Lawmakers, officials discuss crime-fighting strategies for District 117

West Side residents concerned crime focus is on East Side

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SAN ANTONIO – Residents were eager to know where public safety falls on a list of priorities for west and south San Antonio and Bexar County, specifically in State House District 117, where the representative brought the area’s top cops to address concerns.

Ernestina Villa has lives on the near West Side for almost 20 years. She said crime never seems too far away.

“A week and a half or so, they passed by and they shot some of the car windows,” she said.

West Side community members said they understand why the East Side has gained so much attention lately, but they said they’d like some of that focus on their side of town.

At District 117’s town hall meeting Wednesday, San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said his new Violent Crimes Task Force operates in all areas of San Antonio, including the West and South sides.

McManus said the task force has made almost 5,000 arrests this year and said that has put a dent in crime. He insisted that the chance of everyday citizens becoming victims of violent crime is slim to none.

Some District 117 members, such as Olga Tavera, said they don’t feel threatened by crime.

“Where we live, we haven't had any problems,” she said.

Villa wishes she felt the same. She doesn’t engage in the risky behavior McManus said leads to violent crimes, but she still worries about her family.

“People want to be safe in their own homes,” Villa said.

Villa hopes new police initiatives will prove to be successful.

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