Democrat and Republican lawmakers set aside deep partisan divisions on Tuesday to meet with San Antonio and Austin police union leaders and begin work on an “action plan” to address law enforcement reform and other root issues behind Black Lives Matter protests across the country.
State Rep. Barbara Gervin-Hawkins (D-San Antonio) joined U.S. Rep. Chip Roy (R-Austin), State Rep. Steve Allison (R-San Antonio), San Antonio Police Officers Association (SAPOA) President Mike Helle, Austin Police Association President Ken Casaday, and other union members at SAPOA headquarters for a meeting that was closed to media with the exception of brief video and photo opportunities.
Defunding the police is a nonstarter, Roy said. “What we ought to be doing is making sure that police have the tools they need to carry out their job to secure the communities of San Antonio, Austin, the State of Texas. And then be working together to figure out what we can do to build bridges across communities to make sure that we’ve got the right programs in place.”