Commander Donald Baker

As Interviewed by Walker K., March 17, 2015
"When the name Rundberg is not a negative name, and people think of it as a place to go, that will be success."
Commander Donald Baker

Introductory Profile: Introduction to Commander Donald Baker

My interviewee for the First Hand History Project was Commander Donald Baker of the Austin Police Department. I came to know Commander Baker through my Godmother, Kyran FitzGerald. She is a grant writer for the Austin Police Department. I came to her asking if a police officer would be willing to be the center of my project and she hooked me up with Commander Baker. Commander Baker talked about the Restore Rundberg Project. He is the overall leader of the project. Commander Baker is a very likeable guy. He was very engaged in my entire project and he also was very enthusiastic about my interview. I think he didnít really see my project as just a middle school kid having to do a project. I think he saw it as a way to educate people on what is being done in the area of Rundberg and what problems still arise there. An interesting thing he told me was that I can do another project in five years to see what progress the project has made.

The topics that were covered in the interview were problems in the Rundberg area, what is being done in the area, and how close the Rundberg Project is to being done. Some problems facing Rundberg are prostitution, drugs, and homeless camps on private property, among others. Those are just the main problems the police department is trying to fix. One thing that is being done is the police officers are walking around the neighborhood and getting to know the residents of the area. They are doing this so the residents will feel comfortable and the police officers will also be able to find out who is causing the problems. The Restore Rundberg Project is close to the finish line but still has a while to go. The grant will run out in a couple of years, but the Commander is hoping he can get the community invested in the project. The feeling of the interview was very straightforward and very business-like. Overall, I think the interview was very interesting. I really enjoyed the experience.