After voters handed Proposition B on Could 1, Austin is reinstating guidelines that ban homeless encampments on public land, prohibit sitting or mendacity down in components of the town, and place a nighttime curfew on panhandling.
Whereas these guidelines go into impact Tuesday, the town mentioned enforcement can be phased in.
In an announcement Monday, the town mentioned police received’t ticket or make arrests throughout an preliminary 30-day interval except there’s an instantaneous risk to public well being or security. Officers will as an alternative “present out there sources and verbal warnings.”
Police will “start to situation written warnings and preliminary citations” within the second part of enforcement, the announcement mentioned.
Within the third and fourth phases, officers can “provoke arrests and/or encampment clearances in conditions the place compliance has not been achieved after a quotation has been issued.”
Prop B won by a 15-point margin. Supporters argued the city’s 2019 decision to melt legal penalties associated to homelessness made the town much less protected and contributed to a rise in public encampments. Opponents argued legal penalties for habits associated to homelessness usually make issues tougher for individuals to get housing.
The define of the plan comes after days of confusion surrounding the technique. Metropolis Supervisor Spencer Cronk and interim Police Chief Joseph Chacon will present an replace at a information convention Tuesday.
Final week, Cronk floated the thought of a “phased strategy,” suggesting APD wouldn’t instantly begin issuing tickets to individuals who violated the ordinances.
“It is vital for all of our residents to know that, even with a number of departments partnering on their implementation efforts, this isn’t going to occur on Could 11,” he mentioned. “That is going to be a course of that’s over time.”
Cronk’s feedback got here shortly earlier than Council’s approval of a plan to search out city-owned land for momentary campsites as a part of the HEAL initiative. That effort, which preceded Prop B, goals to ban tenting in some areas of Austin after connecting individuals with housing.
Due to these ongoing efforts, Cronk mentioned, the town will give attention to “important outreach and training” because it pertains to imposing the ordinances.
At an event hosted by the Texas Public Coverage Basis on Monday, Council Member Mackenzie Kelly mentioned she believes a draft of the enforcement plan will probably be out there Tuesday, including that she thought it was “popping out too late.”
“I voiced my concern about why didn’t we’ve got a plan in place. We knew this was going to occur,” she mentioned. “All the pieces is simply too late and it’s too little right here on the metropolis of Austin. It’s not nice.”
Again in 2019, the Austin Police Division ready coaching bulletins for officers on the right way to greatest implement the then-new guidelines. KUT requested the division if it had issued comparable steering in relation to Prop B, however has not but acquired a response.
This story was produced as a part of the Austin Monitor’s reporting partnership with KUT.
The Austin Monitor’s work is made doable by donations from the group. Although our reporting covers donors occasionally, we’re cautious to maintain enterprise and editorial efforts separate whereas sustaining transparency. An entire listing of donors is obtainable here, and our code of ethics is defined here.