Austin PD makes policy, training changes after 2020 protests

The department’s After Action Report identifies 17 areas of analysis with recommendations for improvements, including improvements to de-escalation techniques and training


By Amanda Spence

AUSTIN, Texas — The Austin Police Department has released its After Action Report (AAR) following incidents surrounding the 2020 protests.

“I feel confident in releasing this report and its inclusion of implementation steps for each focus area,” Chief Joseph Chacon said in a press release. “We have accomplished much in the past two years and fully recognize we have much more to achieve.”

The report lists findings and recommendations for improvements in 17 areas. A few areas the department is focusing on improving include:

  • De-escalation techniques and training: The department will ensure its officers are trained regularly when it comes to de-escalation techniques, such as active listening, verbal communication and maintaining a safe distance.
  • Improvements to Mobile Field Force: A need was found for regular and ongoing Mobile Field Force, crowd management and riot control training.
  • Training for an integrated response: Not all officers were familiar with the Special Response Team’s (SRT) responsibilities during the protests and coordinated response proved difficult. The department is now conducting integrated training across departments and units.

The department has already implemented many of the changes outlined in the AAR. View the full report below.

RELATED: Protest policing: Building on recent lessons

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