Monday, January 31, 2022

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport hosts community information meetings about future jet fuel storage facility

 Jan 31, 2022 

Today, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) is hosting a series of community information meetings to inform community members and connect them to educational resources about the site selection, operations, safety, and security features of a proposed jet fuel storage facility. The meetings are in response to City of Austin Council Resolution NO. 20211209-061 and are intended to address the digital divide and language access barriers experienced by city-wide community members.

As more people and businesses move to Austin and Central Texas, AUS has experienced a rising demand for air travel, with early projections for 2022 passenger volumes meeting similar record-breaking numbers experienced in 2019, which saw over 17 million passengers fly out of AUS.

The fuel storage facility is one of 61 projects included in the AUS 2040 Master Plan, a 20-year roadmap to the modernization and improvement of AUS. The new facility will be one of the first Master Plan projects to address the need to provide expanded facilities to accommodate the airport’s growth. The facility offers a solution for the near-term need for a safe and reliable additional fuel supply to support domestic airlines and cargo operations at AUS. As of 2021, AUS has an average daily supply of 2-3 days of fuel, below the industry standard of 5-7 days. If not built as planned, the airport will have to issue fuel shortage alerts. Airlines will have to carry extra fuel when flying to and from the City of Austin, and in some cases, AUS passengers could experience diversions and canceled or delayed flights.

AUS is committed to delivering airport improvement projects that create an improved passenger experience, support our regional economic recovery through job creation, and provide the required infrastructure, such as the fuel storage facility needed to support airline operations.

“AUS has been a part of the Southeast Austin and District 2 neighborhood for over 20 years,” said Jacqueline Yaft, AUS Chief Executive Officer. “As we meet the growing demand for air service and continue to support Austin as a city of national and international prominence, AUS is committed to balancing our obligation to create safe, modern facilities that exceed customers’ expectations while connecting airport-adjacent residents and businesses with the resources and information needed to stay engaged and informed on airport improvements.”
 
One virtual and two in-person meeting sessions hosted at the airport will provide opportunities for community members to participate, and will feature the same presenters, speakers and information. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the two in-person sessions will have limited attendance and are intended for those with limited or no access to the internet or technology. For more information and a link to the virtual meeting, visit SpeakUpAustin.org/AUSFuel. All meeting materials, including a recording of the virtual meeting will be posted to this project website after the last meeting. 

###

About Current Airport Improvements & the Airport Expansion and Development Program
The Airport Expansion & Development Program (AEDP) is a strategic, phased approach to guiding construction and improvement projects, including select 2040 Master Plan projects, at AUS over the next several years. The AEDP projects will improve the passenger experience and meet the rising demand for air service at AUS in three phases; optimizing the Barbara Jordan Terminal through improvements that increase capacity and enhance operations; expanding infrastructure to increase gates; constructing a new midfield concourse, and connecting tunnel. Driving regional economic recovery and supporting Austin’s growth is a primary goal of the program. While a formal economic impact study has not been completed, the program will create jobs and provide opportunities for local businesses and the Minority-owned (MBE) and Woman-owned businesses (WBE) contracting community.

In 2021, AUS launched an Environmental Assessment (EA) guided by the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) to support the AEDP, which will be submitted to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for review and approval.


Lufthansa offers nonstop service to Frankfurt starting this spring

On April 8, 2022, Lufthansa will resume flights to and from Austin, TX to Frankfurt, Germany. With Texas being one of the most important markets in the United States, the resumed flight brings the number of Lufthansa gateways in the Lone Star state to three, with service already existing from Houston and Dallas to Frankfurt.

“Austin is our third gateway in Texas, offering not only a connection between two culture-rich cities, but also an important link for the region’s ever-expanding technology ecosystem and the global technology hubs which Lufthansa serves,” said Don Bunkenburg, Senior Director of Sales for the U.S. – Central, West & Central America, Lufthansa Group. “Central Texas residents can now access Lufthansa’s vast network of destinations in Europe and beyond via Frankfurt. The resumed service also supports the growing interest in Austin for both commerce and leisure, directly benefiting the local economy and spurring further business development on both sides of the Atlantic.”

