Austin Police Declare Their Main Responsibility: Preservation of Life


After several years of pressure from activists, the Austin Police Department altered its guiding set of policies by adding a “preservation of life standard” that tells officers that their main responsibility is to preserve human life even when they may be forced to use deadly force as a last resort, reports the Austin American-Statesman. The news language goes into effect July 1.

Assistant Police Chief Sean Mannix said the spirit of the policy has always been followed in the department’s culture, code of conduct, and training procedures. He said the department’s goal in adding the standard is to help residents understand that this is the case, and he said he doesn’t think it will affect the way officers perform their duties. A number of cities, including Houston and Los Angeles, have had a preservation of life standard in place for years.

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