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Texas Gov. Abbott signs pledge against police budget cuts; El Paso spending $5.8 million more for cops

AUSTIN, Texas -- Gov. Greg Abbott signed a pledge opposing police budget cuts — and a legislative proposal to “protect police funding” in Texas — at a news conference Thursday afternoon at the Austin Police Association's headquarters alongside members of that law enforcement union.

Abbott has called on all Texas candidates in the November election to sign the pledge “backing the blue.”

“Some cities in Texas want to defund and dismantle police departments in our state,” the Republican governor said in promoting his pledge. “This reckless action invites crime into our communities and threatens the safety of all Texans including our law enforcement officers and their families.”

This summer, as unrest and sometimes violent protests against police brutality and racial injustice rocked Texas and the nation, a revived movement for social justice called for the community and policymakers to rethink the role of police. Alongside proposed reforms to policing practices and accountability — like requiring officers to intervene in other officers’ bad actions — some have also sought to shift local funding away from policing and direct the funds toward other social services.

The progressive Austin City Council responded to this “defund the police” movement and last month agreed to cut about $20 million from the police department in the 2021 budget and redirect the funds to things like housing and emergency response. About $130 million was also put into two transitional funds that will allow several of the department's traditional duties to remain funded while officials work out which responsibilities to keep under law enforcement and which to move out from under police oversight.

Abbott and other Texas Republicans denounced the move almost immediately. Days later, Abbott and other party leaders held a press conference to propose legislation that would freeze property tax revenues for any city that cuts funding from police departments. The proposal lacked details about how taxes would be frozen. And last week, the governor said he was considering dramatic legislation that, if passed by lawmakers, would allow the state to take over the Austin Police Department, controlling its operations and budget decisions, at the city’s expense.

Austin officials shot back, saying local policymakers were responding to what their community wanted and Abbott was following national political rhetoric of fear against crime. Early data from 2020 shows homicide and shootings in some major cities, including in Texas, have increased over last year, but numbers still remain low compared to recent history.

“Austin is the safest big city in Texas and one of the safest in the country. Public safety is our priority and we support our police,” Austin Mayor Steve Adler said in a statement after Abbott announced a potential state takeover. “We’re also always looking for ways for everyone to be even more safe. Not surprising the President’s rhetoric is finding its way to Texas as we get closer to November.”

In Austin, violent crime rates dropped by 25% between 2008 and 2018. This year through July, there were 29 homicides, compared with 19 during the same period last year, according to the police chief's monthly crime report.

Policing is the most expensive item in most cities’ budgets. Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio budgeted more than one-third of their general funds for police departments during the 2020 fiscal year. Austin, which has decided to reduce its funding and reorganize its police department, budgeted $444 dollars per resident on police in the 2020 fiscal year, more than any of the three largest cities in Texas.

In El Paso, not only did police funding not get cut - the mayor said the city actually increased the budget for the coming fiscal year by millions of dollars.

“Actions speak louder than words, and this year we increased the Police Department budget by $5.8 million. The men and women of the Police Department are the reason we consistently rank among the safest cities in the country, and it is imperative we continue funding public safety,” said Mayor Dee Margo.

Crime / El Paso / News / Texas / Top Stories / Video

Texas Tribune

KVIA ABC-7

Comments

51 Comments

    1. Yes we have been real safe dumbass Nadodave! Lol. Floyd was very safe. Blake was very safe. Las cruces choke hold victim was very safe. Lol. Pendejo. He should sign a bill for police reform to get rid of the pigs. We need a new breed of “professional “ police officers. Not dumbasses like madmike, Gee dubb, and dumbest of all Nadodave.

          1. Proof? It’s fake news markturner. You need a fact check. Redirecting police funding is the same as defunding the police. You can’t spin that moron by pushing a Democrap talking point which is clearly false. Interview with Biden July 2020: Barkan: “Can we agree that we can redirect some of the funding [from the police]?” Biden: “Yes, absolutely”

          2. Markturner is so full of crap as usual. The nation’s police unions are supporting President Trump and endorsing him because he wants to defund police? YOU ARE AN IDIOT!

          3. Let’s look at what we know so far; You are NOT Mark Turner, there are two Mark Turners in El Paso, one has a 1/4 acre unimproved lot in the lower valley but lives in Illinois. Secondly, you freely admitted to multiple felonies by intentionally hiring illegal aliens for a hotel you ran. Now we hace a criminal nexus, and a legal reason to identify and hopefully, ICE will prosecute you.

      1. alberto pedo muerto your hero Floyd was in meth and fentanyl and resisting arrest after committing a crime. Blake was reaching for a knife after having beaten his x wife and resisting arrest. Your heros are criminals just like you. So of course you want no cops. You live in fear that they put you in jail again.

