In 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs Bryne Criminal Justice Innovation Program (# BJA-2013-3472) selected Austin as one of 15 cities nationwide to receive federal funding in an effort to address issues of neighborhood crime and distress. The Bryne funding, part of the Obama Administration’s Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative, was awarded to the Austin Police Department to support community-based planning efforts to reduce crime in the Rundberg area of North Austin. The overall goals of the effort are to use data-driven research in developing creative solutions to crime reduction and comprehensive strategies for community capacity building.
A disproportionate amount of criminal activity coupled with poverty, disinvestment, and unemployment within the Rundberg neighborhood discourage redevelopment and economic growth. Within Rundberg, 95% of those enrolled in school are considered economically disadvantaged, 59% have limited English proficiency, and 75% are identified as at-risk for dropping out.
Restore Rundberg is a partnership between the community, the Austin Police Department, and the UT research team headed by Dr. Springer. By focusing on criminal hot-spot areas within Rundberg, this multidisciplinary team utilizes innovative methodologies to reduce crime and to engage community members in voicing their needs and considerations for the future of their neighborhood development.