The combined Team and Community Meetings of the Restore Rundberg Team occurred on December 11th at Jaime Padron Elementary School on West Rundberg. To start the meeting a potluck dinner was provided by the Restore Rundberg Team. After the meal, Commander Baker, on behave of Police Chief Acevedo, presented each of the Team members a Certificate of Appreciation for their superior service as a member of the Restore Rundberg Revitalization Team.
Austin Police Department staff presented information about the APD activities during the last year in the Restore Rundberg area including community flyers, weekly DR meetings at the YMCA, apartment coalitions, mentoring at schools, working with Ken Street Group, sponsoring the Run with the Running Man, developing the CARE team in conjunction with several social organizations, promoting street cleanups on several neighborhood streets and the walking patrols in the hot spots.
APD reported that the early 100% enforcement strategy was not effective in reducing crime in the area. Since the walking patrols have started in the three hot spots there have been some improvements. The University of Texas report by Dr. Springer revealed that there has been a 0.6% decrease in crime in the Restore Rundberg area in proportion to what has occurred in Austin during 2014. Overall criminal activity has decreased in most categories except for robbery by assault and auto theft. Favorable decline in crimes have occurred in the Hot Spots at Northgate and Sam Rayburn, but the Rundberg/I-35 area continues to be problematic.
The community survey is still being conducted and will continue until mid next year. Over 300 surveys have been completed through door-to-door contact, community events and online responses. The most effective method to reach the Hispanic community was with door-to-door contact. The number one concern expressed on the survey was crime, followed by drug use, trash, traffic, and upkeep of properties. In 2015, an effort will be made to reach out to other ethnic groups and perform a process evaluation by meeting with area representatives.
In 2015, APD will focus on Hot Spot #1 (Rundberg/I-35), auto theft and robbery by assault, and scale up social services for addressing homelessness and prostitution.
Time was not available during the meeting for the Team to vote on the replacement of team members for Places 3, 7, 8, and 13 or to ask questions. The voting will take place at the January 8th meeting. The nominees are:
Place 3 – North Lamar Combined Contact Team: Monica Guzman and Rolando Delgado
Place 7 – Hispanic Community: David Contreras and Rolando Delgado
Place 8 – Immigrant Communities: Abel Lopez-Soto
Place 13 – Community Health: Mary Jo Hernandez and Aida A. Cerda-Prazak
As of 09/30/2014, the expenses for the Restore Rundberg Program have been $317,889 leaving a balance of $682,111 of the $1,000,000 grant from the Justice Department.