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APD cracking down on violent crime in targeted neighborhoods

The Austin Police Department's Metro Tactical Unit is cracking down on violent crime in targeted Austin neighborhoods. (CBS Austin)

The Austin Police Department's Metro Tactical Unit is cracking down on violent crime in targeted Austin neighborhoods.

The unit is focused on making southeast and southwest Austin safer for the people who live there.

"There is a lot of theft and drugs and drinking and parties and there's a lot of children in this area and that's a big concern of ours," said Allisa Smith.

APD says complaints from citizens combined with data from the department's crime analysts led to the start of a violent crime initiative in Region IV.

"Any offense is something we are concerned about whether it's a violent crime or property crime or burglary," said APD Commander Pat Connor.

According to an arrest report, the department's Metro Tactical team was patrolling the area of East Stassney Lane this week and pulled over Donald Sauls for no license plate light. That traffic stop led to the seizure cocaine and marijuana.

"The metro tac guys, like where this affidavit came from, they are kind of our resource that's not assigned to take calls. They have the freedom and the ability to go out and start focusing on those problem areas," Cmdr. Connor said.

It's an initiative that hasn't gone unnoticed by those who live in the area.

Smith said she's noticed an increased police presence in her neighborhood. She and her sister Megan say the biggest problem for them is theft.

"Lawnmowers, AC units, my boyfriend's van got broken in and all of his utility guns, this trim guns all that was taken," Smith said.

Krimelabb data for the 78744 zip code reveals 128 vehicle burglaries have been reported in the last three months.

APD is now working to educate residents about crime happening in their neighborhood with the hope it will help improve community relations.

"If they're not reporting things that they see that are suspicious or that they find troubling we may not be doing anything about it because we don't know," Connor said.

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