San Antonio civil rights activists weigh in on city’s $3.1 billion budget approval with increase in police funding

SAPD will get 3% increase in funds in upcoming fiscal year

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio police will get a 3% increase in funds in the upcoming fiscal year as approved by San Antonio City Council on Thursday in the $3.1 billion budget.

READ MORE: San Antonio City Council adopts $3.1 billion budget

Josey Garcia and Pharaoh Clark, with Reliable Revolutionaries, a group of like-minded civil rights advocates, say they’re trying to find the silver lining in how the community has managed to help shift funding for city programs.

“I don’t think, again, that we’ve gotten everything we want. But I do think that we’re seeing ourselves move in the right direction,” Clark said.

More than $500 million will be allocated for the San Antonio Police Department.

“We are going to be mindful and watchful of how those funds are spent,” Garcia said.

The city says its changes in the policing budget include a special pilot program to answer mental health calls and diverting animal complaints, firework calls and noise complaints to other departments. A dozen out of 15 new officers will be for the SAFFE Unit, which works with residents to reduce crime.

Clark and Garcia say the fight for more equity and police reform is far from over.

About the Authors:

Patty Santos joined the KSAT 12 News team in July 2017. She has a proven track record of reporting on hard-hitting news that affects the community.