Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has not been amused by the way cities like New York, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Portland, and Seattle have all rushed to slash funding for police officers and build momentum in the “defund the police movement.”
In Abbott’s state, the Austin, Texas city council also voted to slash funding for the Austin PD by 34%. That is up to $129 million in cuts for their department. The funds would be shifted towards social service programs and other city departments that take over mental health, addiction, and other responses that typically fall to police. This, essentially, would make it financially impossible to defend law enforcement. He suggested Austin has no choice but to restore the cuts they’ve already made to law enforcement.
The Texas governor recently unveiled a proposal that would punish cities that voted to cut funds from their police departments. He argues that these cities are essentially defunding themselves. He has proposed removing that city’s ability to annex territory and withholding property tax revenue growth from local governments as an option.
“Cities that defund their police departments will forever lose their annexation powers, and any areas and any residents that have ever been annexed by that city in the past will have the power to vote to disannex them from the city,” Abbott said.
President of Austin Police Women’s Association, Melanie Rodriguez, also spoke out about the city council’s actions on defunding the police. She called it disgusting and blasted their vote to cut incoming police cadet classes. “Our local leaders sat in the comfort and safety of their homes conducting Zoom meetings to reimagine public safety,” Rodrigues said, strongly backing efforts to block cities from defunding police.
Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall announced her resignation ahead of the vote but has been criticized in her handling of the protests and riots. She is one of many police chiefs quitting or retiring in the midst of the George Floyd riots.
People should start living under the policies they vote for, while others should not have to pay for their insanity. It’ll be interesting to see how Texas defends Austin against criminal activity in the face of the city council who defunded their own police.
The people who want the police defunded the most are the ones secure and warm in their locked up homes. Why haven’t more people realized this?