AUSTIN (KXAN) — Hours after a San Antonio detective was ambushed and killed, about an hour north on Interstate 35, the Austin Police Department was asking their officers to continue at 100 percent staffing levels.
Staffing was already up because of the national elections. They wanted officers to be available in case any protests turned violent.
Detective are also being asked to be on tactical alert, meaning they must come to work in full uniform in case they need to respond to any emergency situations.
The president of the Austin Police Association, Ken Casaday, says the state of policing right now highlights the importance of hiring more officers, he says he’s gotten calls from his own officers, scared of the future and looking to get into different careers.
“We need more officers and some of it could fall on the department for failing to recruit, but a lot of it could also go back on the City Council for failing to give us the bodies that we’ve asked for,” Casaday says.
The department is also expected to outfit every officer on patrol with new ballistics vests in the next 2-3 weeks.
APD increased staffing to 100 percent after five Dallas police officers were shot and killed in July.