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APD Undercover Stings Help Clean Up Drug Riddled Neighborhoods

Updated: Tuesday, July 1 2014, 06:33 PM CDT

Nubian Queen Lola's is a staple of the Chicon and 12th street neighborhood.

Owner Lozina Stephens-Bell often gives away food for free to people in need.

"I went through the neighborhood and I've served hundreds of crack heads, homeless people, people in all kinds of situations young and old, knocking on the elderly doors to show love to this neighborhood because that's what's missing," Stephens-Bell said.

Her goal is to help build back up a community riddled with drugs and violent crime.

The corner of 12th and Chicon has been the center of undercover police operations since 2012. Officers tell us they arrested dozens of drug dealers and provided rehab and assistance for low level offenders.

Stephens-Bell used to call police on a daily basis to report crimes but says she hasn't had to call in six months.

"I see a much cleaner area, it took a long time to come and I think the police did their job, probably a job that should have been done 20 years ago," Stephens-Bell said. 

And the stats back that up. Austin police tell us violent crime such as murders and rapes have gone down by 77 percent, as well as a 60 percent drop in drug related crimes.

We asked police if officers will be targeting other communities plagued by drugs.

"We are reviewing areas, we look at our crime data all the time to determine what areas need attention, and so we are currently reviewing those and doing maintenance on the areas we already hit," Austin Police Sergeant Robert Jones said.

Police tell us there are several areas in mind but can't release specific locations since these are undercover drug stings.

Stephens-Bell says she's noticed major changes but the area has a long way to go and she vows to do her part.

By Rachel Kent

APD Undercover Stings Help Clean Up Drug Riddled Neighborhoods


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