New Police Contract Would Allow Public Release of Citizen Review Panel Documents

Officers must vote to approve new four-year contract

New Police Contract Would Allow Public Release of Citizen Review Panel Documents

Among proposed changes to the employment contract between the city and the Austin Police Association is a concession that would allow the city to release publicly all disciplinary recommendations made by the Citizen Review Panel in critical incidents regardless of whether the chief actually metes out punishment.

Currently, all recommendations made by the CRP are confidential unless discipline is imposed by the chief. But according to an email sent to APA members by union President Wayne Vincent, the concession may not be as dramatic as it sounds. "This change is not too hard to swallow when you consider that all confidential recommendations in the past have been leaked anyway," he wrote.

Indeed, CRP recommendations that Officer Nathan Wagner be fired for the 2011 killing of Byron Carter was leaked to us last month. In 2009, after the shooting of Nathaniel Sanders, the un-redacted results of a CRP-requested independent investigation into the shooting were also leaked.

The new contract would also beef up training for CRP members – including a requirement that each member accompany officers on a night-shift walking beat – and increases to eight hours the amount of time that each panelist has to review Internal Affairs investigative files generated in critical incidents, including otherwise confidential information.

Another new provision would allow the department to hire retired officers in good standing to work during specific special events – Mardi Gras, SXSW, Texas Relays, Halloween, and over the Formula One race weekend.

Among the other items included in the proposed four-year contract are a 5.5% pay raise over the life of the contract (1.5% the first year followed by two consecutive years of a 1% raise capped off by a 2% raise in the fourth year); a specific protection against discrimination by the city against officers who go to the union for help with a problem; adding Farsi and Arabic to the list of bilingual languages for which there is an additional stipend; and a provision to allow officers facing possible discipline a chance to review, prior to a Disciplinary Review Hearing, the investigative summary of their case, and the opportunity to decline to go before a DRH at all.

The new contract would expire Sept. 30, 2017.

Union members will vote on whether to approve the contract. Voting ends at 8am on June 24.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Austin Police Department
Scratch That: Dusterhoft Still at APD
Scratch That: Dusterhoft Still at APD
We were wrong earlier today, and here's what really happened

News Staff, Nov. 16, 2018

More Drama for Dusterhoft
More Drama for Dusterhoft
Complaint alleges APD commander procured drugs

Chase Hoffberger, Nov. 12, 2018

More Cops
Austin Cop Involved in Fatal Shooting Retires While Investigation Ongoing
Austin Cop Involved in Fatal Shooting Retires While Investigation Ongoing
Criminal inquiry continues, but internal investigation closed

Jordan Smith, Oct. 22, 2013

No Jury Trial For DA Lehmberg
No Jury Trial For DA Lehmberg
Judge will decide whether to remove elected official

Jordan Smith, Oct. 18, 2013

More by Jordan Smith
'Chrome Underground' Goes Classic Car Hunting
'Chrome Underground' Goes Classic Car Hunting
Motoreum's Yusuf & Antonio talk about the biz and their reality TV debut

May 22, 2014

APD Brass Shifts Up, Down, Across
APD Brass Shifts Up, Down, Across
Musical chairs at Downtown HQ

May 9, 2014


Criminal Justice, APD, cops, policing, Austin Police Association, Citizen Review Panel, reserve officers, special events, Disciplinary Review Hearing, Internal Affairs, police shooting, Austin Police Department

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle