AUSTIN, Texas (FOX 7 Austin) - It’s common for law enforcement agencies to experience an uptick in crime during summer months.
According to the Austin Police Department, parts of Rundberg Lane have recently seen an increase in crime. They’re hoping a decade old initiative will help combat crime in those problems areas.
For years Austin Police Officer John Nelson has been concentrating on cleaning up Rundberg Lane. “We focus on the flare ups and hot spots that appear in the community,” said Nelson.
Recently he’s set his sights on Northgate Boulevard, just west of Rundberg Lane.
“This area right here has had a higher call for service,” said Nelson.
He says over the last five years the location has been riddled with crime. “Problems with narcotics, the homeless population, mental health issues and abandoned vehicles,” said Nelson.
The restoration of Northgate Blvd. is part of the ‘Restore Rundberg’ project which started back in 2012.
It’s been a decade since the Austin Police Department received a $1 million grant to fund the initiative.
With the grant now concluded officer Nelson says a specialized beat unit has continued with efforts to keep crime down. “We will be in patrol vehicles unmarked patrols we go out on patrol bicycles go out on foot and just meet and greet citizens that are not part of any calls for services.“
He says thanks to the project they’ve been able to turn the tide in high crime areas by breaking the cycle of crime while building a sense of community. “Seen or at a five year low.”
Which is something Officer Nelson says they hope to accomplish on the Northgate Blvd.
“Improve this neighborhood as a whole,” said Nelson. He says adding stronger community outreach programs has also helped combat crime in the Rundberg Lane neighborhood.
They’ve recently introduced ‘911 for Everyone’ initiative which has opened communications with the Spanish peaking community.