        1. Nadodave estas pendejo! You are too stupid to understand the concept. So anyone on drugs deserves to get murdered? A knee placed kn the jugular until he dies. That dumb Gil officer like you had no idea about Floyd’s bloodwork. He was stopped for a possible fake $20 bill. The bloodwork didn’t come out till later and now being used as justification to mirdering a black man. It’s stupid asses like you who should never wear a uniform.

          1. In the latest videos released that were withheld initially so people could riot Floyd was already complaining about not being able to breath before the police even touched him. It was the fentanyl and meth that killed him nitwit.

          2. If you heros wanted to live they should not have resisted and go with the flow. Otherwise they deserve what they get. Cops want to go home to their families too. They had a record of violence and disrespect. Just like you alberto pedo muerto. Hope you resist one day too.

  1. I can only imagiine how many people have been murdered by pigs pre phone era. “Resisted”. Lol. If it was up to me I slap a camera on all. In the car, in the uniform, etc.

    1. Hey moron watch out for those red light camera intersections that still have the fake signs up even though the camera gear has been removed. You’re too poor to afford a ticket. Alberto is so poor.

  2. I’m stopping by the ridgemar apartments to meet this Alberto dude. Madmike do you have an apartment number? Hey stupid Madmike pig, give me the complete address please.

  3. Biden wants to increase funding to police departments based upon new training regimens. The orange buffoon supported a Republican bill that would remove funding to cities for police, fire, and health departments.

    1. You are full of crap. Proof? It’s fake news markturner spouting propaganda. You need a fact check. Redirecting police funding is the same as defunding the police. You can’t spin that moron by pushing a Democrap talking point which is clearly false. Interview with Biden July 2020: Barkan: “Can we agree that we can redirect some of the funding [from the police]?” Biden: “Yes, absolutely”.

  4. EL PASO HAS PIG PORK. BIGTIME. WE PAY THEIR SALARIES AND IN RETURN THEY SCREW THE CITIZENS. A PRETTY NICE RACKET. EL PASO IS REVENUE FOCUSED. NOT SAFETY FOCUSED.

    1. Alberto, no one else made you a loser, you did it to yourself. YOU are the one that started you life of minimum wage jobs, when you enlisted in the Navy to avoid combat in Vietnam. Even after being given a gravy-train assignment in San Francisco in the early 70’s, you screwed that up. You knew drugs were against the UCMJ, but you did them any way. YOU knew that homosexuality was against the UCMJ, but there you were, in bath houses being a rump ranger. After getting an “Oher Than Honorable” DD-214, you were destined yo achieve your highest job of washing dished at Denny’s. You blame the “system”, “whitee” and the system, but it is YOU that screwed your whole life uo, not anyone else.

  5. GO TO THE DEVILS TRIANGLE RIGHT NOW. NOT ONE IN SIGHT. WAKE UP TMRO AND WATCH THEM SCREW THE WORKING CLASS. ALL OVER SCHOOL ZONES, I-10, ETC. EASY MONEY WITH NO DANGER. TICKET THE WORKING CLASS AND RUN FROM THE REAL CRIMINALS. FOLKS……. ONE WORD…… REVENUE.

  6. IN REALITY, COPS CONTROL CITIES. DONT AGREE TO OUR TERMS AND WE DROP REVENUE. CITY JUDGES, MANAGERS, COUNCIL, ETC ALL BEND OVER. SAFETY? LOL. FAT DOUBLE RETIREMENTS OR WE DONT FEED INTO THE SYSTEM AND ALL THE UNEDUCATED ELECTED MORONS DONT GET PAID. PIGS RULE UNTIL SOMEONE STANDS UP AND DEFUNDS.

  7. JEFF ALLEN THE NASTY DIRTY PERVERT OLD MAN TALKING ANAL VASELINE HAS SOMETHING TO SAY. LOL. SHUT UP PERVERTED MUMMY. GO HIDE AND STAY AWAY FROM CHILDREN NASTY OLD PERVERT.

  8. BASED ON JEFF ALLENS RHETORIC, I WOULD KEEP AN EYE ON THAT PERVERTED GRINGO. HE PROCLAIMS HE GUARDS THE BORDER PROBABLY PREYING ON CHILDREN. HE IS WHITE AFTER ALL. PEDOPHILIA IS RAMPANT IN HIS BREED.

  9. I wouldn’t get too excited. Nobody is defunding anything and Abbott’s suggestion has little chance of passing when the legislature reconvenes. Thats all it is. A suggestion and it has no force of law. The acrobatics it would take to radically alter the Texas constitution make the chance of Abbotts suggestion becoming law zero to nil.

  10. Civics 101- It’s the Legislative branch, not the Executive branch of government, that holds the power of the purse strings.And the Judicial gas the final say so & vicariously power of the veto. So do over on tbe horizon, governor X-avier

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