January 21, 2022

Notice of complaint related to 2022-0037

The complainant alleges that Austin police officers did not follow health and safety protocols by not wearing masks while on duty.

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NOTICE OF COMPLAINT January 21, 2022 ICMS #: 2022-0037 On January 18, 2022 the OPO received an email complaint. The complainant alleges: I was shocked to see a police officer enter today - - unmasked. All the staff were masked, and almost all the customers were masked, and yet when I suggested to the policeman that he too should wear a mask, he said, with a smile, that he didn’t have to, that masks were optional at This is not quite true. Austin Public Health is part of the government of Austin, as is the police department. (The email address austintexas.gov in your email proves it.) And as you no doubt know, or should know, Austin Public Health has repeatedly put out the message that at Stage 4 and 5, particularly, we should all be masked indoors, vaccinated or not. The hospitalization rates in Austin are such that it is a civic duty to do everything possible to stop the spread of Covid. Duty is the key word. I was surprised and disheartened to see an Austin police officer showing so little sense of duty to the community and so little awareness that his example with encourage others who may think masking is just too inconvenient that they need not put one on. If a police officer speeds, why would I think that I need to follow the speed limit? Please inform all of your officers to set good examples and to do right by the community. Follow the recommendations of Austin Public Health. And they need to remember that their salaries are paid by tax payers like me, not by the governor of Texas whose messages are quite contrary to those of Austin Public Health. This notice of complaint is a request for Internal Affairs to initiate an investigation to determine if the employee conduct is within compliance of APD policy, Civil Service Rules, and Municipal Civil Service Rules.
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