Converse combating rise in crime as population increases

SAN ANTONIO – The Converse Police Department is working to curb rising crime numbers as the city's population increases.

Chief Fidel Villegas said the population has increased by approximately 10,000 people in about five years as more land is annexed and new people move to the area. 

In the last six months, two fatal shootings occurred inside city limits. Another shooting occurred just outside the city's boundaries. All three victims were teenagers.

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"Our borders are seeing more of the violent crimes than we previously did. Some of (the violent crime) is in Bexar County and it spills over into Converse (and) some of it happens in Converse and spills over in Bexar County," Villegas said.

The Converse Police Department say there are several plans in the works to help control crime. In the last two years, he said he has increased his force from 33 to 45 officers.

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Villegas said there's an agreement in the works to change the current dispatch system to ensure that Bexar County Deputies on the East Side and his officers can communicate.

"It's cumbersome to communicate right now with the radio system," Villegas said "If, for example, a BCSO deputy is moving through our city and one of our offices asks for assistance in our channel he's not going to hear it. If a deputy hits an emergency tone, our officer doesn't hear it."

If the city and county come to an agreement, the issue could be fixed by summertime, he said. 

Villegas is also getting churches involved in helping to get ahead of the crime problems. 

The chief will be meeting with residents in the MacArthur Park Subdivision Saturday to address the recent shooting. 

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