Texas Police Group Put Up Austin Billboard Warning 'Enter At Your Own Risk!' After Dept. Defunded

A police group in Texas has erected two billboards warning people driving into Austin to "enter at your own risk!" and that there is "limited support for next 20 miles" following the city council's decision to defund the Austin Police Department.

The Texas Municipal Police Association put up the two billboards along I-35 showing support for the Austin Police Department. The signs features TMPA's logo and a #BackThe Blue hashtag.

In a statement posted to Facebook, TMPA condemned Austin city council's decision to shift resources away from its police departments and into other social services as a "reckless act [and] a political stunt." The group added the move is merely "pandering to the radical left" and will do nothing but "endanger the people of Austin."

"As the largest police association in Texas, it is our duty and responsibility to stand up for the brave men and woman of the APD, as well as the other law enforcement agencies with jurisdiction within the city limits which will have less of APDs resources to depend on, and to raise public awareness of the dangers of defunding not just Austin, but any city across the U.S.," the statement added.

There have been nationwide calls to defund police departments so the money could be used to help people elsewhere in the wake of the death of Minneapolis man George Floyd in May.

In a further statement to The Gilmore Mirror, Kevin Lawrence, Executive Director of TMPA said: "One of the core functions of a city government is to provide for the safety of its citizens. With crime rates on the rise, Mayor Adler and the Austin City Council have pandered to the radical left and begun the process of dismantling the city's police department.

"The safety of Austin citizens and visitors has never been more at risk from dangerous policies propagated by their own locally elected officials. We applaud Governor Abbott's consideration of a legislative proposal that would put the control of the Austin Police Department under state authority."

A link to an article about the billboards was tweeted by Texas Governor Greg Abbott.

Last week, Abbott said he would consider putting the Austin Police Department under the control of the Texas Department of Public Safety after the City Council voted to cut $20 million from the department's budget.

"We can't let Austin's defunding & disrespect for law enforcement to endanger the public & invite chaos like in Portland and Seattle," Abbott tweeted.

On Tuesday, Abbott urged every "Texan & every candidate for public office" to sign a pledge voicing opposition to the defunding of police departments.

The billboards were also praised by Lieutenant Governor of Texas Dan Patrick.

"Thank you to the Texas Municipal Police Association for these great new billboards that went up in Austin today. @austintexasgov ignored public safety and made a dangerous decision to #defundpolice #bigmistake," Patrick tweeted.

Austin City Council has been contacted for comment.

A police officer helps to secure the area after one person was injured by a package containing an incendiary device at a nearby Goodwill store on March 20, 2018 in Austin, Texas. The TMPA has erected two billboards warning people to enter Austin "at your own risk” and after the city council voted to defund the Austin Police Department. Scott Olson/Getty
Texas Police Group Put Up Austin Billboard Warning 'Enter At Your Own Risk!' After Dept. Defunded | U.S.