AUSTIN, Texas — Austin 311 is starting to answer more calls for police following the implementation of a new Austin Police Department policy.
In late September, APD announced that beginning on Oct. 1, it would no longer be sending uniformed officers to calls when a crime is no longer in progress, when the suspect is no longer on scene or in sight and when there is no immediate threat to life or property. APD instructed residents to use iReportAustin.com or call Austin 311 to report such incidents.
The decision was made as a result of a recent review of APD’s patrol COVID-19 mitigation protocols, recent staffing challenges and patrol response recommendations from the Reimagining Public Safety Task Force, according to the department.
Austin Police Chief Joe Chacon said the community should call 311 for the following types of calls:
- Animal services
- Attempted theft of property
- Burglary when the suspect is no longer on the property
- Crashes between vehicles that do not require a tow, caused no injuries and both drivers have proof of insurance and a license and neither was driving impaired
- COVID-19 violations
- Verbal disputes
- Suspicious person/vehicle
And according to new City data, the community has been making the switch. The City confirmed to KVUE that between Oct. 1 and Oct. 6 at 4 p.m., 1,989 non-emergency requests for police calls had been made to 311.
The breakdown of those requests is:
- Collision: 216
- Create Police Report: 1,096
- Evidence/Property: 28
- Update Existing Report: 88
- Family Protection/Custody: 52
- Miscellaneous: 13
- Noise: 339
- Officer Contact: 66
- Vehicle: 90
- Warrant: 1
The City could not provide any further specifics on the types of calls made.
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