Since the start of the new year 50 Austin police officers have resigned from their posts and another 27 have retirement packages waiting for them. This could lead to even further staffing problems for the Austin Texas police force, which has already been going through a staffing crisis.
The Austin Police Association has already agreed to a new four-year contract starting from the end of March when the current agreement is set to expire. This change is meant to help bring in more high-quality officers as well as help retain existing officers.
However, on Feb. 15, the Austin City Council voted for a shorter one-year contract which led to tension with the police union. The absence of a police contract led to the city council passing a temporary ordinance that provided wages and benefits to police officers for when the current contract expires. Despite this many police officers are considering leaving.
The retirements in the first quarter of this year, with 77 officers possibly retiring by the end of March are higher than the retirement numbers since 2019. In 2019 there were 10 retirements, in 2020 there were 31, in 2021 there were 44 and in 2022 31 retirements according to the Austin Police Retirement System.
There are 232 additional officers who either are eligible for retirement or who are in a position to buy additional service credit in order to be eligible for retirement.