Congressman Smith Applauds Austin Police Department
Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX) today met with Police Chief Art Acevedo to discuss recent reports regarding violent crime in Austin. On June 9, the FBI released its Uniform Crime Report (UCR) detailing statistics and tracking trends for violent crime nationwide. Despite an overall decrease nationally, some cities still experienced a rise in crime, including Austin.
Congressman Lamar Smith, who represents parts of Austin, issued the following statement regarding his meeting with Police Chief Acevedo:
"I appreciate Chief Acevedo taking time to meet with me today and discuss recent reports about crime in Austin. We had a productive conversation regarding trends he's seeing in the community, as well as what resources local law enforcement officials need to help keep Austin safe.
"One of the things we'll be doing in Washington this week that will have a direct impact on Austin is to reauthorize the Byrne-JAG grants, which provide hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding to local law enforcement officials across the country. On Wednesday, the Judiciary Committee is expected to pass the bipartisan bill and send it to the House floor for a vote. We anticipate a significant portion of that funding going to Texas law enforcement agencies. The funding received by the Austin Police Department will directly impact over one million Austin area residents by supplementing current crime fighting efforts.
"Chief Acevedo is clearly committed to reducing crime and protecting the citizens of Austin. I am confident that through their tireless efforts, the men and women of the Austin Police Department will continue to ensure safe neighborhoods and communities throughout greater Austin."
In 2007, Congressman Smith was named Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction over issues related to crime, national security, civil liberties, immigration and intellectual property. As the senior Republican on the Committee, Ranking Member Smith oversees hearings and promotes legislation to help prevent violent crime and protect the rights of victims.
For more information regarding Austin statistics and national crime trends, visit: http://www.fbi.gov/page2/june08/crimestatistics_060908.html.