Public Safety Task Force Starts Today

Mike Martinez dusts off the PSTF.

City Council Member Mike Martinez would like to remind everyone that the Public Safety Task Force is meeting at City Hall today, from 3:30 to 5:30pm.

If memory serves, the PSTF is nothing new but laid dormant for a few years before it was re-created late last year. "The Public Safety Task Force shall make policy recommendations to the City Council relating to gaps and core deficiencies/problems in the local strategy that secures Austin/Travis County from terrorist threats or attacks, and which will help provide within Travis County and the City of Austin a seamless, comprehensive system of responding to all natural disasters or attacks that threaten to harm the public safety," reads the resolution creating the force. Well, 24's on tonight – talk about cross-promotion! But the group's about more than Osama and his ilk, covering "any incident that threatens public safety." Sounds like a fun time.

The PSTF convenes in the Boards & Commissions room at City Hall today.

UPDATE: Well, I had it wrong. While the original PSTF was created in the wake of 9/11 to examine terrorism and disaster response, the new force is a different animal. Martinez made this clear at the meeting today, saying the group will consider public safety topics as varied and controversial as police overtime, red light cameras and staffing levels. In one sense, by tackling the topic that sucks all the air (and cash) outta the room at budget time, he's taking a gamble. But in another sense, the enterprising council member's also created a powerful bully pulpit for himself.

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City Council, Public Safety, Mike Martinez, Terrorism, Public Safety Task Force, City Hall

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