AUSTIN, Texas - In overwhelming numbers, 68 percent, Austin voters voted no to Proposition A. The measure brought forward by the "Save Austin Now’ political action committee sought to force the city to hire more officers, double their training, and enact more community policing hours.
"The voters of Austin are who I thought they were, which is a smart community," said Chas Moore, executive director of Austin Justice Coalition.
Chas Moore is also with the "No Way to Prop A" coalition, and believes throwing more money at APD wouldn't address the root causes of crime.
"I think it sends a loud message to Save Austin Now, Matt Machowiak and all those folks that we as a city can reimagine what policing and public safety looks like and we don’t have to keep investing too much in the status quo," said Moore.
The Save Austin Now PAC was riding on momentum after their victory in May, reinstating the citywide camping ban.
"To be honest I thought it was going to be a slightly more contested race than it was. I think they used a lot of fear mongering, lies and deceit, the same they did with Prop B and we saw how that election came out, and I thought it would be similar to that," said Moore.
Not all are happy with the result. Council Member Mackenzie Kelly said there will now need to be compromise.
"Obviously it wasn't the results for prop a that we wanted to have happen, but it's given us resolve and drive in order to try and make tangible changes to policing in the City of Austin," said Kelly.
A staffing shortage remains at APD and Kelly is hoping the chief and her colleagues will address it.
"I’d like to see some sort of staffing plan come from the police chief in order to move forward and help stop the attrition. We are seeing 15-22 officers leave per month and we are not filling those positions with new cadets," said Kelly.