Goal

Reduce the use and type of weapons, technology, and equipment to minimize, and in some cases, prohibit the policies and practices that are considered deadly force.   

This reform is defined by City Council Resolution 20200611-095.

 

Direction

The City Manager and the Office of Police Oversight (OPO) shall review the Austin Police Department (APD) general orders on weapons, equipment, technology, and enforcement policies and practices. This resolution also delays the July 2020 police cadet class. 

 

Deliverables and Outcome

A public report, developed with community input in concert with the City Manager and Office of Police Oversight (OPO) that provides recommendations on less harmful or lethal alternatives to use of force, use of equipment, technology and weapons in encounters with the community.  

 

Status

 

October 2020

A formal policy change to APD's general orders about restricting the use of tear gas is being drafted and will be sent to Council for the awareness and input. If discussion is necessary, it will be placed on the November Public Safety Committee agenda.  

 

Complete Actions

These elements of the reform resolution are considered complete, as of October 31. 

  1. Delay July 2020 Cadet class

 

In-Progress Actions

These elements of the reform resolution are considered in progress, as of October 31.

  1. Revise APD General Orders to conform with the resolution directives 
  2. Recommend amendments to General Orders on how to better define “resistance” and alternative tactics and tools
  3. Report back to the City Council and relevant Council committees on proposed General Order amendments for feedback
  4. Revise APD General Orders to prohibit use of tear gas

 

Pending Actions

These elements of the reform resolutions are pending, as of October 31. The reasons they are pending range from needed work with other divisions, need for legal review or policy development, need for community input and need for input from the City Council, the Council Public Safety Committee or the Public Safety Commission.

  1. Revise APD General Orders regarding use of force
  2. Revise APD General Orders regarding use of impact munitions
  3. Revise APD General Orders regarding use of bean bag rounds
  4. Revise APD General Orders regarding use of force incorporating de-escalation
  5. Revise APD General Orders regarding requiring officers to stop improper or excessive use of force

 

Timeline

 

September 2020

  • 2020 Cadet Classes are canceled, classes for 2021 are to be determined.
  • The Police Chief has given direction to the department regarding restricting the use of tear gas. A formal policy change to the department’s general orders is being drafted. 
  • The OPO is researching best practices and terminology related to use of force, response to resistance, and alternative tactics.

 

June 2020

Council adopted Resolution 20200611-095 on June 11, 2020.