Lufthansa’s Austin service will employ the Airbus A330-300 in a three-class cabin configuration offering 42 Business Class, 28 Premium Economy and 185 Economy Class seats to accommodate a total of 255 passengers. Flights will occur three times per week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. LH469 will depart Austin at 4pm and arrive in Frankfurt at 9:10am the following day. LH468 will leave Frankfurt at 10:05am and arrive back in Austin at 2:15pm. All times are local.

About Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
Owned and operated by the City of Austin, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is the second-fastest growing, mid-sized airport in the United States. Austin-Bergstrom is also an economic engine in Central Texas, supplying over 74,000 direct and indirect jobs in the Central Texas region. 

Friday, January 28, 2022

New COVID-19 testing site opening thanks to federal, state and local partnership


Metz Elementary site to offer expanded PCR testing availability seven days a week 

A new COVID-19 testing site opens next week at Metz Elementary School in East Austin. Federally funded contractors will operate the site thanks to support from federal, state and local leaders. Similar to other operations underway throughout the state, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is funding this site. Insurance isn’t required and testing is free.  

HHS is managing the contract with a Texas-based company, eTrueNorth. The site is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week. The site will first open to the public on Tuesday, Feb. 1 at 12 p.m.

Those seeking tests can visit www.ineedacovid19test.com. After completing an online assessment, individuals will be able to schedule an appointment and will be provided a voucher. The individual will bring either a paper hardcopy of the voucher or proof of voucher on their mobile phone to the testing location to receive the free of charge PCR COVID 19 test at their scheduled date and time.

Those individuals without access to the internet can call (800) 635-8611 to schedule an appointment. Walk-ups will be accepted, though it is strongly encouraged to schedule an appointment to avoid wait times.

 

This is much-needed support even as APH clinics continue to offer free COVID-19 testing throughout the community. The most recent surge heightened demand for testing. APH has administered more than 32,000 tests in Austin-Travis County since November 2021. Testing operations during the omicron surge peaked on Dec. 30 of last year when APH administered more than 1,900 tests. Meanwhile, through the Austin-Travis County Emergency Operations Center, over a million home-test kits were provided to community groups in areas with limited access to healthcare. 

APH vaccine and testing information 

People can find vaccine providers using Vaccines.gov (Vacunas.gov in Spanish) or by texting their zip code to 438829 (822862 in Spanish) to find a nearby clinic.   

APH clinics offer COVID-19 vaccinations and testing without appointment, although creating an account online in advance saves time. COVID-19 vaccinations are free and require neither identification nor insurance. For more information and to schedule an appointment, call 3-1-1 or 512-974-2000 or visit www.AustinTexas.gov/COVID19.     

To help reserve our emergency rooms for medical emergencies, people who are asymptomatic or experiencing minor symptoms may inquire about testing options by calling 2-1-1 or 877-541-7905, or by visiting 211texas.org. Please don’t call 9-1-1 for testing information.


Thursday, January 27, 2022

Austin Public Health and Travis County Partner with Community Organizations for COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics


Austin Public Health (APH) and Travis County are partnering with local community organizations to provide FREE COVID-19 vaccination clinics around the county for events from Jan. 28-31.  

Clinics are open to all eligible individuals without registration or appointment and do not require identification, insurance, or proof of citizenship. All vaccinations are free. All APH sites offer Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, including  third doses for the immunocompromised and booster shots for qualifying individuals. If you are receiving your second, third dose or booster shot, please bring your Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card to be updated.  

Pediatric vaccinations for children 5-11 years of age are offered at four APH clinics. No appointment is required at the Delco Activity Center and the Old Sims Elementary GymnasiumShots for Tots clinics offer both COVID-19 pediatric and flu vaccinations by appointment only.

Individuals attending these events should be weather- and traffic-aware. Remember to wear appropriate clothing, including garments that allow you to easily expose your arm.  

To locate providers in your area with a supply of COVID-19 vaccines, go to Vaccines.gov (Vacunas.gov for Spanish), or text your zip code to 438829 (822862 for Spanish). 

NOTICE: Hours are subject to change.
 

