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SAPD Chief McManus heads to Washington for policing forum

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SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio Police Chief William McManus is heading to Washington, D.C. Thursday to discuss ways to reform policing and bring those ideas back to the Alamo City.

McManus briefed City Council members Wednesday on changes within the department when it comes to training and responding to dangerous scenarios.

It comes as police departments across the country look at ways to reform after the nation was gripped by the tensions between the community and officers in Ferguson, Missouri, last year.

McManus said SAPD began looking at ways to improve its practices in 2008. He wants to focus his force on training to be community guardians instead of warriors.

"Trying to teach de-escalation tactics when they've really not been taught, not been focused on, much in the past is a big change. We need to make sure that officers understand that this is not done at the expense of their safety," McManus said.

McManus said SAPD officers adopted new training practices last year that follow the what's called "LEED model," which stands for "listen and explain with equity and dignity."

McManus will meet with the Department of Justice and police chiefs from around the U.S. while in Washington.