(Community Matters) Enjoyed breakfast this morning (my 2nd today after the first at 7:30) with APD Officer JJ Schmidt. Officer Schmidt works in APD intelligence and offices with the Texas Department of Public Safety. He’s an Austinite from the age of 5, married to an Austin-born woman who happens to be the cousin of Brett Hurt.
We talked about the real threats against Austin public safety. Gotta remember we’re very near the border with a country overridden by drug cartels and on the corridor these drug cartels use – not to mention the capital of an important American city, even more important symbolically than our standing as 11th largest might suggest. We enjoy a relatively safe community – some of us more than others – and don’t often think about how many real threats are being monitored and disabled while we sleep, work and play.
JJ and I are gonna work on aspirational goals for entrepreneurial involvement in public safety, in supporting public safety, first responders. I’m thinking there are folks who want to see Austin as safe if not safer for their children and grandchildren. I don’t think it’ll be so without serious, innovative intervention.
I asked Officer Schmidt what three steps he’d prioritize to ensure public safety (didn’t really give him any time to think about this, but first thoughts:)
- Involvement with kids in schools – interventions and gang prevention
- Culture – making people in Austin more mindful of safety concerns
- Support for public safety personnel and infrastructure