SAPD chief heads to D.C. for meetings on police reform

McManus will meet with representatives of DOJ and PERF

San Antonio – San Antonio's police chief says the department is on "the forefront" of police reform, and on Tuesday he's headed to Washington D.C. to keep it there.

Chief William McManus will meet with representatives from the Department of Justice - Office of Justice Programs Diagnostic Center and the head of the nonprofit Police Executive Research Forum to talk about the SAPD's current and future reforms. McManus specifically mentioned better using data to control crime.

Speaking to reporters Monday, McManus said San Antonio is at "the forefront" of police reform. He cited changes the department has made in recent years, including revising its pursuit policy, which limits when officers can chase suspects. San Antonio officers are also receiving training on so-called "procedural justice," which basically is learning how to treat people with fairness and dignity.

However, McManus says there's more work to be done.

He said the department will decide what to do going forward after the meetings in D.C.. The chief also said the department was reviewing the suggestions from President Obama's Task Force on 21st Century Policing, which released its report last spring.

The end goal of all this is to make the SAPD a model police department.
"You can never be satisfied with where you are. If you become satisfied, then you become stagnant," McManus said. "So we're not satisfied at any level we're at, whether it's public trust, transparency, officer safety. We want to improve on all those things and continue to improve on them."

The department is also putting a lot of info on the city website through its new, one-stop "Open Data Initiative." The public can find links to live police calls for service, information on officer-involved firearm incidents, interactive crime maps, data on sworn officer demographics, use-of-force data and more.

Another upcoming reform is body cameras. The department should begin rolling those out to officers at the end of the month, starting with bike officers. Once they're fully implemented, all officers on the street should have them.

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