AUSTIN, Texas - Firefighters from across the area showed up in droves to find out if there will be an automatic aid agreement between Travis and Williamson counties.
"Auto aid is basically the closest unit responds regardless of jurisdiction. The auto aid agreement was passed today and that brings Williamson County into our auto aid agreement,” said Bob Nicks, president of Austin Firefighters Association.
Although the agreement passed, attached to it was an amendment from council member Delia Garza that the firefighters union says is a crucial component to keeping all firefighters on the same page, and safe.
“Chiefs can change anything operationally that they want but if they change anything that harms firefighter safety or does something that doesn't benefit the citizens of Austin, every jurisdiction or governing board including the city of Austin essentially has a veto right,” said Nicks.
Also, showing up in numbers were members of the Dove Springs community. The item of interest was an item allowing the city to change the name of the Dove Springs Recreation Center to the George Morales Dove Springs Recreation Center, named after the current elected constable George Morales. During testimonies, some citizens said they had no idea the name change was even an option.
City council passed the name change unanimously, with Garza speaking of the accolades of Morales.
Finally, item 66 was on the agenda Thursday. It acknowledges the current investigation in the Austin Police Department, prompted by the allegations that former Assistant Chief Justin Newsom used racist language while working on the force. If passed, the resolution will initiate another separate investigation, as well as halt the June police academy, if the city does not meet certain standards set by the council.
The resolution’s lead sponsor is Natasha Harper-Madison.
"This resolution does not necessarily have to disrupt any public safety training academy class. If staff and APD move swiftly and expeditiously to meet these benchmarks, the cadet class in June can proceed without a hitch."
City council is expected to vote on this item Thursday night, Dec. 5.