AUSTIN,Texas (FOX 7 Austin) - The Austin Police Department is looking to make changes following a state audit on how they handle sexual assault cases.
In December we told you how a DPS audit of APD found that one-third of cleared sexual assault cases during three months in 2017 were done incorrectly.
Monday, police Chief Brian Manley addressed the public safety commission about the changes being made in the department.
“On the whole we agree with majority of the findings,” said Brian Manley the Austin police chief, “What we were looking for as an agency was really the root cause behind some of these findings what is it that we can work on and make changes to.”
These are cases filed under the UCR or uniformed crime report. This is a nationwide program where crimes are reported across multiple agencies. According to Manley, the department learned they were classifying some of these cases incorrectly.
"Had us classifying the cases in accordance with the penal code and not in accordance with UCR standards,” said Manley.
Manley said they already had training to get up to date on how to correctly do so.
Another finding was some cases weren't properly cleared.
“We changed policy in that it now requires supervisors whenever an investigator is going to clear a case exceptionally. A supervisor must now approve that,” said Manley.
They must also document how and why they are clearing a case.
During the meeting, Chief Manley said they did have some disagreements found in the audit.
These involved five cases, it was ruled they didn't have any information to clear it when he says they did.
"We actually knew who the suspect was and had statements from the suspect in the cases so there was a question of how did we not meet that prong,” said Manley.
For now, Manley says they plan to contact DPS if they have any issues working on future cases.
They are doing a review of the department to see what extra resources are needed to handle these cases, these finding will then be brought before city council.