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City refutes police union's reasoning for annexation opposition

Police Department says response times improved, union says otherwise

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SAN ANTONIO – The city of San Antonio and the police department released statistics Wednesday claiming police response times have improved, contrary to what the San Antonio Police Officers Association cited as one of its reasons for opposing planned annexations.

On Tuesday, SAPOA released a statement in opposition to the city's plans on annexation. In its statement, SAPOA cited increased response times in 2014 due to under-staffing in the police department as a reason the city should not pursue annexation.

According to numbers released Wednesday by the city, response times decreased in 2014, as the department reached its quickest response time ever just under seven minutes.

Below are the response-time numbers by year that the city released. The numbers represent the elapsed time from the 911 call to the arrival of officers at the scene.

  • FY 12: 7:42
  • FY 13: 7:10
  • FY 14: 7:08
  • FY 15: 6:57

The city said FY 2015 was the first sub-7-minute average, despite a 2 to 3 percent annual growth in calls for service.

“SAPD’s emergency response times are faster –- they have been each of the last four years –- and more importantly, crime rates are down 5 percent, too,” Police Chief William McManus said in a statement.

The union said Tuesday that the police department is already understaffed and annexation would require another 165 officers.

The city said there are some vacancies due to the failure to reach a deal with the union on a collective bargaining agreement.

Deputy City Manager Peter Zanoni said the proposed annexation will cover the cost of the new officers and is not stretching the existing police force.

The city said it expects to finish the year with 40 vacancies in the police department.