Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo invites officers unhappy with city of Austin's move to defund APD

The Austin Police Association says between 150 to 200 police officers may lose their jobs because of budget cuts and they're seeing more officers move to departments in other cities, some with familiar faces in charge.

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo, the former top cop in Austin, is actively poaching police officers who are unhappy with the city and the council's move to defund them. He says they are all welcome in Houston.

“People of Houston, they don't want less policing, they want better policing and well-trained police officers," Acevedo said.

RELATED: "COME TO HOUSTON": Chief Acevedo to laid off officers from defunded departments

There is a proposed 150 million dollar budget cut for APD’s funding.

“All I know is that it’s forcing officers out of our department right now and they are going to other agencies to work,” said APA President Ken Casaday.

APA says this would cut officers in all different departments including executive protection, DWI units, tactical, K9 units, mounted units, bomb squads, and many others.

RELATED: Texas officials announce proposal that would punish cities for defunding police departments

“They are cutting us back so far that we are having to get rid of these special units and force people back just to answer 911 calls,” said Casaday.

Casaday said the city council is forcing officers out. “When the mayor and council members tell you they did not defund the police department, they absolutely did,” he said.


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Casaday did say it is common for police departments to recruit from other departments in times like these. “It is very common when you see departments struggling like ours due to missteps by the council for other departments to step in and try to steal officers,’ he said,

Casaday added that when Acevedo was in Austin, he did the same thing.

“San Jose went through this years ago and he went out and made sure recruiters were out there and we brought in several people from San Jose and other cities that have had these kind of issues over the years,” Casaday said.

Casaday said he's thankful Houston is welcoming officers during this time. “It doesn’t surprise me at all and I am glad he is willing to take some of our people in if that is what they choose to do,” he said.

RELATED: Austin mayor responds to proposal discouraging Texas cities from defunding police

However, Casaday added it should have never gotten to this point.

“What that tells me is the council doesn’t respect the job we do,” he said. “If crime continues to go up and we are unable to provide people to investigate a certain type of crime, that’s not on Chief Manley’s back, that’s on the council’s back.”

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