AUSTIN, Texas (FOX 7 Austin) - The University of Texas at Austin Police Department Chief has written a letter to Austin Mayor Steve Adler and other members of the city council on behalf of the university regarding camping near the campus.
In the open letter to city officials, UTPD Chief David Carter asks that they work to improve public safety by prohibiting camping by members of the public along the entire perimeter of the UT Austin campus, as well as west of campus where many students live, work and gather.
"The area west of campus is also among the densest neighborhoods in Austin," Chief Carter writes. "Large numbers of students, faculty members and staff members travel on foot throughout the day and night, and permitting camping, sitting and lying down in those areas poses a similar public health and safety risk."
Back in June, Austin City Council decided police can no longer ticket or arrest someone for camping, sitting or lying down in a public space unless their behavior is dangerous. The homeless ordinance changes have mystified business owners and homeowners across the city.
The LBJ School of Public Affairs and the LBJ Foundation will be hosting a public forum featuring Mayor Steve Adler to discuss recent changes to Austin's public order ordinances and the city's plan to move forward with solutions for individuals experiencing homelessness.
This forum will take place at the LBJ Auditorium on the University of Texas at Austin campus on Thursday, August 29 from 6 to 8 p.m. It is free and open to the public.