Austin’s Police Situation Is In Serious Peril – But What Will City Officials Do About It?
Law enforcement veteran Michael Letts discusses the troubles that the prominent Texas city is seeing – and what needs to be done to fix it.
Even though many see it as one of Texas’ most prosperous cities, Austin has fallen into peril when it comes to their police presence.
The police union recently called out city council for what they call “handcuffing” law enforcement, as the city is heavily short on police officers. As a results, homicide and crime in general have increased rapidly.
Thomas Villarreal, president of the Austin Police Association, explained recently on Fox and Friends that “we just continue to have a city council that doesn’t show its police officers that (it) cares about them.”
The “defund the police” campaign of 2020 resulted in a massive budget cut of $150 million. As such, the city now has 1,475 police officers on patrol – well short of the 2,000 and growing needed. “There’s less and less and less resources to go out and do the job. I’ve got detectives who are pulled away from their caseload to just help answer 911 calls because we just don’t have the resources to adequately police the city.”
To make matters worse, the Austin police Chief, Joseph Chacon, retired out of nowhere, adding fuel to the fire that city politics have forced his hand when it comes to resignation.
So what can Austin do now? Joining us to discuss the matter further is Michael Letts, a law enforcement veteran with over 30 years of experience under his belt. Letts is founder, President and CEO of InVest USA, an organization that provides bulletproof vests to police officers through various charitable groups and sponsorships. His expertise will certainly prove useful in this matter.
- Do you believe the “defund the police” campaign has put the city of Austin in this dire position when it comes to a lack of major police presence?
- Why are city officials so stagnant in keeping the $150 million budget cut, instead of restoring its officers to the budget that they were at before?
- Do you believe the actions of the police forced Joseph Chacon to resign the way he did? Could there have been any way to keep him in the position of police Chief?
- What will happen to the city of Austin now? What can city officials do to right the ship? Budget increase? Starting to care more about officers? A little bit of both?
- If city officials don’t budge, could Austin fall into further disarray with crime?
- Is this a shining example that Republicans should show Joe Biden and Democrats when it comes to convincing them that it’s worth taking care of police officers in the United States?
- You’re the creator of InVest USA, an organization that provides bulletproof vests to police officers through various charitable groups and sponsorships. Tell us more about that, and why support for fellow officers is so important right now.
- Tell us more about RestoringJustice.US, the new website where you help out citizens in need surrounding law matters.
- Where can we learn more about InVest USA, Restoring Justice and whatever else you’re working on?
About Michael Letts:
Michael Letts is the Founder, President, and CEO of InVest USA, a national grassroots non-profit organization that is helping hundreds of communities provide thousands of bulletproof vests for their police forces through educational, public relations, sponsorship, and fundraising programs. He also has over 30 years of law enforcement experience under his belt, hence his pro-police stance for his brothers and sisters in blue. Those interested in learning more about Letts can visit his official website here.