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Monitor report spurs APD policy change

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TWC News: Monitor report spurs APD policy change
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Beginning in August, Austin police officers will need written consent to search a car or person during a traffic stop.

The policy change comes on the heels of the 2011 Police Monitor Report which was released Thursday. The report showed that black and Hispanic people are about three times as likely to be searched when compared to white people.

Police Monitor Margo Frasier told YNN Friday the study shows that progress has been made when it comes to officer accountability.

Frasier also made 20 recommendations in the report. Police Chief Art Acevedo has responded to two so far.

The police monitor said Friday that better and more efficient communication between her office and the Austin Police Department is needed to better serve the public.

"I want to see things happen quickly,” Police Monitor Margo Frasier said. “When there is a possibility to see change, I want to see it happen."

Wayne Vincent, head of the Austin Police Association, welcomes the Monitor's suggestions and policy changes as needed.

"I've got no problems with recommendations coming in from anywhere," Vincent said. "It does create an outside opportunity for outside individuals who are somewhat trained to give recommendations to the police department so that we're not operating in a vacuum."

Other recommendations include enforcing current pursuit policy, formal incident debriefing among all parties, reminding officers of consequences for violating general orders and conducting an investigation related to drinking alcohol while on duty.

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