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State troopers are going to patrol Austin streets again starting next month

State troopers are going to start helping out the Austin Police Department, which has been short-staffed.
Gabriel C. Pérez
The Austin Police Department has sought help from state troopers because it's short-staffed.

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State troopers will resume patrols on Austin streets July 2, the city said Thursday.

The Austin Police Department partnered with the Department of Public Safety in late March to help out with patrols, but the deal ended after complaints from Austinites and a DPS reassignment to the border.

APD said it's changing its deployment strategy to spread patrols across the city, rather than relying on calls for service. City Council members had raised concerns from constituents who felt DPS was overpolicing neighborhoods like East Riverside and Rundberg.

Roughly a month into the patrols, data from the Travis County Attorney showed state troopers were disproportionately arresting people of color.

APD Chief Joseph Chacon said the revamped patrols will address those concerns.

“The partnership with DPS has already proven valuable to reducing crime and shortening response times,” he said. “This new iteration will ensure we continue that while taking Council direction into account and pivoting the deployment strategy.”

Chacon defended the patrols in April, arguing they provided breathing room for the understaffed department and reduced violent crime.

In a press release Thursday, APD said officers will attend DPS briefings once a week to "ensure Austin policing values are ... reinforced."

Andrew Weber is a general assignment reporter for KUT, focusing on criminal justice, policing, courts and homelessness in Austin and Travis County. Got a tip? You can email him at Follow him on Twitter @England_Weber.
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