Friday, Jan. 28 


Delco Activity Center (APH)

Consulate General of Mexico (Travis County)

African American Men & Boys Harvest Foundation (CTAHI/Travis County)

La Mexicana Market – Rundberg (Travis County)

La Mexicana Market – Stassney (Travis County)

Poco Loco Supermercado – Cameron (Travis County)

 

Saturday, Jan. 29 


AISD Performing Arts Center (Travis County)

Del Valle Opportunity Center (Travis County)

Dailey Middle School (Travis County)

Southeast Library (APH)

La Moreliana Market (Travis County)

JD’s Supermarket (Travis County)

Travis County Expo Center (Travis County)

Old Sims Elementary Gymnasium (APH)


Sunday, Jan. 30 

 

Travis County Exposition Center (Travis County) 

 

Monday, Jan. 31 

 

African American Men & Boys Harvest Foundation (CTAHI/Travis County)

La Mexicana Market (Travis County) 

La Mexicana Market (Travis County)  

Poco Loco Supermercado (Travis County)  


COVID-19 Information  

For more information on COVID-19 and vaccinations, visit www.AustinTexas.gov/COVID19 or call 3-1-1 (512-974-2000).    

*The vaccination sites are closed to press. While vaccinations are occurring, each site is considered a hospital with patients, and only authorized visits are allowed. Agencies listed in parentheses for each location (Austin Public Health or Travis County) are the only entities that can authorize admittance. 

City Council Honors Volma Overton, Sr. in Park Renaming

 Lamar Beach at Town Lake Metro Park to be renamed after Volma Overton, Sr.

Today Austin City Council voted to rename Lamar Beach at Town Lake Metro Park ( https://goo.gl/maps/GvfXmaRYn9xeChvv5) to Volma Overton, Sr. Shores at Town Lake Metro Park to recognize the civil rights leader’s legacy and his contributions toward creating a more equitable and inclusive Austin. Council Members Tovo, Natasha Harper-Madison, Pio Renteria, Leslie Pool, and Mayor Pro Tem Alison Alter sponsored the item.

A lifelong champion and advocate for civil rights and racial equality, Volma Overton, Sr. helped lead the effort to desegregate the Austin Independent School District; served as president of the Austin chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); and organized numerous demonstrations and actions to combat racial inequality, systemic racism, and institutional inequities. Overton was laid to rest in 2005 with Military Honors at the Texas State Cemetery alongside judges, senators, legislators, congressional leaders, governors and other legendary Texans.

“Volma Overton, Sr. is a treasured figure in the history of Austin’s fight for civil rights, and his memory will be celebrated by Austinites for generations as they enjoy this park,” said Council Member Kathie Tovo, the item’s sponsor. “This recognition will highlight and amplify Volma Overton, Sr.’s commitment to a better and more just Austin as well as remind the broader community of the additional work and restorative actions that must be done to honor Volma Overton, Sr.’s legacy and vision for a more equitable and inclusive Austin for all.”
 
Mr. Overton, Sr.’s granddaughter, Kim Overton, said, “As an Austinite and an entrepreneur inspired by his consistent work in the community for equal rights and opportunities for minorities, I'm incredibly excited that Volma Overton, Sr.’s legacy will be kept alive in the heart of Austin. It's easy to forget the work those before us did to help improve our communities, but now residents of Austin, newbies or natives, will have a beautiful reminder of this gentle leader’s infinite passion to improve the lives of Austin’s black and minority residents.”
 
Council Member Natasha Harper-Madison said, “The legacy of Volma Overton, Sr. is immeasurable. His courageous leadership helped close the book on Jim Crow in Austin and continues to serve as the gold standard for community service across our city. I’m so proud to join my colleagues and our constituents in giving him and his family this overdue honor that will elevate his undying memory for generations to come.”
 
Council Member Sabino “Pio” Renteria said, “It is with great honor that we remember Volma Overton, Sr., a champion of racial justice here in Austin, and across the country. Mr. Overton, Sr. played a critical role in the Civil Rights Movement, advocated for equality in Austin’s schools, and established life changing mentoring programs for our students in underrepresented neighborhoods. We are proud to celebrate Mr. Overton, Sr.’s accomplishments through the renaming of Lamar Beach to ‘Volma Overton Sr. Shores at Town Lake Metro Park.’”
 
