‘Who You Gonna Call’ in Austin, Texas, if You Are Robbed? Cops Say Don’t Call 911


As Americans in just about every large city endure a crime wave, some of those cities have all but given up fighting crime and given the bad guys free rein over the city. Businesses are getting out of those big cities in record numbers because of rampant theft and Soros-backed prosecutors who will not charge criminals. In one city, crime has gotten so out of hand that if you get robbed, well, don’t call 911. File a report, and they’ll get back to you.

Austin, Texas, is a blue island in a fairly red state. As a result of liberal Democrat leadership that embraced the “defund the police” movement, Austin police are severely short-staffed and are asking anyone who gets robbed near an ATM to call the non-emergency 311 number instead of 911. Robbery victims also have the option of making an online police report of the incident. Austin Police took to X to inform residents what they should do if they are robbed, saying:

“Even if you are cautious & follow all the safety advice, you may still become the unfortunate victim of a robbery. Do you know what your next steps should be? Make a police report & provide as much information as possible so we can recover your property quickly and safely.” 

Police also reminded those making a report to tell them the date and time of their ATM withdrawal. So, while being robbed, possibly at gunpoint, might seem like kind of an emergency to you, Austin Police have informed citizens that they don’t have enough manpower for it to be an emergency to them.

Thomas Villarreal is the President of the Austin Police Association. He places the blame for the crime wave in the Texas state capital squarely at the feet of a seemingly uncaring city council, stating, “We just continue to have a city council that doesn’t show its police officers that [it] cares about them.”

During a recent appearance on “Fox & Friends,” Villarreal had this to say about his city’s law enforcement predicament,

We’re a growing city, a city that should be up around 2,000 officers and growing right now. I’ve got about 1,475 officers in our police department and, you know, we’re moving in the wrong direction. There’s less and less and less resources to go out and do the job. I’ve got detectives who are pulled away from their caseload to just help answer 911 calls because we just don’t have the resources to adequately police the city.

Here at RedState, we have been covering the rampant crime wave affecting Austin and other Democrat-run cities. Not only are their policing policies, post-George Floyd, affecting individual residents, but they are also affecting businesses. Business owners say they do not feel safe, and the lack of police presence or response also drives away customers. One business owner said it took ten days to get a police report, and at the same time, business owners are being asked not to have weapons for their protection in their business. Since the Black Lives Matter protests following the death of George Floyd in 2020, and as Austin’s homicide rate has climbed, 911 callers are often put on hold for up to half an hour.

In addition to what Thomas Villarreal sees as an uncaring city council, Austin Mayor Kirk Watson also does not appear to have any sense of urgency when it comes to crime in his city. Up until recently, Austin police had a partnership with the Texas Department of Safety, which Watson praised and stated that crime had gone down as a result. But just two days later, Watson announced the end of the Austin police/Texas Department of Safety alliance, stating that it did not reflect “Austin’s values.” No word from the mayor on whether being robbed and having no police available to handle the situation constitutes an “Austin value.”  Just last month, Austin Police Chief Joseph Chacon resigned after ongoing conflicts with the city council over staffing and increasingly smaller police budgets.

So, for the foreseeable future, if you get robbed in Austin at an ATM, you’d better just call it into 311 and wait your turn. Makes you wonder what the next thing to be called a “non-emergency” will be.



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