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City of Austin task force asks for hold of APD cadet classes

Conversations over the police cadet classes are part of the City’s wider effort to reform Austin’s police department.

AUSTIN, Texas — There’s a renewed call to put the new Austin police cadet classes on hold.

Members of the City’s Reimagining Public Safety task force say they feel uncomfortable with the Austin Police Department’s curriculum, which they say includes racial and gender bias and the use of unnecessary force.

They voted to object to any effort by the City and Austin police to move forward with classes until changes are made.

Conversations over the police cadet classes are part of the City’s wider effort to reform Austin’s police department. A December 2019 audit was called after concerns over the handling of allegations of racism and homophobia in the department.

Cadet classes were subsequently canceled through June 2021 as part of budget cuts and reallocations in August. But the department is hoping to have a cadet class this March.

RELATED: New reports address racial disparities, inequities within Austin Police and its training academy

Last month, two new reports addressed racial and gender inequalities and disparities within the Austin Police Department and shared recommendations to create an “anti-racist institutional culture.”

The reports recommend the City continues to suspend its cadet classes until an equity-driven action plan "that reforms and rebuilds" APD's Training division can be implemented.

The Reimagining Public Safety task force will meet for a citywide session on Saturday at 11 a.m. The group will be taking public feedback.

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