Austin police on patrol in Rundberg district


by JESSICA VESS / KVUE News & Photojournalist KENNETH NULL

Bio | Email | Follow: @JessicaV_KVUE

Posted on February 28, 2013 at 12:18 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 28 at 12:36 PM

AUSTIN -- Police are out in full force patrolling one of the city's largest crime hot spots, the Rundberg district.

Officers are on a 100 percent enforcement crackdown from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday.
“I think it's great that they're spending some more time out here and trying to get rid of the problem,” said Darrel Richards.
Richards owns DR’s Used Cars on Rundberg Lane. The company opened shop more than 25 years ago. He tells KVUE he has seen crime rates rise in the neighborhood.
“We still see some people out here that's dealing drugs. Seems like they know where the police are and where the cameras are, they just kind of hide from them. It's still going on,” explained Richards.  
The Rundberg district is a relatively small part of Austin. It stretches out across less than six square miles. However when the APD studied crime city-wide, it found a significant amount centered around Rundberg.
A report from the APD shows that from 2007 to 2011 the area saw:
  • 11 percent of violent crime including murder, rape and robbery
  • 7 percent of property crime such as burglary, theft and auto theft
  • 9 percent of Part II crimes including sex offenses, drugs, weapons and criminal mischief
The department applied for a $1 million federal grant last year to help fight the crime. It won. Now, new efforts are underway to revitalize the area. The initiative is dubbed the Restore Rundberg Project.
Patrols are watching for all crimes, but have a focus on narcotics, prostitution and gang-related problems. They'll watch the entire Rundberg corridor from Middle Fiskville Road to Lamar Boulevard as well as the frontage road along Interstate 35.
APD says it will hold similar enforcement initiatives throughout the year and is still monitoring crime in the community through surveillance cameras.