AUSTIN (KXAN) - North Austin's Rundberg Lane, an area of town that has a reputation of violence and crime, but according to the Austin Police Department, change is on the way.
The department received a federal grant of $1 million to study and improve the area that makes up 11 percent of all violent crimes in Austin.
On Wednesday, police announced they were one of seven police departments across the country to receive the grant as part of The Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Program.
Those who live and work in the area like Jesusita Coutino said the area needs whatever help it can get.
"A couple weeks ago, we saw a high-speed chase, prostitution unfortunately, drug deals -- here -- across the street from the church," said Coutino, who works at a nearby business.
Police Chief Art Acevedo said he expects the face and reputation of the area to soon change for the better.
"I'm proud to stand here today to say to the people of Rundberg in the neighborhood that will be impacted that help, additional help is on the way," the chief said when the grant was announced.
The money will be used to increase police presence and to hire the University of Texas at Austin sociology department to spend a year studying and researching the best ways to come up with a long-term fix.
David Kirk of the sociology department said the project will include hosting community meetings and gathering public input to find ways to change the culture of the area.
"I predict that at the end of the three-year period, we will see real change, change that will be noticeable," Kirk said.
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