the address by Chief Acevedo for the 35 individuals of the 82nd Class and 31 individuals of the 83rd class.  Among the attendees were the chain of command and many of the officers who made presentations to the classes over the months, including the K9 team.  The 82nd class met on Tuesday evenings and the 83rd met on Thursday evenings which was necessary to accommodate the large number of people who were accepted for the Spring 2015 session.  The classes benefited from the outstanding presentations by the officers, and, new this year: the free parking and delicious meals provided by sponsors and the department.  Also recognized for their outstanding contributions to the CPA Program were Officer Surei Scanlon, Program Coordinator, and Melinda Rodriguez, President of the Austin CPA Alumni Association.

After addresses by each class president and presentation of diplomas, the entire group enjoyed refreshments provided at the reception courtesy of the Austin Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association.  New graduates were invited to join the Association and purchase shirts to wear at events, meetings, and when participating in APD volunteer activities.

The next session of CPA classes will begin in September.  Graduates are encouraged to talk with their family, friends, and neighbors about attending the CPA class.