Message from the Chief
The Austin Police Department works to keep our community safe and to ensure that residents and visitors feel safe. To that end, we focus on reducing crime (both violent and property), increasing traffic safety, and improving residents’ satisfaction with service delivery and perceptions of safety.
Key indicators help APD gauge its effectiveness in reducing violent and property crime rates.
· Austin's violent crime rate per 1,000 residents increased 2% from 3.96 in FY 2013-14 to 4.05 in FY 2014-15. Austin still ranks as the 2nd safest of large US cities in violent crime.
· Our property crime rate per 1,000 residents decreased from 41.42 in FY 2013-14 to 40.68 in FY 2014-15, and the FY 2014-15 rate is 16% lower than the average of the last four years. From FY 2013-14 to FY 2014-15, the rate of burglaries decreased 10%. In FY 2014-15, APD and the District Attorney's office began planning increased coordination of the arrest and prosecution of offenders who commit burglary series. The program's goal is to keep the most serious offenders off the street for a longer period of time.
· The percent of Part 1 crimes cleared, the rate at which the department solves crime, was 16.3% in FY 2014-15. This was 3% higher than the average of the last four years and 14% better than the goal.
Traffic safety is an ongoing focus for the department.
· Austin's traffic fatality rate per 100,000 residents increased from 7.55 in FY 2013-14 to 10.76 in FY 2014-15. In FY 2014-15, APD Highway Enforcement Command joined the City's Vision Zero Task Force. The initiative relies on three methods (engineering, education, and enforcement) to reduce collisions. APD is taking the lead on enforcement.
The department continues to strive to provide high-quality service to Austin residents.
· Response time to high-priority calls for service rose 4% from 7:45 in FY 2013-14 to 8:04 in FY 2014-15. This fiscal year APD PIO worked to increase recruitment for call takers and dispatchers to offset the high turnover associated with these jobs. As a result, Communications is receiving significantly more applications for these critical positions.
· The percent of residents reporting satisfaction with police service quality decreased from 74% in FY 2013-14 to 72% in FY 2014-15. The FY 2014-15 result was 5 percentage points higher than the average for other US cities of similar size. During this fiscal year, APD began a body-worn camera pilot program. By piloting body-worn cameras, the department will increase transparency and strengthen ties to the community we serve. Use of body cameras will increase in future years.
· The Part II Crime Rate includes crimes like drug offenses, prostitution, and vandalism and is considered a "quality of life" measure. The FY 2014-15 rate was 1% lower than FY 2013-14 rate and 14% lower than the average of the last four years.
Austin Police Department's mission of keeping the community safe is paired with our vision to be respected and trusted by all segments of Austin’s diverse community. Together, these aims drive our efforts, our resources, our energy, and our scorecard.
H. A. Acevedo
Chief of Police