Texas’ woke capital, Austin, is in the midst of a policing crisis with over 300 vacancies and cops quitting because they feel disrespected, multiple sources tell The Post.
“We’re right there with Portland and Seattle and San Francisco as being one of those places where if you’re at all conservative or in law enforcement, it’s become a hostile place,” Lt. Brian Moon, who retired last month, told The Post of the city he protected for 23 years.
Another 77 officers are expected to retire before the end of March — on top of 264 existing vacancies, according to the Austin Police Association.
Austin Police Department’s staffing is so bad, 911 calls are being redirected to the 311 non-emergency number because there aren’t enough cops to solve crimes.
“If you come home and find your home burglarized, calls like that are now going to 311,” said police union president Thomas Villarreal. “You’re not getting a police response to many property crimes if it’s not a violent crime that is currently ongoing.”
The beleaguered department has also pulled detectives from solving cases to act as patrol officers, Senior Police Officer Justin Berry revealed to The Post.
Moody, a former watch commander, started working for the Austin Police Department in 1999 and says things have dramatically changed. In 2021, the city recorded a record 88 homicides and although that number decreased in 2022, the first six months of the year saw dramatic increases in the number of rapes, with 179, and almost 2,000 aggravated assaults, according to local news site KAXN.
“You could see that the city’s attitude towards its police department had started to shift and, personally speaking, I didn’t feel that the city was really appreciating us the way they used to,” Moon told The Post Thursday.
“Austin had always been a pretty liberal-leaning city, but it was pro-law enforcement at the same time. They expected us to do things the right way, obviously, but they weren’t hyper-critical like they became.”