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Williamson County judge requests State Troopers in response to Austin police budget cuts

More than 55,000 Williamson County residents live within Austin city limits.

WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas — In a letter issued on Monday, Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell requested more State Troopers to help assist the Williamson County Sheriff's Office.

The letter was in response to the recent Austin City Council vote to cut millions from the Austin Police Department's budget. Mayor Steve Adler breaks down the cuts in a tweet thread here

Approximately $21.5 million from the budget goes toward immediate reductions and reinvestments, about $80 million goes toward decoupling certain APD duties, and $49 million goes toward reimagining segments that may or may not leave the department.

In the letter, Judge Gravell states the decision puts families in danger, as some residents who live in Williamson County also live within the city limits of Austin.

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The letter can be read in full below:

Dear Governor Abbott –

I am writing today to personally thank you for your response to the recent actions of the Austin City Council wherein they reduced the budget of the Austin Police Department by $150,000,000. The Austin City Council decision places the brave men and women of the Austin Police Department and their families in great peril.

In Williamson County, there are 55,385 residents that live within the city limits of Austin. I am concerned with these extreme budget cuts, that the citizens of the City of Austin within Williamson County will not remain protected at current levels.

Therefore, I am respectfully asking for your help as you are assigning State Troopers to fill in the void in law enforcement in Austin, that you would assign additional Troopers to work with our Williamson County Sheriff, Robert Chody, to protect our Austin area citizens.

It is clear the Austin City Council has abdicated their responsibility to protect their citizens and, in turn, citizens of Williamson County. I will not let politics get in the way of protecting the people.

Sincerely yours,
Judge Bill Gravell Jr.
County Judge
Williamson County, Texas

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