AUSTIN, Texas - A majority of voters oppose reducing the Austin Police Department budget and eliminating officers, according to a poll released by the Greater Austin Crime Commission. The survey found a majority of respondents (53% to 40%) do not support reducing officers.
The survey was conducted from July 14 to 17.
On Thursday, July 30, Austin City Council will hold its second public hearing on the proposed budget for next year. That budget eliminates 100 police positions.
“Most Austin voters oppose reducing police positions,” said Corby Jastrow, president of the Greater Austin Crime Commission. “There is strong community support for police reform but not cutting cops when violent crime is increasing and response times are slower.”
In addition to opposing proposed police budget cuts, the survey found:
- 47% of Austin voters believe the city is on the “wrong track,” compared to 34% who believe the city is going in the “right direction.”
- 84% of those surveyed were dissatisfied with the handling of homelessness, and 74% were dissatisfied with the handling of traffic issues.
- 92% of Austin voters feel safe in their neighborhoods, but only 56% feel safe downtown.
- Overwhelming performance satisfaction for the Austin Fire Department (84%) and Austin/Travis County EMS (83%).
A national polling firm conducted survey interviews of likely Austin voters. Quotas on age, education, ethnicity, gender, and region were used to ensure a representative distribution. The margin of error is plus or minus 5 percentage points.- 30 -