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EMS, Homeless Issues and Eyewitness Testimony Before Public Safety Commission Today

Daniel Reese for KUT News

Austin's Public Safety Commission will stay busy this evening discussing a medley of public safety topics:

  • The commission will get an overview of homeless and transient demographics today. Austin police have recently been cracking down on crimes often committed by the homeless.
  • The commission is also looking staffing and other issues at Austin-Travis County EMS. The department recently suffered a black eye when an audit found money-handling processes were so bad that EMS was at risk of having money stolen and not even realizing it.
  • The city’s considering an outside review of the staffing of the department. A similar study of the Austin Police Department showed APD needs hundreds of new officers and staff over the next several years.
  • The commission will take a look at its eyewitness and lineup policies. A state law enacted last session made all Texas law enforcement agencies adopt new eyewitness identification procedures.
  • Assistant Police Chief Raul Munguia will brief the commission about crime and quality of life in West Campus. The student living neighborhood typically has a surprisingly high crime rate.

The meeting got underway at 4 p.m.: you can watch the commission online

Laura first joined the KUT team in April 2012. She now works for the statewide program Texas Standard as a reporter and producer. Laura came to KUT from the world of television news. She has worn many different hats as an anchor, reporter and producer at TV stations in Austin, Amarillo and Toledo, OH. Laura is a proud graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, a triathlete and enjoys travel, film and a good beer. She enjoys spending time with her husband and pets.
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