Department leaders still developing plans for meeting minimum staffing goals for patrols, reducing crime.
City officials have proposed slashing the Austin Police Department’s overtime spending 25 percent next year after several years of ballooning expenses.
In the proposed 2007 city budget released Thursday, the city allocated $7.1 million for police overtime, which is used to help the department meet staffing goals, fill gaps created by vacant positions and patrol special events such as Mardi Gras and Halloween on Sixth Street.
The department estimates that this year’s overtime expenses will reach $9.5 million through September, the end of the fiscal year. Read the rest of this entry »
People may drink more alcohol if they’re smoking cigarettes between sips, a new study shows.
Smoking and drinking often go together, though not all smokers drink and not all drinkers smoke.
Researchers from Texas A&M University studied interactions between nicotine, which is found in cigarettes, and alcohol. Read the rest of this entry »
Since the Travis County sheriff’s office formed a drunken-driving enforcement team in January, the number of DWI arrests by deputies has increased 61 percent so far this year, officials say.
Department records show that deputies made 362 DWI arrests from January through June, compared with 225 for the same period last year. Authorities said many of the arrests happened on major highways in Austin, including Interstate 35 and MoPac Boulevard (Loop 1). Read the rest of this entry »
The Austin American Statesman reported that Austin Police Department paid officers nearly $2.5 million in overtime last year during weeks they also took vacation and other leave. This was allowed because of a policy that has bumped up overtime costs.
The practice â€” unlike that in most private businesses and other city departments â€” allows officers to receive overtime pay even when they have not worked more than 40 hours. The rule essentially lets them take vacation leave for time-and-a-half pay. Read the rest of this entry »
KVUE 24 reported that there is new insight into why the chief of Austin’s Park Police Department decided stepping down. Documents released Friday paint a picture of a small police force with a big personality conflict.
Chief Darryl Lewis’ resignation came on the heels of a critical evaluation of his department, citing problems with training and equipment. But we now know the core problem runs deeper and is more personal. Read the rest of this entry »
A Driving while intoxicated conviction could cost up to $15,000 for a first time offense in Texas, according to a new study by the Texas Department of Transportation called the â€œ$15,000 six-pack.â€
The $15,000 adds up the cost of arrests, fines, jail and court costs, legal fees and counseling. The study based its results on interviews with district attorneys, defense attorneys, county clerks and past DWI offenders. Read the rest of this entry »