AUSTIN, Texas — Too much crime in too small an area.

According to Austin Police Department data, the two-square-mile area of Riverside Drive and Oltorf Street to Montopolis in East Austin is responsible for 4% of the entire city's crime.

Riverside Togetherness Project area map
APD

Additionally, Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said, "Eight percent of the aggravated rapes that have occurred in our community have occurred in this area. Nine percent of the aggravated robberies with a deadly weapon, along with 8% of robberies by assault all occurred within this geographic area."

That's why APD announced Friday that they're trying something new to fix this part of Austin that sees "an inordinate amount of violent crime."

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Thanks to a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, APD will be working with community members in the area, along with small business owners and the University of Texas, to find innovative, community-based solutions for reducing crime.

According to Chief Manley, they need to think outside the box because "we can't arrest ourselves out of this problem."

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Chief Manley couldn't address specific tactics for the "Community-based Crime Reduction" program because it is so new, but said the department will also work with researchers at the University of Texas RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service to study how effective the new measures are in reducing crime.

"These are strategies that will affect long-term change, not just displace the issue that we're facing at that moment," Chief Manley said.

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