AUSTIN, Texas — Some Austin City Council members say they'd like to see an Austin police cadet class this spring.
Three upcoming classes were put on hold after City Council immediately cut millions from the Austin Police Department's budget.
Mayor Steve Adler and Councilmember Leslie Pool said it's important to restart the class in the spring, as a large number of officers either retired or resigned this year.
So far in 2020, that number stands at about 130. In 2019, it was only about half that.
Councilmembers say they left the option open of one or two cadet classes in 2021 as long as training materials were revised and approved prior to classes beginning.
"I think that future cadet classes make sure that we have that police force and present a real opportunity to make sure that we have the kind of police training that we want and that we create and integrate real cultural change agents onto the force, that we use those cadet classes to improve racial diversity within APD," Adler said. "I for one would like the process to move quickly so as to allow for cadet class in the spring, and I for one would like the manager to be able to come back with a proposal on the timeline that accomplishes that goal."
Pool said she agreed.
"Standing up the academies next year is vital to our continuing to have good positive interactions and relationships between the community and our police department, and it is imperative that we move forward with that as quickly and as professionally as possible," she said.
A transcript of their conversations can be found here, beginning on page 59.
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