SAN ANTONIO – Since elected to San Antonio City Council in 2013, District 3 Councilwoman Rebecca Viagran has constantly pushed for the city to build a police substation on the city’s Southeast Side to combat crime.
But with recent protests pushing police reform, she says this is an incredible opportunity to explore a public safety substation instead.
“Re-envisioning this now, we have a great opportunity, because our bond is coming up in 2022 and we can have the dollars and put it out there, really envision this plan, this with the community of what this could look like,” Viagran said.
She says she believes a police officer’s presence is still very much needed to help fight drug and sex trafficking and drag racing in the area. But she believes the station could also include other resources.
“This would be the first one we know of,” Viagran said. “My team and my office are researching where this has been done. We don’t know if it has been done, maybe we are looking overseas to other examples.”
She says using that money to invest in fair housing options could be part of it, as well as providing resources and nonprofits at the station to combat domestic violence and mental health issues.
“What about expanding and looking at where are our nonprofit partners who can house there and look at dispute resolution,” Viagran said. “Maybe we can have an investment in getting community members to talk about what the disputes are, instead of getting into a fight or what have you.”
She said there is a lot of research to be done, but wants to hear from the community for input as they re-envision the public safety station.