Greater Austin Crime Commission report shows rise in crime

A gunfight inside a car in northeast Austin ended with one man dead and another critically injured. An Austin Police Department public information officer on the scene noted Thursday's shooting marked the 25th homicide of the year. This time last year there were less than 20 reported.

According to a report released by the Greater Austin Crime Commission, crime in Austin has risen significantly in certain categories. Aggravated assaults went up 15% from 2018 to 2019. Individual robberies increased by 6%. Property crime, auto thefts rose 21%.

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“One of the biggest data points on this is that in 2013 Austin was the second safest in violent crimes in the US. And now we are fifth and we are trending the wrong way,” said Corby Jastrow, President of the Greater Austin Crime Commission. “It just doesn’t make sense to have these department-wide cuts when the crime rate is increasing.”

Overall response times, both emergency and urgent calls jumped from 6:45 in 2011 to 8:40 in 2018. The crime in Austin report comes after the city manager proposed to cut $11.3 million from APD’s budget and reallocate it to other city resources, like the Office of Police Oversight, mental health services, and improving APD’s record-keeping system.


However, the Austin Justice Coalition previously demanded a budget cut of 100 million dollars. Following George Floyd and Mike Ramos’s death, both men were killed by officers. Their deaths sparked calls for police reform.

“We are very much in favor of police reform and that’s department-wide,” said Jastrow. “The response times, the aggravated assaults, all the property crime will continue to increase. We need officers. We need cadet classes as we continue to grow, cutting the police force is just not smart.”


The proposed budget slash would cause the department to get rid of 100 officer vacancies, delay the July 2020 cadet class, and delay the scheduled replacement of duty weapons. The next city public hearing is scheduled for July 23rd.