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Northeast Austin Rundberg Residents Fighting Back
Police say the Rundberg area in North Austin only has five percent of the city's population but eleven percent of its violent crime and seven percent of its property crime.
Tuesday night, home and business owners along Rundberg met with Police Chief Art Acevedo at Lanier High School to determine the next steps to regain control of their neighborhoods.
Several residents at the meeting praised Austin police for the measures they've already taken in fighting crime. Acevedo told them about a million dollar federal grant that will be used for the "Restore Rundberg" program. Neighbors say an increased police presence has been good, however more needs to be done.
Julius Lane with the North Acres Homeowners Association said, “I keep up with the spot crime on the internet and there's a lot of crime right in there. And I'd like to see less. We just want to keep it out of our neighborhood."
Some of the high crime Rundberg is seeing includes home and car burglaries, robberies, assaults, prostitution and drug trafficking. Residents say the installation of surveillance cameras was a big step so police could keep a better eye on the area.
Julius Lane was one of them. Lane said, "There are some things that have been done that are very good, like the cameras that they put up. But we'd like to see what's going on and what's going to be done."
Acevedo said his department is formulating a crime fighting plan to use the million dollars but to be effective input from the residents has to be part of it.
According to Acevedo, "Those enforcement dollars will go a long way in helping us impact crime. But more than that, what this is going to do is use sociologists from the University of Texas to come up with a comprehensive plan with great input from 38,000 residents on how we make this the best place it can be for the residents, the people who work here and the people that live and have businesses here."
Acevedo says the one million dollar grant dedicated to the Rundberg area will be used over the next three years.
By Ron Oliveira