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APD Continues Latest Phase Of Restore Rundberg Initiative
Fighting back: on Thursday morning, Austin police continue their effort to cut crime in one neighborhood by stopping smaller crimes before they escalate. It's the latest step in the Restore Rundberg project. Officers say the six square miles of the Rundberg area see 11 percent of the city's violent crime, 9 percent of sex and weapons related crime, and 7 percent of the property crimes, with only five percent of the city's population.
Thursday morning marks Day 2 of the APD Restore Rundberg Vehicle Abatement and Yard Parking Initiative. On Tuesday, police gave out code violation notices to cars that were illegally parked in yards, blocking sidewalks or crosswalks, parked with their left wheels to the curb or parked more than a foot and a half from the curb, among other violations. Now on Thursday, if those cars are still breaking the law, they'll be towed.
Police are counting on the "Broken Window Theory", the idea that by keeping urban areas in good condition, it cuts back on vandalism and escalation into more serious crime. Several Rundberg residents we talked to Thursday morning were skeptical.
"I really don’t think that the smaller things like towing people’s parked cars is really gonna make a big difference," said Julie Whitlock, who lives in the area.
"If they wanted to do anything that would probably help, it would probably be targeting drug dealers and the prostitutes and the pimps and things like that," said Kristy Windsor, who lives in the area.
A $1 million federal grant is funding the program. Police are working with the UT sociology department to come up with long term solutions to tackling crime in neighborhoods like Rundberg.
By Adam Bennett