Mayor Pro Tem Member Alison Alter said, “Volma Overton, Sr. was a champion for civil rights, desegregation and many other important community issues. I'm delighted to see his memory and legacy honored.”
 
Council Member Leslie Pool said, “Volma Overton , Sr.is a hero for Austin and our surrounding communities; his work to desegregate and open our public schools, places of worship, and recreational spaces to all will now be recognized and celebrated in a very prominent place in our city.”

City Highlights Reforms as Lawsuit Settled with Survivors of Sexual Assault

 

 Procedures and policies changed since complaints made against APD handling of cases 

The City of Austin has settled a lawsuit with survivors of sexual assault who argued their cases were mishandled by the Austin Police Department and the District Attorney’s office. 

Austin City Council today voted to approve a settlement with 15 women who alleged there were failures in the handling of investigations into sexual assaults that occurred between 2006 and 2019.  

The settlement comprises a payment of $825,000 to be shared among the 15 plaintiffs and an additional $50,000 to the plaintiffs’ attorneys. The City will also issue an official apology to the plaintiffs. 

Since the complainants’ allegations, the City has transformed significant elements of its policies and procedures to ensure that, in the future, survivors of sexual assault who come forward will be treated seriously, will be communicated with effectively, and will have their claims investigated thoroughly. All told, in addition to the payments approved today, the City has spent $3.5 million since 2019 to improve APD investigations of sexual assaults and has now earmarked another $862,000 for future improvements.  

The City also commissioned an independent, external audit of City practices from the Police Executive Research Forum, Women’s Law Project and Wellesley Centers for Women. Their comprehensive analysis into how APD conducts investigations of sexual assault and what improvements can be made is expected to be published in May 2022.  

“We have taken important steps to improve how law enforcement handles sexual assault reporting, processing, investigations, and prosecutions, and we are committed to continue improving,” said City Manager Spencer Cronk. “All survivors should feel safe, heard, and have confidence in every step of the process.” 

“The Austin Police Department is making meaningful changes to better protect and serve survivors of sexual assault,” said Police Chief Joseph Chacon. “We are dedicated to prioritizing being victim-centered in our approach to investigations and victim services. This settlement highlights the methods we’ve updated to better serve victims of sexual assault.” 

Some of the specific reforms implemented by the Austin Police Department since 2019 include:  

Reforms to improve the experience of victims: 

  • Creation of a soft interview room for survivors. 

  • Option to have third party sit in on interview. 

  • Option to have APD Victim Services counselors sit in on survivor interviews. 

  • Survivor notification protocol developed to better inform survivors of progress in their cases. 

  • Plans to introduce a voluntary survey for survivors to take at case closure to share their experiences with APD. 
     

Reforms to improve investigations of sexual assault: 

  • New protocol requiring APD to request a Victim Services Crisis Response Team to respond to sex crime calls at the same time that officers are assigned to the call. The goal is to enhance support given to victims during their initial contact with law enforcement, to reduce the number of times the victim needs to describe the assault, and to provide a coordinated response from law enforcement and counseling support for survivors of sexual assault. 

  • Creation of a Cold Case Unit to investigate historic sexual assault cases. 

  • Plans to create a staff position to enable tracking of data related to sexual assault investigations to provide insights into how cases are handled. 

  • Policies have been updated to reflect the new state law called the Lavinia Masters Act, passed in 2019, which requires APD to analyze each Sexual Assault Kit within 90 days of receipt and to upload the completed analysis into the CODIS database with 30 days of completion. 
     

Reforms to increase resources and improve training: 

  • Additional staff have been added to the Sex Crimes Unit, including detectives and Victim Services personnel. 

  • Enhanced training introduced for cadets and detectives.  

  • APD will implement additional training for officers and detectives, as well as work in partnership with local commissions and community groups to ensure the best outcome for all parties involved. 

  • Police Chief Joseph Chacon has rejoined Sexual Assaults Response and Resource Team (SARRT). 


Chief Chacon provided an update on APD reforms during a presentation to Council in December 2021. View the slides HERE

Today’s settlement comes after Travis County agreed on a $580,000 settlement with 14 women in June 2021.

