(The Center Square) – The Austin Police Department is saying it won’t be responding to non-life threatening 911 calls.
Starting Friday, Austin’s sworn police officers will no longer be responding in person to non-emergency calls because of severe staffing shortages, APD announced.
The announcement comes after the Harris County Sheriff’s Deputies Organization in Houston warned residents that if they were “robbed, raped or shot” to “hold their breath and pray” because they might not have the personnel to respond. The Austin no-response announcement includes vehicle collisions with no injuries and burglaries no longer in progress or where the suspect has fled the scene. Instead of calling 911, residents are being told to call 311 to file a non-emergency police report.
An APD spokesperson told Fox News that while a sworn police officer might not respond in person, a civilian officer, like a crime scene technician, might.
The department “regularly reviews response policies and procedures to ensure APD prioritizes calls with an immediate threat to life or property over non-emergency calls for service,” she said.
The staffing shortages and inability to respond to non-life threatening 911 calls is a direct result of the Austin City Council’s defunding of the APD last year, cutting $150 million […]
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