The Austin Chronicle alerted us that the Austin Police Department is looking at the possibility of opening its own magistration and jail-booking facility and has even begun talks with City Management. Up until 2000-2001, Austin Police ran their own jail at 7th and IH-35, however, APD now contracts with Travis County for this service. Every few years, and my guess it is at contact negotiations time, APD sends out a press release stating that they are thinking about opening their own jail. APD states that they will save money by doing this, but by the time they calculate the costs of the facility, jailers, magistrates, medical staff, food service, and transportation to and from court, just to name some of the major expenses, I think it is not too difficult to realize that it is just too cost prohibitive to attempt this. While it might look good on paper, I think it is just a negotiations ploy.
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