As concerns rise for crime, sheriff says new substation helps deputies connect to the community

The sheriff says right now the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office substation just an office, but with more deputies on the way, he expects it to help with crime prevention

BEXAR COUNTY, Texas – Brad Phipps said he used to only hear birds outside his home in Hilltop Acres on the Northwest Side. But now, he said it’s easier to hear cars driving down Talley Road than anything else.

“That’s exactly right,” Phipps said. “We do not want the crime that is going to go along with having a walking trail.”

Phipps is among the list of neighbors concerned about safety and security when it comes to a proposed county park off Talley Road and Medio Drive. And, tensions are high among residents in this part of Bexar County because of it. Phipps said one of his biggest concerns is that it could bring more crime, and he’s not alone.

“Right now, our neighborhood is plagued with car theft,” Joseph Weyel said. “We observe behavior that’s inappropriate on the land, we call the sheriff and they don’t respond or they respond hours after the call.”

This isn’t the first time that KSAT reported high crime on the Northwest Side. We did an entire story looking into vehicle burglaries and break-ins in the Alamo Ranch neighborhood in our Know My Neighborhood series. We took these most recent concerns to the Bexar County Sheriff, Javier Salazar.

“It’s certainly not that they’re not being heard. It’s do we have the resources to do it?” Salazar said.

It’s been one month since BCSO opened its Precinct 1 Northwest Bexar County Sheriff Substation. It’s one room inside Bexar County ESD Fire Rescue Station #2.

“This is a relatively small footprint that we have here,” Salazar said. “This is a stopping point for our patrol deputies.”

Salazar said opening a substation here was necessary because of how quickly these neighborhoods are growing. He said since opening, his deputies have been able to develop a deeper connection to this community, focusing on homelessness and prevention of crimes of opportunities. He said his end goal is to build a brick-and-mortar substation on the northwest side.

“We’re absolutely going to need more in the meantime,” Salazar said. “This is a pretty good bridge.”

He said the department is also working to increase the number of deputies that cover this part of the county.

“We’ll be able to bring more boots on the ground to deal with the issues that are arising out here,” Salazar said. “Now that we have this influx of 37 new patrol deputies hitting the streets here in not too long, that’s what’s going to give us the ability to police more effectively.”

People who support the park, like Ryan Haskins, said crime is on the rise, but it shouldn’t be the reason other county resources are cut.

“Things are growing and developing,” Haskins said. “There’s always going to be crime. But again, it’s about the community coming together and building opportunities.”

To read more about the proposed county park, click here.

About the Authors

Avery Everett is a news reporter and multimedia journalist at KSAT 12 News. Avery is a Philadelphia native. If she’s not at the station, she’s either on a hiking or biking trail. A lover of charcuterie boards and chocolate chip cookies, Avery’s also looking forward to eating her way through San Antonio, one taco shop at a time!

Joe Arredondo is a photojournalist at KSAT 12.

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