Your daily dose of Austin
Smartphone image
Make your inbox more Austin.
Local news and fun, every day 6am.
APD short 108 officers in meeting recommended 911 response time, study says

Austin Police Department cadets at the restart of academy training in June 2021, following an overhaul of the curriculum (APD)

As the Austin Police Department experiences high 911 response times and an officer shortage, a new study conducted reveals what would be needed to meet an ideal response time.

The study, funded by the Greater Austin Crime Commission and conducted by University of New Haven and Texas State University, analyzed six million officers and two million emergency calls. Police Chief Joseph Chacon announced Tuesday the study showed 108 patrol officers, for a total of 882, were needed to meet the six minutes and 30 second or less response time with a 95% degree of certainty.

Currently, APD’s authorized strength on patrol is 774 officers and the actual number of patrol officers fluctuates on a daily basis but according to Chacon, the department is currently operating at “well below” capacity. Plus, accounting for vacancies, the department would need to maintain 730 working officers.

The study looked at APD data from the past five years with the goal of helping the department and community achieve the right balance of patrol officers using two tools: machine learning analysis on how call response times affect public safety outcomes and a resident survey on community perception.

“It’s important that we recruit the right type of folks to be police officers in our community,” Chacon said. “We have a very robust and diverse recruiting unit that is working on doing that very thing for future classes. So it’s kind of a multi-pronged effort.”

At the same time, APDs 911 response times have been on the rise since 2016 and currently hover around eight minutes. There will be a new graduating class of cadets this month, and Chacon said the department will continue to work on reducing attrition and upping training capacity.

From there, Chacon said the next step will be to bring the data to the Austin City Council and community members to get feedback on how to implement changes indicated in the data in real life. Chacon said he will then update the community on plans to move forward.

“We pride ourselves as a police department in using data and evidence to make decisions, especially policy decisions that are going to make sense for our community,” Chacon said. “I will be working on these types of evidence-based efforts to put forward sensible plans that work to keep Austin citizens safe.”

The model, which Greater Austin Crime Commission President Corby Jastrow said is the first to use machine learning for this purpose, can be used continually for the most current findings. A second part of the model, which will look at non-patrol functions within the department, will be completed later this year.


Tito's releases (not so?) ugly sweater line for the holidays, profits to charity

Tito's Handmade Vodka

Show your love for Tito's and for the community this year with a wide selection of not that ugly, uglyish, ugly, uglier, and ugliest holiday sweaters.

There's lots choose from, and plenty of accessories like scarves and socks, plus gear for your dog, too.

All of the items can be purchased online or at the Love, Tito’s Retail Store in Austin, TX. 100% of all net proceeds from online or in-store purchases go to one of the nonprofits we’ve teamed up with.

Click here to see the entire collection in the Tito's store.

Mac and Cheese Fest and Free Art Exhibit
Waterloo Greenway, Good Vibrations Installation

🗓 All weekend

🎨 Creek Show Art Exhibit

Check out this highly anticipated art exhibition with illuminated art along Waller Creek. Tickets are free and the event includes food vendors, dazzling lights, live music, and hands-on activities

All weekend 6 p.m - 10 p.m | 📍Waterloo Park

✨ Mozart's Light Show

This iconic holiday tradition lights up for the first time this holiday season starting this weekend! Reserve your spot for an enchanting light and sound performance, delicious hot cocoa, sweet treats, and some overall fun with your friends or family. The show runs till January 6th.

6 p.m and 9 p.m | 📍Mozart's Coffee Roasters - 3825 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, TX 78703

🗓 Saturday

🥊 Kickboxing in the Park

This fitness event is free and open to the public. Get your morning started right with a "Fitness in the park" class for kickboxing! The class will be led by certified instructors and is a great way to get a cardio workout in while also honing your self-defense skills.

10 a.m - 11 a.m | 📍 Metz Park

🛍 The Front Market

Support local LBGTQ+ and female artists at this outdoor market with over 150 vendors. Get your holiday shopping out of the way at this event, with vendors for food trucks, handmade goods, raffles, hands on workshops and activities, and more.

11 a.m - 5 p.m | 📍Ani's Day and Night - 7107 E Riverside Drive, Austin, TX 78741

🗓 Sunday

🧀 Mac and Cheese Fest

Did someone say cheese?! If you're like me and always willing to get your hands on a bowl of mac and cheese, then this event is for you. Check out the Mac and Cheese festival happening this weekend to decide which vendor has. the best mac and cheese for yourself, and enjoy the bar with creative cocktails while you're at it. Tickets start at $45.

11 a.m - 3 p.m | 📍Lantana Place - 7415 Southwest Parkway