Austin City Councilman Calls for Expedited Demolition of Police HQ

AP File Photo of building demolition by Jacqueline Larma
AP File Photo/Jacqueline Larma

Austin City Councilman Jimmy Flannigan proposed the expedited demolition of the city’s police department headquarters. His idea came in a two-part plan to reconstruct/deconstruct the entity in the wake of recent protests and vandalism in the capital city of Texas.

“We should expedite the demolition of the APD Headquarters by directing the City Manager to move all remaining APD staff out of the existing headquarters building and into other underutilized city facilities,” District 6 Councilman Flannigan wrote in his plan posted on AustinCouncilForum.org.

Flannigan joins Democrat leaders in cities across the country calling for the defunding of police departments and other law enforcement agencies in the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis earlier this year.

Austin resident Mackenzie Kelly, Flannigan’s opponent in an upcoming city council election, called Flannigan’s proposal, “Nothing is more symbolic of recent efforts to de-fund the police than this scheme to demolish Austin Police Headquarters,” in an interview with The Hayride political blog. “If anyone for even a second thinks that these proposals are designed to save money or increase accountability, remember that Jimmy Flannigan is now proposing swinging a wrecking ball at the very heart of law and order in our city.”

In a Facebook post, she called Flannigan’s proposal “reckless and completely unthinkable.”

This awful proposal by Jimmy Flannigan is absolutely reckless and completely unthinkable at this point in time.

Posted by Mackenzie Kelly for Austin City Council on Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Flannigan also calls for “reconstructing” the Austin Police Department into multiple “distinct departments with independent department heads (some sworn) with civilian executive leadership in the [City] Manager’s office. Those departments include:

  • Department of Emergency Communications & Technology
  • Department of Patrol
  • Department of Investigations
  • Department of Traffic Safety
  • Department of Professional Standards

Flannigan goes on to call for the elimination or conversion of the Austin Police Department’s mounted patrol.

Joining in the plans to dismantle the department, Councilmember Leslie Pool called for cuts that would close the police academy for a year and other reduces resources to the Explosive Ordinance Disposal unit (bomb squad), KVUE ABC reported.

“It’s a stab in the back … a punch in the gut,” senior officer Bino Cadenas told the Austin ABC affiliate. “The men and women that put on the uniform go out and serve the community. They do it because it’s a calling. When somebody calls 911 and says, ‘There is a suspicious package at our front door and I’m scared to leave my house,’ and an officer goes and looks at it, evaluates it and decides to pick it up, knowing that somebody just calling 911 because it’s suspicious, whether they were expecting a package or not, or a mistake, that’s public service … that’s a civic duty. I just don’t think our councilmembers understand that.”

Breitbart Texas reported extensively on the efforts of the department the case of the Austin serial bomber Mark Anthony Conditt in spring 2018. Homemade bombs exploded around the city, killing some and wounding others for nearly two weeks.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s What’s Your Point? Sunday-morning talk show. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.

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