Austin's growth creates opportunity but challenges for APD


by HEATHER KOVAR / KVUE News and Photojournalist Dennis Thomas

Bio | Email | Follow: @HeatherK_KVUE

Posted on January 27, 2013 at 10:26 PM

Updated Monday, Jan 28 at 10:51 AM

AUSTIN -- People who have lived in Austin awhile talk about what the city used to be like.

Jason Lozada moved here in 1991 and talks about increased traffic.

"It used to be you could skip I-35 and take Mopac. But really at rush hour it's not much different now," he says.

Hotels are going up to accommodate growth and visitors -- something Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo is keeping an eye on.

He says, "We have to make sure our police department grows at a rate that keeps up with not only growth in terms of population, growth in terms of geography, but we're also growing in terms of special events."

For example  the annexation of Circuit of the Americas to the city brings added work to the police department, but the chief points out there isn't a population count that comes with it.

"We need to look at what kind of transient population we have here, what kind of visitor population we have here and so that's the type of conversation I look forward to having with the city council in the upcoming months."

Forbes, which named Austin the fastest growing city in the nation, states growth brings opportunity.

Lozada says, "As long as we don't lose our culture. I think that's important."

Growth also brings the challenge of keeping the quality of life Austinites are accustomed to living.


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