AUSTIN — The president of the Austin Police Association Friday is standing by the comments he made at a city council meeting this week, where he lambasted the council for what he says is their resistance in signing a labor contract with officers.
Ken Casaday, president of the Austin Police Association, said he regrets that his comments came out the way they did. But he said it was the result of months of simmering tension between officers and the city.
Casaday had signed up to address the council on an unrelated issue at Thursday's meeting, but when he took the podium, he became visibly angry.
"I had 300 officers at the hall yesterday pissed off that we have not sat down to go over our contract," Casaday said. "We have been waiting and there has been nothing but foot dragging by this council. We need to get back and get this contract done immediately. I hope you understand my anger."
As Casaday concluded his remarks, council member Jimmy Flannigan said that the union could have approved a one-year contract extension last year, but didn't.
At that point, Casaday returned to the podium and began shouting at Flannigan.
"That's not how this works, Ken," Flannigan said.
Mayor Steve Adler tried to intervene.
Police have been upset about a lack of a contract with the city, and union officials said several officers have left for other departments because of a lack of benefits they once had, including specialized pay.