SAPD chief breaks down how police hope to prevent another upward trend in homicide cases

2021 had 160 homicide cases compared to 2020 which had 128 homicide cases.

SAPD chief breaks down how police hope to prevent another upward trend in homicide cases

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio police are taking extra steps to prevent homicide numbers from being on the upward trend in the future.

“We got to do something to try to address those areas where we see more of it occurring than other places,” said Chief William McManus, who took time to speak with KSAT about what he believes is partially the cause of the uptick in cases.

In 2021, San Antonio responded to around 160 homicide cases, where three in four of them involved gun violence.

That is a 23% uptick from 2020, which only saw 128 homicide cases.

“These are all people that have been murdered by somebody, and I don’t know how to change behaviors to get people to not be so quick to hurt somebody,” McManus said.

He said several of these cases are unsolved because most of them are unorganized, which means spontaneous and random acts of violence.

“It seems that there are a lot of weapons out there, and people are very, very eager to pull a gun when there is some type of altercation,” McManus said. “People need to take a step back and take a deep breath and count to 10 before they decide they are going to pull a gun to hurt someone.”

Those homicide cases involved things like road rage, family violence and more.

It’s a trend that is happening all across the nation.

“What concerns me, too, is that I think people feel there is a lack of consequence for doing this, and this is concerning,” McManus said. “Another issue is the lack of cooperation. It’s not that people just don’t want to talk to police because they don’t want to be involved. It is fear of retaliation. And at times, victims or other potential suspects don’t cooperate because they want to handle it themselves.”

McManus said they are trying to reduce the amount of homicide by crime mapping where the most incidents are taking place and breaking that down into micro-districts to investigate.

“We are going to stay long enough to be effective but not long enough to over-police,” he said. “Not necessarily patrolling but investigating and using other tactics we plan to implement.”

McManus also added that having community engagement, not just with police, will keep people out of trouble.

“If you engage in risky behavior, your chances of becoming a victim of a violent crime go way up,” McManus said. “Community groups and youth groups, I think any kind of engagement like that is valuable. Again, unless you are living a high-risk lifestyle, you are safe in this city.”

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About the Author:

Japhanie Gray is a reporter with KSAT12 News.