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After the Austin city council voted unanimously to defund its police department by about one-third of its budget, in August 2020, many predicted that once the cuts kicked in a flood of officers would leave the force as soon as they could. The new district attorney’s policy of re-investigating police officers for closed cases is also expected to cause officers to resign or retire.
The city council’s cuts officially kicked in and have been in place for a few months.
PJ Media reports exclusively that APD is now suffering a huge surge of officer departures putting it on pace to shatter 2020’s record.
In January 2021, sources tell PJ Media 20 officers retired from APD and eight resigned, for a total of 28 departures.
In February 2021, five officers resigned and six retired, according to multiple sources, for a total of 11 departures.
In March 2021, 24 more officers left APD, with 20 officers retiring. Additionally, three officers resigned and one was terminated.
To put this into perspective, 2019 was the last non-pandemic year and the year before the city council cut APD’s budget. APD averages about 50 retirements or separations in a calendar year, and replaces them with cadets who have graduated from the police academy or officers who join APD from another force.