AUSTIN -- Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo told members of the City Council Public Health and Human Services Committee Tuesday that a crackdown on downtown violators is not directed toward the homeless.
Acevedo said a recent number of high-profile crimes including murders prompted the department to crack down on those who violate city and code ordinances. He said the point is to lower violent crimes and property crimes.
From September 2011 to September 2012, violent crime went up 17 percent downtown; which compares to 1 percent citywide during the same time period.
Since September 20, 2012 when this special initiative started, there were 17 felony arrests, one of which was an attempted capital murder case from San Antonio.
More than 1,280 misdemeanor arrests and tickets were handed out since September 20th. Acevedo said of all those arrested 53 percent were homeless people.
The chief said rumors that APD was clearing out homeless from downtown for F1 is an urban myth.