SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio residents in District 8 and District 9 are worried about the rising crime trends and the nature of crimes they’re now seeing in their communities.
About 100 taxpayers from the North Side attended a meeting with city councilor members, San Antonio Police Chief William McManus and Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales to hear what’s being done about their crime concerns.
Resident Suzie Bayne said she is worried about crimes against women across the city.
“I am angry because this shouldn’t be,” she said. “But I’d also like to ask ‘Why?’”
This week, the San Antonio City Council approved a study to help the city determine how many more staff SAPD needs to reduce crime. The study will also examine the areas where those staff members might be needed. “If you want to reduce response times, you can’t tell police to go faster between calls. There’s gotta be more officers involved to reduce response time,” McManus said. “If you want a reactive police, you keep the numbers at a minimum. If you want a proactive police, you expand the number of police officers that you have.”
Residents said they were concerned about property crimes, burglaries and porch pirates, as well as gun crimes.
SAPD also launched a hotspot strategy to track crime in specific areas with a propensity for violent crimes like homicides, rapes, and aggravated assaults. The entire city has been broken down into seven-block radius hexbins on a map, where SAPD tracks violent crimes every 90 days. Police will not reveal where those 21 hot spots are, but they started zoning in on them last fall. Their strategy to tackle crime includes more patrols and saturation of city enforcement in places where police believe the crimes are happening.
“The first quarter of our strategy, we saw a 58% reduction in a certain number of the hotspots as compared to October through December of 2021. And then in February to March, a 72% reduction in some of the hotspots, compared from October 21 to December 21,” McManus explained.
The final analysis of that hotspot study strategy will be presented later in the summer.