Austin Police Chief Manley addresses public following violent Austin weekend
AUSTIN, Texas - One person is dead following six separate shootings all within 24 hours in Austin.
“We need to clear these cases, we need to solve these crimes and we need to hold these people responsible,” said Austin Police Chief Brian Manley while addressing the public following the violent weekend. “Our investigators and our officers worked very diligently over the weekend, a weekend that was very different from many here in Austin."
RELATED: Austin police to update on weekend shooting incidents
Right now APD does not believe these six cases to be related, and while some arrests have been made, there are still suspects at large.
“It's important to note that you may remain anonymous. If you have any information please calls us, let us know what you know and if necessary you can do so anonymously,” said Manley.
These shootings also happened during a difficult time for the department. Manley said there is currently a staffing issue with more than 180 spots needing to be filled.
RELATED: Austin faces wave of violence, several shootings leave two dead, two injured
“Austin is still the 5th safest city when it comes to violent crimes but we are seeing changes, we are seeing an increase in violent crime, we are seeing an increase in the use of firearms during commission of violent crimes,” said Manley.
FOX 7 spoke with the Austin Police Association over the current staffing shortage.
"You don’t have a lot of time right now because we are so short to do proactive policing. We are just responding to emergencies it seems like," said APA president Ken Casaday.
Recently Gov. Greg Abbott announced DPS would be increasing patrols in the Austin area, something Manley said he is grateful for.
RELATED: Texas DPS increases patrols in downtown Austin and around UT
“We often say a visible police presence is a strong deterrent from crime so I’m grateful the Texas Department of Public Safety has a stepped-up presence in Austin at this time and we will look to partner with them on initiatives throughout the city,” said Manley.
With South by Southwest just around the corner, which also saw an uptick in violent crime last year, Manley said they are already making new contingency plans based on what happened this weekend.
RELATED: Austin City Council passes resolution to support investigation into racism allegations at APD
There is a police academy class expected to graduate at the end of this month but the June class is expected to have a delay following a recent resolution from City Council which may also impact their staffing issue.
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