Chief touts increased arrests, drop in crime

McManus credits collaborative effort between HOA’s, officers

Author: Tim Gerber , Reporter, tgerber@ksat.com
Published On: Sep 11 2012 06:14:06 PM CDT   Updated On: Sep 11 2012 06:36:27 PM CDT
SAN ANTONIO -

Crime is down and arrests are up, according to a letter sent from San Antonio police's top cop to leaders of the city's Home Owner Associations.

The so-called "E-Blast" credits the department's neighborhood policing units and a strong working relationship with the HOA's and their members.

San Antonio Police Chief Bill McManus is proud of the cooperation he's seen between his officers on the streets and the residents they are sworn to protect.

The collaborative effort is paying off.

The chief said arrests are up 16 percent, narcotics charges are up 23 percent and they've seen a 160 percent increase in gang arrests.

Additionally, the department has reduced emergency response times by 15 percent which is an average response time of about 45 seconds.

The numbers add up to give San Antonio one of the lowest violent crime rates among major U.S. cities.

"Our arrests were up in all categories," McManus said. "We've taken a much more targeted approach recently and we're going to do that going forward."

KSAT Crime Specialist Eddie Gonzales was impressed with the stats touted in the chief's E-Blast. The retired SAPD detective said it shows the importance of citizens partnering with the police department.

"This is where most of the information comes from, the public with their eyes and ears. This is where we're looking to get information," Gonzales said. "We've always been a step behind the bad guys so when you involve the citizens it's a really positive thing when you get their eyes and ears out there and you really get them involved in it."

Gonzales said neighborhood crime watch programs are a good start. He also recommends citizens get involved with their HOAs so they know what's going on in their community.

But the most important thing citizens can do is report a crime when it happens.

"I know a lot of people are worried about their safety and getting their family involved. Sometimes they don't even have to do that," Gonzales said. "They can help police get pointed in the right direction of where to look for where the problem is."

While the police department is making progress on violent crimes they admit we still have a big problem with property crimes like theft which make up 70 percent of all property crimes.

To combat that officers recommend parking in well lit areas, locking your car at all times and keeping valuables out of sight or in your trunk. Finally, make sure you record serial numbers for valuable items so you can reclaim them if they are recovered.