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Initiative by interim Austin police chief to address increase in gun violence

The Austin Police Department says it is "responding strongly" to gun violence in the city.

AUSTIN, Texas — An initiative commissioned by now-interim Austin police chief Joe Chacon could play a role in how the Austin Police Department addresses recent increases in gun violence.

"The initiative will analyze cases involving a gun to see if we are able to file federal charges," an APD spokesperson told KVUE on Thursday. "APD will work with our federal task force partners, the AUSA, ATF, DEA and FBI, to see which cases are appropriate for federal prosecution. We are putting a draft plan together and responding strongly to gun violence in our city to target the most active and prolific offenders."

Credit: Austin Police Department

According to the department's most recent gun violence report, which addresses the fourth quarter of 2020, violence has risen steadily over the past few years along with Austin's population boom. 

In 2020, a total of 1,546 violent offenses with firearms were reported, with 468 of those being reported in the fourth quarter. In 2015, a total 689 incidents were reported.

Chacon was named interim chief last month after Chief Brian Manley announced his retirement.