- Associated Press - Saturday, March 26, 2016

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Police say there was a drop in crime and the number of arrests at this year’s recently completed 10-day South by Southwest Conference and Festival in Austin.

The Austin American-Statesman reports (https://atxne.ws/1LQcx4z ) preliminary numbers show police reporting about 100 fewer crimes this year than in 2015.

Police say the number of arrests downtown during the festival was down by about half, from 323 in 2015 to 161 this year.

Since a driver killed four people and injured dozens more at the 2014 festival, police have expanded the presence of officers throughout the event.

A union-brokered deal with the city on overtime pay allowed the police department to fill all the shifts at the festival with volunteers. Police union leaders say the overtime pay changed officer workloads and improved officer morale.

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Information from: Austin American-Statesman, https://www.statesman.com

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