AUSTIN, Texas — The next police academy class has been delayed by the Austin city manager to allow an ongoing audit of the academy's training materials to be completed.
The purpose of the audit is to ensure all training materials are free of any potential bias or unrecognized discriminatory perspectives.
The class, scheduled for June 2020, is now expected to start in mid-July. The audit was originally expected to be completed by June, but city staff anticipate finishing it by mid-July due to the scope of work and the unanticipated impact of the city-wide response to COVID-19.
Last December, the Austin City Council passed a resolution to identify and eliminate discrimination and bias in policing. This included a provision directing the city manager to audit and update the academy’s materials and curriculum.
“Racist language, slurs, intolerance, and derogatory behaviors – implicit or explicit – are completely unacceptable in our organization and it is my expectation that every person is treated with dignity and respect,” said City Manager Spencer Cronk. “This audit provides an opportunity to reinforce that commitment and identify where we can improve to ensure that our officers are being trained to provide the policing our community expects and deserves.”
The audit is being conducted by staff from the City Manager’s Office, Equity Office, Office of Police Oversight and Austin Police Department’s Organizational and Development Training Manager – working in conjunction with an outside academic consultant and select community members.
You can find more information about the audit here.
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