City Lights the Way for Better Safety in West Campus

 

 Accelerated Work Schedule Part of Multi-Year Plan to Make Area Safer for Residents 

The City of Austin is upgrading street lighting this year in West Campus to increase the amount and quality of light in the area as part of a plan to improve overall safety for residents and visitors. 

More than 500 additional streetlights will be retrofitted with LED inserts by the end of 2022, the City announced today. The ‘re-lamping’ process is part of a multi-year plan to increase pedestrian safety in the area following a Council resolution

West Campus neighbors the University of Texas and contains some of the densest housing concentrations in Austin. Campus safety groups have expressed concerns about crime and safety in the area, which has historically experienced a higher-than-average rate of property crime compared to the City of Austin as a whole. 

“The City listened to community concerns and is taking action to modernize the West Campus area to improve safety through a combination of better and more lighting, increased police patrols and ongoing support to help our homeless neighbors find housing,” said Stephanie Hayden-Howard, Assistant City Manager over Health and Environment. 

The lighting upgrade schedule for 2022 is the latest in a series of actions to boost safety undertaken by a number of City departments including Austin Energy, Austin Transportation, Public Works, Austin Police and the Homeless Strategy Office. 

Other steps already completed include: 

  • Repair of non-functioning lighting fixtures and trimming of vegetation obstructing existing lighting. This is now an ongoing and year-round recurring activity. 

  • Upgraded a total of 439 streetlights to LED lighting, providing enhanced illumination as compared to the previous non-LED lighting technology.

  • Increased APD directive patrols utilizing patrol units, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and foot patrols – these are done randomly throughout different times of the day. 

  • Regular visits in the West Campus area by the City’s Homeless Outreach Street Team (HOST) to connect individuals experiencing homelessness with the services they need.


“Austin Energy and other City of Austin departments worked closely together to get a lot of the recommended actions completed,” said Elton Richards, Austin Energy Vice President of Electric System Field Operations. “We continue to work collaboratively to ensure that all West Campus concerns are identified, addressed and corrected.”

The West Campus lighting improvement schedule has prioritized locations based on the degree of lighting deficiencies identified in a lighting study, followed by locations with crime and crash history.

Latest Report Raises Concerns with Austin Police Department’s Body-Worn and In-Car Cameras

Today 01-27-2022, the Office of Police Oversight (OPO) released a report analyzing Austin Police Department (APD) policies related to body-worn cameras (BWC) and in-car cameras (DMAV) in response to the Austin City Council resolutions passed in June 2020. The report, “Body-Worn Cameras & Dashboard Cameras: Policy Review and Recommendations” examines APD’s current policies in these areas and discusses how current guidelines compare to national best practices in policing. OPO’s research revealed that APD’s policies do not align with national best practices. Further, the report proposes changes to improve safety for both the community and police officers.

“Body-worn and in-car cameras represent a significant investment from the City of Austin,” said an OPO spokesperson. “It is critical that Austin police officers fully utilize these tools to ensure officer and community member safety is prioritized,” they explained. 

Some concerns about these policies that OPO’s report addresses include:

  1. Reliance on policies from Lexipol leads to vague guidelines and removes community from the policymaking process
  2. The current purpose statements governing body-worn cameras and dashboard cameras do not align with the City of Austin’s Reimagining Public Safety initiative
  3. APD policy needs to be revised to align with recent state legislation and provide more clarity where state law is lacking
  4. The current concepts and definitions related to body-worn cameras and dashboard cameras are unclear
  5. The current General Orders allow too much officer discretion in activating and deactivating body-worn cameras
  6. Current General Orders do not require officers to document their use of body-worn or dashboard cameras in an incident report or case file
  7. The title “Advisement & Consent” for General Order 303.3.2 does not reflect its content
  8. The current General Orders do not require supervisors to conduct inspections of dashboard camera recordings
  9. The current General Orders do not support consistency or transparency in enforcement and discipline
As part of a three-phase approach, OPO will host a series of virtual public events in February, including an educational presentation on current APD body-worn camera and dashboard camera policies. Meetings will be multilingual – English, Spanish, and American Sign Language – with other languages available upon request. To learn more or to register, click here
Events will take place at 6:00 p.m.(CST) on the following dates:
  • February 23, 2022 
  • March 2, 2022  
  • March 9, 2022 
  • March 16, 2022
Additionally, OPO will collect feedback with a multilingual survey on SpeakUp Austin. The deadline to complete the survey is April 1, 2022. 

