Abbott considering proposal for state takeover of APD

September 3, 2020 in News by RBN Staff



AUSTIN ( — In the wake of the Austin City Council voting to shift resources away from the Austin Police Department, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says he’s looking at one proposal that would put the department under state control.

The proposal, which was sent to Abbott by former Texas House Representatives Terry Keel and Ron Wilson, would allow for the Texas Department of Public Safety to absorb the local police department of any city with 1 million or more residents, and less than two officers per 1,000 residents.

According to the proposal, DPS would control the new department, and the state’s Public Safety Commission – a five-member board appointed by the governor that oversees DPS – would decide its budget, which would be taken from sales tax revenues normally sent to the city.

Abbott, in a tweet Thursday afternoon, said it’s one strategy he’s looking at. “We can’t let Austin’s defunding & disrespect for law enforcement to endanger the public & invite chaos like in Portland and Seattle,” Abbott tweeted.

The proposal would need to be passed by the Texas Legislature.