"Warning! Austin defunded police. Enter at your own risk!" billboards warning drivers

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Colin Z
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"Warning! Austin defunded police. Enter at your own risk!" billboards warning drivers

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Texas police group warns drivers to ‘enter at your own risk' after Austin cuts police funding
In August, the city of Austin announced it would be the latest city to divert funding from its police department. The City Council unanimously approved a proposal to cut the police budget by $150 million, about 34 percent of its current total, and reinvest in other resources.

Of that $150 million, $21 million would be invested in emergency medical services, domestic violence shelters and programs for the homeless. About another $80 million will go into a “Decouple Fund” that will transfer many civilian services, like forensic sciences and victim services, outside of the police department.

The rest of the money, about $49 million, will go into a “Reimagine Safety Fund,” the goal of which “is to divert dollars from the fund toward alternative forms of public safety and community support, through the yearlong reimagining process.”

Texas attorney general Ken Paxton said that Austin bowed to "cancel culture" in its decision to defund law enforcement. The city has struggled to control crime, violence and homelessness, and the mayor and council disregarded the safety of the capital, the people who live there and the guests who visit, Paxton claimed.

Despite these claims, Austin officials have defended the moves.

"This budget responds to concerns expressed all over the community and embodies our values as a city. New investment is focused on the underlying causes of crime," Austin Mayor Steve Adler wrote on Twitter last month.

Adler told CBS News that Austin is the safest big city in Texas.

"I mean you could have a 50% increase in homicides in Austin and you still wouldn't get up to where Fort Worth is, a smaller city than we are," the mayor said.

Paxton said last weekend that the governor is considering legislation that would put Austin police under state control to protect against defunding.

"That makes little to no sense and makes our city less safe," Paxton said on "Fox & Friends Weekend," adding: "We can fund the police in a way that will keep the city safe, which is what we all want." M O R E
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