North Austin Civic Association

APD News Release - April 8, 2008

   APD Launches Violent Crime Task Force   
in Northeast Austin

The Austin Police Department today announced the launch of a pilot program in the Northeast Area Command known as the Violent Crime Task Force.

The Northeast Area Command includes a significant portion of NACA north of Payton Gin, and centers on the crime-infested area surrounding I-35 and Rundberg, including all of North Lamar north of 183.

As part of this pilot program, the Northeast Area Command will increase patrols to target violent crime in this specific area. The goal is to reduce violent crime by 10 percent and make the area safer.

Those agencies participating in the Violent Crime Task Force include: APD Northeast Area Command/ Organize Crime Division (Metro Tactical); Robbery Unit; Gang Unit; Fugitive Unit; Intelligence Unit; APD Crime Analyst; FBI; ATF, and the Travis County District Attorney's Office.

APD will utilize intelligence-based policing to focus on crimes such as aggravated robbery, carjacking, kidnappings and extortion. Working with task force agencies, APD will work to determine if offenders have links to organized crime or terrorist activities. If necessary, joint investigations will be opened with the FBI and United States Attorney General's Office.

Phase one of the pilot program began this week and will run through May 17, 2008. A second phase will then begin June 2, 2008, and end July 12, 2008. At that point, the pilot program will be reassessed and then possibly moved to another part of the city.

The program is federally funded under the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program designed to assist local law enforcement address violent crimes including robberies, aggravated assaults, as well as gun and gang violence. The one-year federal grant of $500,000 will help fund APD overtime costs for patrols in this area.

From the April 8, 2008 APD Public Information Office News Release.
Additional information supplied by Keith Huntsman.