Hundreds of convicted sex offenders are no longer being monitored by sworn police officers in Austin, Texas due to the city’s move to defund the police and cut police academy classes.

As of 2019, there were about 1,600 registered sex offenders in Austin according to the state’s sex offender database. There is no law preventing any of them from living near schools or other places where children tend to congregate, according to a local news report. About 650 of those cases were handled by officers who checked in on the registered sex offenders weekly to ensure they were where they reported themselves to be. But three of those officers were sent back to patrol as a result of the decision to defund the police, including slashing three cadet classes at the police academy, in August 2020. Defunding the police forced the department to cut the Sex Offender Apprehension and Registration Unit (SOAR).

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