Stay informed and learn more about how to participate in these events by subscribing to OPO’s newsletter.  OPO is providing additional updates on their social media channel and website.

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

APD 144th Academy Graduates New Officers

The Austin Police Department (APD) will welcome 66 new officers during a graduation ceremony at 2 p.m. on Friday, January 28, 2022. The Commencement ceremony for the 144th Cadet Class will take place at Great Hills Baptist Church - 10500 Jollyville Rd, Austin, TX 78759. It will be broadcasted live on ATXN, the City of Austin government access channel.
 
The graduating cadets, who will be commissioned during the ceremony, successfully completed a demanding 34-week training program. The training included legal issues, driving, crisis intervention training, community policing, leadership, defensive tactics and physical fitness.
 
During the ceremony, Chief of Police Joseph Chacon will administer the Oath of Office to the cadets. Awards presented during the ceremony will include Honor Cadet and Humanitarian Award. 
 
Media Advisory:
The graduation ceremony will be provided as a pool feed from ATXN. Media that needs to plug into the live feed can do so at the City Hall Conference Room. There will not be access to film inside the ceremony.
 
Media is invited to conduct interviews at the ceremony at Great Hills Baptist Church. Cadets and other staff will be available to interview between 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. Chief of Police Joseph Chacon will be available for interview at 12:45 p.m.
 
For questions or to RSVP, email police3@austintexas.gov

Austin City Council Calls for Municipal Civil Service Commission Applications

The Austin City Council seeks applications from qualified individuals to serve on the five-member Municipal Civil Service Commission, which serves as the ruling body on appeals of disciplinary actions by covered City of Austin employees.  The applications will be reviewed for two full three-year terms that will run from the date of appointment through May 2025.
 
The time commitment for Commission business varies but is typically 20 hours a month. Hearings of the Commission typically last an entire business day and are scheduled twice per month with the option to add additional meetings as needed. Commissioners serve on a voluntary basis.
 
Applications will remain open until positions have been filled.
 
In November 2012, Austin voters approved to establish a municipal civil service system for most City employees not covered by state civil service law. The Municipal Civil Service Commission, or MCS Commission, was created by amendment to the City Charter to recommend the MCS rules to Council and also to serve as ruling body on appeals of disciplinary actions by covered City of Austin employees. 
 
The MCS Commission hears and makes final, binding decision on appeals of City employees resulting from a Disciplinary Probation, Disciplinary Suspension, Demotion, Discharge, or Denial of Promotion. If rule revisions are brought forward by the MCS Director, the MCS Commission will recommend modifications to the City Council.
 
The City Council is looking for the following qualities for appointees to the Municipal Civil Service Commission:
  • City of Austin resident.
  • Qualified voter of the City.
  • Preferred experience or knowledge of the administration of human resources or labor relations.
  • Preferred experience or knowledge in labor/employment law.


The following persons may not be appointed to the Board:

  • A person who is registered or required to register as a lobbyist under Chapter 4-8 of the City Code.
  • Current City of Austin employees.


Application Process
Interested applicants may complete a City of Austin Boards and Commissions application online at https://austintexas.granicus.com/boards/forms/385/apply.
 
Resumes, cover letters and supporting documentation may be submitted electronically to Stephanie Hall, Boards and Commissions Coordinator via email at Stephanie.Hall@austintexas.gov.
 
The applications will be reviewed and, if selected, interviews may be scheduled during a meeting of the Austin City Council Audit & Finance Committee.

City of Austin to temporarily suspend large brush and bulk collection

Beginning February 21, 2022, Austin Resource Recovery (ARR), a department of the City of Austin, will suspend large brush and bulk collection for residential curbside customers until further notice. Any missed collection during the interruption will be rescheduled once services resume. These suspensions are attributable to staffing shortages related to COVID-19 and difficulty filling open vacancies.
 
