Safety group calls for more police on Drag
SafeHorns founder sees some progress, but says ‘students deserve better.’
The founder of a University of Texas safety organization told a city commission Monday that the group has had some successes but is still struggling to get the support it needs to make the Drag safer.
The organization, SafeHorns, was founded last year after UT freshman Haruka Weiser was killed on campus, and it has focused much of its attention on reducing crime on the stretch of Guadalupe Street along UT known as the Drag.
When asked if the Drag is safer now compared with a year ago, SafeHorns founder Joell McNew said crime comes and goes in waves based on police presence: When police officers are there, crime is not as frequent, and when they’re not, crime is frequent.
“UT students deserve better,” McNew told the Austin Public Safety Commission on Monday. “They deserve what other neighborhoods have.”
SafeHorns wants to see a constant, increased police presence on the Drag, McNew said, and it is calling for the city to invest in placing more officers in the area.
Austin police spokeswoman Anna Sabana said Austin police are assigned to the Drag area.
“There have been times when we had additional resources in the area for a variety of reasons, but the crime is impacted very little,” Sabana said.