Austin police are hosting a "community walk" Saturday through an area of the city infamous for its open-air drug market. APD has targeted the area of 12th and Chicon Streets since last year with a so-called Drug Market Intervention program modeled after an effort in High Point, North Carolina.
The program allows non-violent drug dealers to have their criminal cases suspended if they agree to work with family members or community groups to receive drug treatment and job training. The program got up and running last year after local law enforcement saw it had been used across the country with impressive results, the Austin Chronicle reported in an extensive piece last July.
“This program, Drug Market Intervention, isn’t designed to eliminate drug sales in Austin," Austin Police Commander Fred Fletcher told KUT News. "It’s not designed to eliminate drug use in Austin. It’s designed to break the culture of a drug market in one specific geographic location.”
Saturday's community walk starts at 10:00 a.m. at the Mission Possible Church at 1190 Chicon Street.