APD officers seize gun, crack cocaine in downtown during proactive effort

Thirty-four grams of crack cocaine and a handgun were all seized by Austin police officers in the heart of Austin during the South by Southwest festival.

"The organized crime division of the Austin Police Department has been working very hard for the last two or three weeks knowing that 'South By' was coming to town. They've had some very large drug seizures and money seizures over the past few weeks," said Ken Casaday, president of the Austin Police Association.

Casaday was working downtown Wednesday night into Thursday morning and is preparing to work the remainder of the festival. He said officers want to avoid the reactive approach and take proactive steps to prevent violence, death and overdoses downtown.

"When you're reactive you're responding to calls of people dying or people overdosing on drugs. When you’re proactive you’re actually getting out there, attacking the problem, trying to figure out where these things came from. It takes some undercover work by our officers, using individuals that we've arrested to try to figure out where suppliers are coming from," he said.

Thursday morning there was a shooting that left two injured. No one died. 

In his tweet, Officer Bino Cadenas said the gun and drugs were confiscated right after bars close for the night. He feels these actions might have prevented yet another shooting or overdose.

"It's gotten so bad we are trying to go after everything that leads up to these shootings," said Casaday.

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