Law enforcement veteran Michael Letts explains how the city being at an “impasse” could be a costly mistake.
As with other cities in the U.S. at the moment, Austin, Texas is struggling to keep its police ranks properly staffed.
A new report from Axios reports that the Austin Police Department is seeing an alarming amount of vacancies, with the city doing very little to try and staff new officers. The report notes that there is currently an “impasse” between the city and the police union, with little hope of a new police labor contract being completed.
This comes as Austin Police Chief Joe Chacon told local channel KVUE that the department lost 65 officers from a year ago, dwindling down to just over 1,500. He also noted how an additional 167 officers have either resigned or retired from the force.
While there are detectives and corporals trying to fill in spots, there needs to be a solution to this. However, Chacon warns that it’s “not going to be an easy fix,” stating that “it’s tough to be a police officer now in this city and the country.”
Joining us now to discuss this further is Michael Letts, a law enforcement veteran with over 30 years of experience under his belt. Letts currently serves as founder, CEO and president for InVest USA, an organization that provides bulletproof vests to police officers across the country. His expertise should prove useful in this matter.
- As 2022, we continue to see what’s happening to certain cities from government decisions surrounding the “defund the police” movement. How frustrating is it to see so many officers leaving?
- Why do you think Austin city government is struggling to put together a new police labor contract? Are they concerned about money, or are there still people that believe “defund the police” is a good idea?
- It seems the wait for the House to pass the bill for more police funding continues. What do you believe cities are doing to try and keep their police officers going, if anything?
- What are the most vital parts of a police labor contract? Making sure they have the proper gear and mental health assistance? Proper pay? A combination of all those things?
- Do you see things getting any better in 2023, or will criminal activity stay on the rise in certain cities? Do you see government offices possibly “waking up” and seeing the damage done by the “defund the police” campaigns?
- Tell us more about InVest USA, and how it’s helping police officers, especially in their time of need.
- Where can we learn more about In-Vest USA, and how people can contribute to the group?
You can visit the official website at http://www.investusa.org.