City Council vote on new police department labor contract

Austin City Council is voting on a new police department labor contract. The former contract between the city and APD expired in October and the department is now operating under an extension.

Concerns over transparency and police manpower are at the forefront of the decision of it doesn't go through.

For some time, APD has used a recruiting tool that allows officers to be paid up to 1,700 hours for unused sick time. The benefit is incentive for a strong work ethic within the city's police force. It's built into the new labor contract which if it doesn't get approved would mean police would go back to operating under civil service law and officers could lose out on thousands of dollars.

Austin Police Association President Ken Casaday says some retire ready officers would leave the force.

The new contract would also allow citizens to make anonymous complaints against officers instead of having to come in and make a statement.

APD has asked for a 1.9% raise over the next five years.

Some council members say a tight financial budget is causing concern in regards to the new contract.