San Antonio considers adding hundreds of new police officers

Staffing analysis recommends adding 360 positions over 3-5 years, 100 new spots considered for first year

SAN ANTONIO – Top city staff and elected officials are considering adding hundreds of new San Antonio police officers.

An outside staffing analysis found that 360 new San Antonio police officers are needed over the next three to five years, so patrol officers could have a 40-60 split of their time between responding to calls and “discretionary time.”

The officers who aren’t responding to 911 calls could be used to deter property crime, engage in the new violent crime plan, and work on targeted enforcement for DWI or quality-of-life issues.

“There’s quite a few benefits that would come, but I do expect faster response times to be one of them, and I would anticipate crime reduction as well,” Deputy Chief Robert Blanton told city council members during a Wednesday meeting.

The council is expected to consider adding 100 new officers in the next budget cycle. It would cost $12.4 million for one year, though the city plans to apply for a federal grant to help offset some of the costs for the first five years.

The total number of officers needed could go even higher than 360. The consultant who performed the analysis died before he could fully assess the investigative units. SAPD says it is looking to contract with another consultant to finish that portion.

The department has 2,581 authorized positions, up 136 from the 2018 fiscal year. Only 2,403 are currently filled, with academy cadets slated for another 104 spots and 74 vacancies.

About the Authors:

Garrett Brnger is a reporter with KSAT 12.

Before starting at KSAT in August 2011, Ken was a news photographer at KENS. Before that he was a news photographer at KVDA TV in San Antonio. Ken graduated from San Antonio College with an associate's degree in Radio, TV and Film. Ken has won a Sun Coast Emmy and four Lone Star Emmys. Ken has been in the TV industry since 1994.