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APD's New Policy

APD chief says officers and employees will likely be fired for DWI

Red River tragedy Art Acevedo
Police Chief Art Acevedo cracks down on DWI.  Photo courtesy of KVUE News

KVUE -- Effective immediately, the Austin Police Department and other department employees will likely be fired for a first-time drunken driving arrest, even if their criminal cases end in a dismissal.

Police Chief Art Acevedo unveiled his new policy Wednesday via an internal video to the department's more than 2,000 employees. KVUE News obtained the video in collaboration with the Austin American-Statesman.

"Whether you are sworn or not sworn, DWI is something we can no longer tolerate," Acevedo said in the video. "We have to have policies that are reflective of our policies in the community and policies that will save lives and ultimately save our life." 

Under previous APD policy, Acevedo had discretion whether to allow an officer arrested for DWI to stay on the force. He frequently fired officers for a first offense drunk driving charge.

Ken Casaday, spokesman for the Austin Police Association, said the police union is concerned about the policy change.

"There are cases that are thrown out," he said. "There are cases where it has been proven the officer was not intoxicated at the time. So we just feel like it needs to be case-by-case. Not a blanket policy."

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See the full story on KVUE.com

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