Residents voice concerns about police funding at Austin council work session

At Wednesday's Austin City Council work session, the public had their first chance to give their thoughts on the $5.5 billion proposed budget.

Many had an issue with one or more things proposed by Interim City Manager Jesus Garza.

"I'm really aggravated and would be very, very just annoyed if council would just vote this through as is," said one public speaker.

One of the main problems public speakers had with the proposed budget was the money set aside for the Austin Police Department.

"We come back year after year after year and we tell y'all policing is not the answer. We need housing, we need services, we need you to listen to your community," said another public speaker.


According to the proposed budget, Austin Police would get $476,508,288, an almost $32 million increase from the last fiscal year. Some speakers voiced their concerns on that possibility.

"They struggled to hire despite offering high pay for additional officers and being currently able to offer $15,000 signing bonuses to new officers. Throwing an additional $32 million at them will not fix this," said one Austin resident.

Other public speakers asked the council to rethink the budget increase and instead fund other departments. According to the proposed budget, APD is proposed to receive the most money out of the three public safety departments.

The proposed budget for FY 2023-2024 sets aside the following for APD, AFD and EMS:

  • APD: $476,508,288
  • AFD: $235,654,737
  • EMS: $124,334,806

The public will have another opportunity to comment on the budget on Tuesday, August 1st.