A large organization representing Texas police officers has erected billboards warning drivers of possible dangers they face when they enter the city of Austin.
The billboards were put in place along I-35 entering Austin by the Texas Municipal Police Association (TMPA).
The billboards are a response to the Austin City Council’s vote to cut funding to the Austin Police Department by $150 million and to redirect those funds to social services and other departments.
The billboards read:
Austin Police Defunded
Enter At Your Own Risk!
A second version of the billboard also reads “Limited support next 20 miles.”
The billboards also feature the hashtag #backtheblue.
TMPA said, “As the largest police association in Texas, it is our duty and responsibility to stand up for the brave men and woman of the Austin Police Department (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.”
Texas Governor Greg Abbot tweeted in an apparent show of support for the move to erect the billboards.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) September 9, 2020