Cops in Austin resign en masse over anti-police push

by Jacob Fuller

Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News

Police in Texas’ capital city have been quitting over perceptions that neither cops nor conservatives are welcome.

As first reported by the New York Post, which cited the Austin Police Association, more than 300 vacancies exist in the Austin Police Department as officers have departed amidst a profound spike in crime coupled with a “defund the police” effort by city officials.

“You could see that the city’s attitude towards its police department had started to shift and, personally speaking, I didn’t feel that the city was really appreciating us the way they used to,” the Post quoted recently retired Lt. Brian Moon as saying. “Austin had always been a pretty liberal-leaning city, but it was pro-law enforcement at the same time. They expected us to do things the right way, obviously, but they weren’t hyper-critical like they became.”

That criticism came in the form of a $150 million budget reduction as well as the city’s cancellation of three officer training schools and the removal of 150 officer positions from within the budget, all in 2020 and in the wake of nationwide protests following George Floyd’s death while in police custody.

Moon told the Post that there also exists a generally anti-conservative vibe in the city.

“We’re right there with Portland and Seattle and San Francisco as being one of those places where if you’re at all conservative or in law enforcement, it’s become a hostile place,” Moon said.

The funding has since returned thanks primarily to the fact that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott spearheaded a new law into existence that forced Texas cities to either refund the police or lose the ability to raise taxes or annex land.

But, the lack of a properly functioning police force would also place Austin, theoretically, at odds with the same law.

“Cops quit woke Austin in droves,” Abbott tweeted Sunday. “Austin must still comply with the law I signed that defunds cities that defund their police. If Austin doesn’t maintain its police force, it will not be able to take more taxpayer money & spend it on non-police matters.”


As previously reported by FISM, this is not the first time Austin has been accused of being anti-conservative. In 2022, the city indicted 20 officers for excessive use of force in quelling outbreaks of violence that occurred during 2020 protests in the city.

Officers have accused the county’s district attorney, who is a member of a socialist political party, of having targeted conservative officers in an election year.

Last August, an ordained minister sued Austin’s fire department in an effort to be reinstated to his position as a volunteer chaplain after he was removed, the minister said, for refusing to apologize for “anti-woke” rhetoric on his personal blog.

According to the Post report, the total number of officers in Austin now is under 1,850, which has led to issues of longer-than-normal wait times for officers to respond to reports of crime.

Even some more severe crimes are being treated as non-emergencies. Property crimes like home burglaries, for example, are being referred to the city’s 3-1-1 service, a number initially established for handling petty crimes.

“If you come home and find your home burglarized, calls like that are now going to 311,” police union president Thomas Villarreal told the Post. “You’re not getting a police response to many property crimes if it’s not a violent crime that is currently ongoing.”

According to KAXN-TV, an Austin-area NBC affiliate, crime in the city dropped slightly from 2021 to 2022, but remains substantially higher than the pre-2020 rates.

The crimes have also become more chaotic as staffing shortages forced police to leave parts of the city mostly unguarded as they seek to respond to the most severe criminal activities.

Officers are also stretched too thin to effectively handle such things as University of Texas football games or respond effectively to crisis situations.

Last month, car clubs organized a so-called “street takeover” in Austin, that resulted in wild races occurring, widespread vandalism, and at least one human being set on fire.

“Austin voters wanted a Mayor, City Council, and Soros DA who treat cops as criminals and criminals as victims,” the National Police Association tweeted at the time. “This was not only predictable, it was predicted.”