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The city of Austin has experienced 11 homicides in the month of January, according to KXAN, putting it on track for 132 murders which would exceed the record of 89 which was set in 2021.
Through January 2020, Austin reported five homicides.
Austin’s 89 murders in 2021 came after the Austin City Council defunded the police in 2020 which caused massive staffing shortages that prevented police from responding to non-emergency calls. The previous record was 59 back in 1984, long before Austin standardized its ambulance services and had the two level one trauma centers it has now.
A proposition to restore the funding, opposed by hundreds of thousands of dollars of funding from liberal mega-donor George Soros and other liberal groups, was voted down in 2021.
Fraternal Order of Police National VP, Joe Gamaldi told the “The Faulkner Focus” after Prop A was rejected that police “morale is in the tank.” Gamaldi slammed the left’s “radical” push to defund the police, emphasizing the importance of investing in law enforcement as crime spikes in the city.
“When you do a postmortem on what happened in Austin, I think it’s important to recognize that the mayor and city council there have basically been giving the finger to the hardworking men and women of law enforcement in the Austin Police Department for quite some time,” Gamaldi said. “And what they did is they scared the public. They told them we’re going to cut services across the board to try to fund public safety, but what the public should really be scared of is the fact that the murder rate is up 88% in Austin. Austin was once a mecca for the arts and music, and now it’s a dangerous community and nobody even wants to walk through with their families.”
Independent researchers concluded last month that Austin needs more than 100 additional police officers to adequately protect the community.
Dennis Farris, president of the Austin Police Retired Officers Association and a 25-year police officer himself, told Fox News, “To put the number of homicides into perspective, January is generally a low month for homicides in Austin. This is twice the usual number of 5 or 6 in January. The fact that we’ve had 11 in this month scares me to the point where when do see the months when we have typically higher homicide rates, what will those look like?”
Farris also noted that he and others had warned where slashing APD’s funding would lead: “Those of us who have been in the profession tried to warn the city council that this is what would happen when they defunded the police department.”