The Austin Police Department is the local law enforcement agency for the city of Austin, Texas. It employs about 2,200 personnel, with around 1600 of those being sworn officers. Their mission statement of the APD, according to their website at austintexas.gov/department/police, is: “To keep you, your family, and our community safe.” It maintains its headquarters at 715 East 8th Street in downtown Austin.
The APD is organized into six Bureaus:
- Headquarters Bureau consists of four divisions. HQ Command handles public information, staffing, headquarters security, executive protection, constituent and community liaising, and magistration. Recruiting & Training handles recruiting, cadets, field training, learned skills, continuing education and wellness. Technology Command handles the APD’s fleet, police technology and the DMAV. Research & Planning handles crime analysis, research & planning, data quality assurance, records entry, warrants, report sales and records management.
- Investigations Bureau is comprised of five divisions. Violent Crimes I handles homicides, cold cases, special investigations, robberies and missing persons. Violent Crimes II handles child abuse, domestic violence/DVERT, crisis intervention, sex crimes and SOAR (Sex Offender Apprehension and Registration). Property Crimes handles arrest review, animal cruelty, forensics, auto theft, financial crimes, burglary, white collar crimes and property interdiction (PAWN). Intelligence handles Austin Regional Intelligence Center (ARIC) strategic intel, emergency planning, the Real Time Crime Center and tactical intel. Organized Crime handles major crimes, gang related crimes, narcotics, conspiracy, firearms, human trafficking, the department’s VICE unit and their K-9 unit.
- North Patrol Bureau, one of the APD’s two patrol services bureaus, is comprised of four divisions. Each of the divisions of North Patrol includes Metro Tactical units as well as detectives. DTAC Patrol is the Downtown Area Command, covers an area of 40 square miles sharing some of Region I, and includes the Downtown Rangers. Maps of DTAC’s coverage can be found at Region I Map and George Map. Region I Patrol covers the Central West and North Central Areas. Maps of its coverage can be found at Region I Map, Baker Map and Ida Map. Region II Patrol maintains its North Substation at 12425 Lamplight Village Avenue and covers an area of 87 square miles, a map of which can be found at Region II Map. Special Events handles policing for events and includes the Mounted Patrol units.
- South Patrol Bureau, the other patrol services bureau, is comprised of three divisions. Each of the divisions of South Patrol includes Metro Tactical units as well as detectives. Region III Patrol/Spec Patrol maintains its East Substation at 812 Springdale Road and covers an area of 53 square miles, a map of which can be found at Region III Map. Region III is also responsible for patrol services for the city’s parks and lakes. Region IV Patrol maintains the Clinton Hunter South Substation at 404 Ralph Ablanedo Drive and covers an area of 80 square miles, a map of which can be found at Region IV Map. Region IV is also responsible for operations at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. HEC is the Highway Enforcement Command handles vehicular homicide and traffic investigations, abatement and wrecker enforcement, highway response and DWI infractions.
- Support Bureau is comprised of four divisions. Special Operations includes SWAT, Air Ops, bomb squad and bomb K-9 units, and court services. Communications includes Organizational Development & Training, 911 services, dispatch, Reports & Records, Communications Technology and Support. Field Support Services includes Forensic DNA & Chemists, Firearms, Multimedia, Polygrapher, Latent Prints, Crime Scene Techs, Property Crime Techs, Evidence, Building Services and Facilities Management. The last division of the Support Bureau is Victim Services.
- Administrative Bureau is comprised of three divisions, Human Resources, Finance and Departmental Administrative Support Staff.
The city of Austin, Texas has an estimated population of 832, 899 residents and experiences an annual average of 48,050 crimes. Violent crime accounts for about 7 percent of those crimes with murders at 31 (0.04 per 1000 residents), rapes at 213 (0.26 per 1000 residents), robberies at 986 (1.18 per 1000 residents) and assaults at 2,195 (2.64 per 1000 residents) for a grand total of 3,425 violent crimes per annum (4.11 per 1000 residents). Property crimes account for the other 93 percent of those crimes with burglaries at 7,307 (8.77 per 1000 residents), thefts at 34,994 (42.01 per 1000 residents) and motor vehicle thefts at 2,324 (2.79 per 1000 residents) for a grand total of 44,625 property crimes per annum (53.58 per 1000 residents). Overall, a resident of Austin, Texas has a 1 in 243 chance of becoming a victim of a violent crime and a 1 in 19 chance of becoming a victim of a property crime each year.
The APD website offers several helpful links to information. An online database of booking photos can be found at APD Booking Photo Database. A map application displaying crime data can be accessed at CrimeViewer. The public portion of police records can be obtained from the Incident Report Database. Publicly available information on sex offenders can be garnered at the Registered Sex Offenders Database. Active warrants can be searched at the Warrant Search Online Service.
Information on persons who currently reside within the Travis County Jail System can be obtained from the Travis County Sheriff’s Office’s website at public.co.travis.tx.us/sips/.