AUSTIN, Texas -- The Austin Police Department launched a new program funded by a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to make the Riverside neighborhood a safer place.

  • 3-year crime review conducted
  • 4% of all crime happens in the 2 sq. mile area
  • Program seeks to build community, revitalization

A review of crime in the area between 2013 and 2016 found that 4 percent of all crime in Austin happens in the 2 square mile area.

"Austin is the fifth-safest city when it comes to violent crime in cities with populations over 500,000. But I say often, depending on where you are in Austin, you may or may not feel like you are in that fifth-safest city because crime tends to cluster in certain parts of our community. This grant will allow us to address an area that has been a chronic problem for us in new and innovative ways,” said Police Chief Brian Manley.

The main goal of the project is to reduce crime, increase trust, build community, and position the neighborhood for revitalization. Through a variety of partners, the factors contributing to crime in the area will be examined and the data will drive different strategies to help combat the issue.

"One of the strategies we will deploy will be to focus on micro hot spots of crime and to engage in community policing and hot spot policing, so that we can target the officers in key areas that we know are more problematic than others," said David Spring with the University of Texas LBJ School of Public Affairs, a partner in the project.

The program is focused on community engagement to help drive their success. For more information, visit the Riverside Togetherness Project website.