Chief McManus joins West Side community to combat crime

Community, chief walk streets to determine problem zones

SAN ANTONIO – A West Side neighborhood is taking a stand against crime and not just calling police when it happens. They’re partnering with the San Antonio Police Department to send a clear message to criminals that the streets do not belong to crime.

An evening walk on Friday night let San Antonio police Chief William McManus see the problems in the neighborhood firsthand.

“I’m sure once they see the chief, they’re going to say, ‘Hey, something’s going on for him to be out here.’ So they better cool it down or stop,” resident Rodrigo Rendon said.

As the chief, accompanied by community members, walked through the Casiano neighborhood on Saltillo Street, the group stopped for photos.

During his walk, McManus visited several businesses and homes. He also spoke to residents who voiced their concerns about drugs and prostitution in the area.

Residents in the neighborhood don’t just want police to step up patrols. They’re asking neighbors to be the eyes and ears of the community.

“They need to get together and report crime. That’s one thing that’s very important here on the West Side. A lot of people are afraid to report crime,” resident Natalia Tovar said.

McManus said he’s already got a plan.

“Here's what we do: We hear what the concerns are, what the location of the concerns are, addresses, establishments. And then whatever the issue is associated with that particular address, we will put the appropriate resources to that location," McManus said.

Rendon has lived in the community for more than 40 years. He said working together is the only way to take back their community.

"Everybody says, ‘Get out of the West Side, it’s a bad place to live in.’ But if we can change it ourselves, and make a change for the future, maybe we can break the cycle," Rendon said.

McManus said getting out and walking the streets is just part of the effort to establish a relationship with the community. Now that he knows their concerns, he hopes to show them the results of their combined efforts to fight crime.