Motorists traveling into the city of Austin along I-35 are now greeted by a billboard that reads, “Enter at your own risk. Limited support next 20 miles.” These billboards are sponsored by the Texas Municipal Police Association (TMPA) and are accompanied by the hashtag Back the Blue.
According to TMPA, the billboards are intended to raise public awareness that Austin is a de-funded city, with little to no support coming from the city’s liberal leaders. “This reckless act, a political stunt by the city council pandering to the radical left, will do nothing but endanger the people of Austin,” a TMPA spokesperson stated.
“As the largest police association in Texas, it is our duty and responsibility to stand up for the brave men and women of the APD, as well as the other law enforcement agencies with jurisdiction within the city limits, which will have less of APD's resources to depend on, and to raise public awareness of the dangers of de-funding not just Austin, but any city across the U.S.”
The left-wing mob, which includes Black Lives Matter, Antifa, and other destitute criminal lowlifes, has devastated cities across the United States. Raging mobs have clashed violently with police, threatened innocent lives, while looting, burning and vandalizing their way to power.
Instead of actively preparing for civil unrest, the Austin City Council has decided to weaken its law enforcement operations, obeying the demands of the left-wing mob. The Austin City Council is diverting the funds away from law enforcement so they can fund their other social pet projects. This forces law enforcement officers to scale back their operations and get more creative with revenue sources.
De-funding law enforcement does not stop color of law abuses. It only emboldens the abuses, forcing police to become pirates who look for new ways to harvest money from the community. A scaled-back police force ultimately becomes overrun by the criminal mobs; officers may adapt to the influx of crime by carrying out the mob's demands. This de-funding also strains the good officers that remain, forcing them to work overtime under stressful conditions, leading to compromised decision-making.
Instead of finding ways to raise money for their pet projects, the Austin City Council has decided to take it out on their law enforcement officers, putting the city at risk. Even though it might be important to fund a trained crisis response team or provide services for victims of violent crime, law enforcement operations should not have to take the hit in order to fund these pursuits. As the safety of the city is compromised, the Austin City Council also approved tax, rate, and fee changes that would increase the financial burden for each person living in the city by 7.9 percent on average. In other words, the citizens of Austin are getting robbed twice.
This is not only a financial battle that negatively affects police budgets. The de-funding of law enforcement is more so a psychological war affecting the long term safety of the citizens. If the city leaders continue to show their disdain for the city’s own law enforcement, then this openly invites crime, terror, and mob activity in the city. If the city leaders fail to prioritize law and order, then they become part of the problem, welcoming crime and sponsoring its reach.