Austin Police concerned school portables will bring crime

Austin police are voicing concern over AISD's plan to move a number of portable classrooms onto the property of a North Austin elementary school. That school is located in the crime hotbed of Lamar and Rundberg Lane.

This is how APD's northeast district representatives like to see the grounds of Mollie Barrington Elementary School.

"When we have open spaces like we have behind me it lends itself to more crime prevention because it's easier for people to keep an eye on things,” said Officer Adam Soliz.

Patrol officers currently have a clear view from the front of the building on out to Rundberg Lane.

That view is important because a public park is immediately north of campus and open to all throughout the school day.

Officers say years ago when the district had more than the four existing portables on the property, they encountered things that should never go on around young children.

"You would find things like prostitution, drugs, needles, things like that. These are the kids, this is their play area, their school their property so when you introduce that into the area it's not as safe for them anymore,” said Soliz.

Officer Adam Soliz and his partners feel history is about to repeat itself as AISD has announced a plan to move more portables on school grounds in the upcoming weeks-- bringing the total to nine. Soliz said the buildings will attract criminals.

"Obviously people can conceal themselves. It's easier for them to hide and do what they’re going to do illegal activity, drugs prostitution,” said Soliz.

The 350 children who will occupy the buildings once attended t-a brown elementary. The district abruptly closed the campus last November when a facility assessment discovered the floor was unsafe.

In a letter to parents, the principal said this "portable campus" plan would be in place for two to five years.

Soliz is concerned.

"Anyone can walk on the property and no one would be none the wiser because it would be enclosed,” said Soliz.

Officers are meeting with school officials in hopes to convince them otherwise. As of now the district plans to begin moving the portables in two weeks.

AISD sent FOX 7 a statement saying: AISD Police will provide close patrols, especially in the evening and overnight hours, to curtail any criminal activity at the campus.