The Austin Police Department is asking the City Council to approve a $301 million budget for 2013, a 7 percent increase over the current year, reports the city’s American-Statesman. The proposed budget puts a priority on hiring. It includes $1.18 million to fund 22 new police officers who are expected to be hired in April, as well as $1.84 million to continue funding 47 officers added this year.
The request comes on the heels of a consultant’s study released in July that said the department needs to add about 250 officers by 2017 to keep pace with growth. Police Chief Art Acevedo said the additional officers are needed to maintain a ratio of two officers per 1,000 residents, a benchmark among police departments. The city has 2.08 officers per 1,000 residents, according to the Police Executive Research Forum.