Austin wants to be a model of modern policing, but the future remains unclear

After years of inaction on police reform measures, Austin city leaders raced to restructure and cut resources from the city's police department after the 2020 nationwide social justice protests followed close on the heels of another in a series of controversial police shootings in Austin. By freezing hiring of new officers and shifting $140 million to other agencies, the city was among the biggest cities making the earliest, boldest moves to reform policing. A year later, a severe shortage of patrol officers and rising violence has sparked a new round of debate about where the city goes from here.

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