Rundberg area sees 10 percent drop in crime

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Restore Rundberg Project–a joint effort by residents and the police to clean up the neighborhood–is nearing its third year. The project’s goal is to rid the neighborhood of crime and drugs was made possible by a $1 million federal grant.

The task was monumental. The intersection of I-35 and Rundberg Lane accounted for 11 percent of all crime in the City of Austin.

Police interviewed 15,000 people in the area and got an earful. A majority of the residents said they did not feel safe on their own streets.

“They would say we’ve got a problem with the homeless, they would come over and hassle us for money. Or everything feels dirty,” said Officer Taber White. “Suspicious people, the drug dealing, the prostitution.”

Police identified three hot spots for crime and cleaned them up. Eight officers are assigned to the area and they patrol in cars and on foot.

The neighbors are pitching in as well. Neighborhoods are getting scrubbed, a few makeshift parks have been built and an outreach program geared towards kids are in the five schools nearby.

“They’re making a concerned effort to improve this area and people are noticing that and people do feel better about coming down the street, knowing there’s somebody else watching them,” said Jerome Horton, a longtime resident.

A mile over, Miguel Paniagua has lived here 19 of his 21 years. It may be the best he’s seen. “I’ve seen improvements with children feeling a little more free around here. I know parents are letting them get out more, stay out a little later,” said Paniagua.

Data shows crime has dropped in the Rundberg area by 10 percent.

The next meeting for the Restore Rundberg Team will be held on Thursday, June 25 from 7-9 p.m. at 1607 Colony Creek Dr.

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