Students feel 'compromised' after Defund the Police changes local sex offender policies

The city of Austin defunded its police force in summer 2020.

As a result, cops are now monitoring fewer sex offenders in same city as the UT Austin campus.

With cops in Austin, Texas, not supervising “hundreds of sex offender cases” due to Defund the Police budget cuts, Campus Reform spoke with students at the University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) about their safety. 

”The situation in the city of Austin has been critical for some time ever since the city of Austin council decided to defund the police unanimously in the summer of 2020, and reduce their police budget by one-third,” sophomore Carter Moxley said. 

Moxley also discussed UT Austin President Jay Hartzell’s decision last November to “increase [University of Texas Police Department] patrol in the west campus area and develop additional options to enhance safety for [the] students” after a violent incident near campus. 

[RELATED: UTexas students storm move-in event to demand ‘Cops off Campus’]

”The UT PD is basically stepping in where the Austin Police Department cannot because they’re so underfunded in this situation,” he stated. 

Campus Reform also spoke with Daniella, a senior who requested that her last name remain anonymous. 

As a young woman, I feel like my safety is so much more compromised without a reliable way to reach the police if I ever found myself in a dangerous situation,” Daniella said. 

[RELATED: Chicago students explain why increased crime, Lightfoot policies put them at risk]

”Violent incidents are not at all uncommon in Austin, especially around the university area, where I spend a lot of my time,” she added. “Longer wait times for help from police, if they arrive at all, makes me seriously consider acquiring a weapon as a means of self-defense, especially knowing that hundreds of sex offenders are no longer being monitored by police.” 

Likewise, Moxley told Campus Reform that a “good friend” of his “had his car broken into, but he was sent to the 311 number and it was a long time before any police officer should have to assess the situation, let alone even try to provide some resolution to the situation.”

Campus Reform reached out to UT Austin, President Jay Hartzell, and the UTPD for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.

Follow @PeterCordi on Twitter