Four more APD officers leave amid lack of new police contract
At least four Austin Police officers have left the department this month, according to the President of the Austin Police Association.
Their departures are on top of the more than 30 officers who retired last month to secure pay they were owed before the police contract with the city expired.
Austin Police Association President Ken Casaday told CBS Austin Tuesday that officers are leaving because morale within the department has “gone down the tubes” in the past few months.
He attributes the decline in morale in part to officers having to double up in police cars because some are malfunctioning from an on-going carbon monoxide leak, a new assistant chief, and mostly because APD and the Austin City Council couldn’t agree to terms on a new police contract.
Casaday said the departure of approximately 36 officers in the past 40 days could make the city less safe.
"Some officers that are leaving are taking years, hundreds of years, of law enforcement experience with them," Casaday said.
Meanwhile, 30 miles north of Austin, Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody announced via Twitter Monday that a former Austin Police officer is the newest reserve deputy for his department.
“The city of Austin is paying for the training, they’re paying for the experience, one of them that came has 10 years’ experience. We them over here and we don’t have to do anything but swear them in,” said Sheriff Chody.
Other APD officers could soon follow as Chody said he’s seen a “massive amount of people who’ve inquired about coming” to work for the Williamson County Sheriff’s office.
Casaday said in the near future, police departments from San Jose, California and San Antonio plan to recruit.
Contract negotiations are expected to continue between APD and Austin City Council in February.