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Although Austin has remained a relatively safe city, there have been far too many shootings of African American men. What kind of changes would you institute at APD to reduce the number of officer-involved shootings and reduce the degree of mistrust that exists between the African American community and the police?

Ann Kitchen

City Council, District 5

The last proposed police contract was not accepted by the Council and I voted with my colleagues to continue negotiations, both for financial reasons and to create the opportunity to improve accountability. I worked with the Austin Justice Coalition on these and other reforms. I support high standards, accountability and transparency.

I am also currently working with the Austin Justice Coalition and other stakeholders to reform the response system for people in mental health crisis. I helped lead efforts to fund $75,000 for planning a best-practice approach for first response for people experiencing mental health crisis. Ensuring that a mental health clinician is the first person to engage with a person in crisis, wherever possible, can help reduce some incidents.

I am also interested in exploring innovative community models to address violence as a public health issue and to partner with APD to foster trust – as cities like New York have done.