SAPD collaboration with UTSA hoping to reduce city wide violent crime

Criminologists with UTSA are looking over citywide data to highlight how to prevent violent crimes from happening

SAN ANTONIO – We are seeing violent crime, not just in one part of our city but all over, and it’s becoming a daily occurrence.

Over the last year, a Northwest Side resident named Jacque said she has seen the violence creeping closer to her home.

“Usually about this time of day, the police is usually rollin’ through here,” said Jacque, who has lived in that area of the city for four years.

She said she worries for her and her family’s safety.

“I don’t even let my grandkids come outside anymore because it, that’s how bad it is... We don’t even come outside. I like to be inside before it gets dark,” Jacque said.

It’s not just in her neighborhood.

“I live in the southwest area, and we have we’re having the same issue,” Nieves Alvarado said.

She moved home with her mother recently to make sure she is safe.

“We stay inside the majority of the time. Every time we hear gunshots going off, and you don’t know if those are going to be flying anywhere and hitting somebody,” Alvarado said.

Down the street from where a man was killed Saturday night at the old Papa’s Burgers, Arturo Vega says he hasn’t seen anything like this in the 13 years he’s lived there.

“It’s spreading throughout the city -- nothing but violence. You know, maybe people have more freedom with the guns,” Vega said.

It’s a problem San Antonio Police Chief William McManus is hoping to address through research.

“We’re actually working with a couple of criminologists from UTSA who are studying our data along with us. And together, we’ll sit down and put together a violence prevention plan,” McManus said.

They’re looking at areas across the city where crimes are happening more often. McManus calls them hotspots or micro-hotspots.

“Focusing on those areas with a variety of types of operations to address that,” McManus said.

The University of Texas at San Antonio did a similar study with the Dallas Police Department, helping it create and implement a violent crime prevention plan in May 2021.

According to Dallas PD’s hot spot intervention report by UTSA, citywide violent crimes fell 14.5% in 2021 compared to 2020. Homicides dropped by 12%, and robberies fell by 30%.

Overall violent crimes have reduced by 50% in targeted hot spots since the Dallas PD plan was implemented.

McManus hopes the same success can be seen in the Alamo City.

“We are policing those areas in ways that don’t normally get policed,” McManus said.

The department is still in the research portion, finding what the issues are and where. McManus said they’ll have their plan ready in the next couple of months.


SAPD targets micro hot spots for high crime areas

San Antonio City Council leaders await findings of fatal police shooting, angry confrontation on West Side

About the Authors

Leigh Waldman is an investigative reporter at KSAT 12. She joined the station in 2021. Leigh comes to San Antonio from the Midwest after spending time at a station in Omaha, NE. After two winters there, she knew it was time to come home to Texas. When Leigh is not at work, she enjoys eating, playing with her dogs and spending time with family.

Joe Arredondo is a photojournalist at KSAT 12.

Recommended Videos