Austin PD makes policy, training changes after 2020 protests By:

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By Amanda Spence

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AUSTIN, Texas — The Austin Police Department has released its After Action Report (AAR) following incidents surrounding 2020 protests.

According to a press release, a number of protests occurred in downtown Austin that echoed the national protests going on across the country after the deaths of both George Floyd and Michael Ramos. Demonstrations took a turn from peaceful to violent, including criminal acts as well as injured protesters and officers. Soon after the protests, the department’s executive staff prompted an internal review.

“I feel confident in releasing this report and its inclusion of implementation steps for each focus area,” Chief Joseph Chacon said. “We have accomplished much in the past two years and fully recognize we have much more to achieve.”

Seventeen areas of analysis are included in the report, which lists the findings, recommendations and implementations for improvements. A few areas the department is focusing on improving include:

  • De-escalation techniques and training: The department will ensure its officers are trained regularly when it comes to de-escalation techniques, such as active listening, verbal communication and maintaining a safe distance.
  • Improvements to Mobile Field Force: A need was found for regular and ongoing Mobile Field Force, crowd management and riot control training.
  • Training for an integrated response: Not all officers were familiar with the Special Response Team’s (SRT) responsibilities during the protests and coordinated response proved difficult. The department is now conducting integrated training across departments and units.

The department has already implemented many of the changes outlined in the AAR. View the full report below.