With the goal of re-establishing all curbside collections, ARR is hiring entry-level and experienced drivers and has recently increased starting wages. New drivers start at $17 an hour to attract talent, with pay increases as employees progress in their roles and on-the-job commercial driver license (CDL) training. Those interested in becoming part of the ARR team may call (512) 974-1980 or visit bit.ly/ARRApply to learn more and apply.
 
For those seeking alternatives during the suspension of curbside collections for brush and bulk items, ARR is asking customers to drop off large brush at the Hornsby Bend Biosolids Management Plant if possible. Curbside customers are encouraged to donate or gift unwanted bulk items in good condition or hold on to them until service resumes. Austinites may also schedule a collection through ARR’s Clothing and Housewares program at no additional charge. Additional disposal options can be found in ARR's 'What Do I Do With...' tool.
 
ARR’s curbside customers are asked to download the Austin Recycles App for their Apple or Android devices. The app allows customers to receive reminders about their regular trash, recycling, compost, and other curbside collections, alerts about collection delays or service interruptions and schedule appointments at the Recycle and Reuse Drop-off Center.

About Austin Resource Recovery
Austin Resource Recovery provides a wide range of services designed to transform waste into resources while keeping our community clean. Services include curbside collection of recycling, trash, yard trimmings and large brush and bulk items; street sweeping; dead animal collection; household hazardous waste disposal and recycling; and outreach and education. Austin Resource Recovery offers free, voluntary and confidential consulting services to help Austin businesses reduce waste and comply with the City’s recycling ordinances. In December 2011, the Austin City Council approved the Austin Resource Recovery Master Plan, which is the City’s road map to Zero Waste. The City of Austin is committed to reducing the amount of waste sent to area landfills by 90 percent by 2040. Learn more at austinrecycles.com.

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Report Offers ‘Roadmap’ to Addressing Inequities in Austin Policing


Second Kroll study part of efforts to reimagine public safety

The City of Austin released the second part (Phase B) of an independent analysis studying the impact of racism, discrimination, bigotry, and bias on Austin Police Department (APD) culture, policies, and practices.

The 14-month review conducted by Kroll Associates (Kroll), centered on three priority areas:
  • Use of force: Analyzing four years of use of force incident data.
  • Public interaction with civilians: Analyzing traffic stops, arrests, citations, and searches.
  • Recruitment, selection, and promotion policies and practices.

Read the report HERE.

“The completion of this report is an important milestone in our on-going effort to reimagine public safety in Austin," said Rey Arellano, Assistant City Manager for Public Safety. “This in-depth analysis offers a roadmap to addressing systemic inequities that erode trust between Austin Police and the public.”

Key takeaways highlighted in a summary report:
  • Analysis of existing APD data reveals consistent disparities in use of force, traffic stops, searches, and arrests among whites and communities of color.
  • Existing APD data collection needs improvement to better pinpoint the underlying causes in policing disparities.
  • More effort is needed to shift APD personnel demographics to more accurately reflect diversity in Austin.
  • APD recruitment practices are creative, comprehensive and reach a diverse audience of potential recruits.
“I look forward to reviewing the report findings and prioritizing recommendations that can better inform updates to APD policies and practices to evolve how we meet our community’s public safety needs, recruit and retain a diverse and well-trained force, and provide greater transparency with improved data collection processes,” said Joseph Chacon, Austin Police Chief.

The Kroll analysis is an outcome of Council Resolution 66 which directed the City Manager initiate a comprehensive, multi-pronged investigation and evaluation of the presence of bigotry and discrimination in the protocols, practices, and behaviors of the officers of the Austin Police Department and how those factors impact hiring, promotion, workplace culture and community interactions. 

Kroll’s scope of work also included a review (Phase A) of the APD Training Academy and its progress updating curriculum to better prepare cadets for policing in a multi-ethnic, diverse urban population consistent with contemporary best practices.  The findings of the Phase A review were published in a report released in April 2021.

The findings of today's Phase B report will be discussed during a presentation at the January 25 City Council work session.

City of Austin Statement on Labor Negotiations with Police Union

The City's Labor Relations Office has been negotiating with the Austin Police Association (APA) for almost nine months over a new labor ...