Councilmember shares ideas to reduce violent crime in north Austin

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — An Austin councilmember brought forth ideas Thursday to deal with violent crimes in his district.

Greg Casar held a District 4 Town Hall, where he discussed two budget proposals he hopes will decrease the amount of crime in the area near North Lamar Boulevard and Rundberg Lane.

“There will continue to be public safety staffing, but the real challenge is: how is it that we also put in our budget the kind of funding that makes it so we prevent dangerous situations before you ever have to call 911?” Casar said.

Casar wants the city to keep funding for relationship violence crisis intervention, such as the “Bridge to Safety” program from the SAFE Alliance which helps those in immediate danger get help.

He also wants to increase funding for the Community Health Paramedic division of Emergency Medical Services. EMS crews speak to the homeless about issues they’re experiencing and direct them to resources such as medical care and mental health care. Casar said he wants to expand the Street Med program to engage with people experiencing homelessness.

Austin City Manager Spencer Cronk will release his budget plan Monday.

Casar also discussed four new traffic lights on North Lamar Boulevard meant to improve safety, a groundbreaking at Georgian Acres park, and funding for homelessness services and the sobriety center.

“What’s great about this group is it’s really solutions-based, and people here can present their concerns, the real, valid things they see in their neighborhood, and then our job is to come back to these meetings and say ‘Here are some potential solutions’ and help our community members help to act those solutions,” Casar said.

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