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.