Program aims to rid city of San Antonio of problems with properties

Dangerous Assessment Response Team, is product of city attorney's office

By Katrina Webber - Crime Fighters Reporter, Tim Stewart - Photojournalist

SAN ANTONIO - The city of San Antonio is taking aim at businesses and commercial properties that are not up to snuff.

Through an effort called DART, or the Dangerous Assessment Response Team, the city is putting pressure on the owners of properties that have troubled pasts, warning them to clean up their acts in more ways than one.

“So that people know that we're out here working for them, we’re making sure that all these places are not an eyesore and that we're making the city look good for (residents),” said Sgt. Earl Tovar, a member of the San Antonio Police Department’s SAFFE Unit.

Tovar was part of a multi-agency team that descended upon a South Side motel Tuesday morning to conduct a surprise inspection.

The group included SAPD officers, Metro Health employees and officers with Animal Care Services, as well as others.

Tovar said all of the properties targeted by the initiative have been the subject of numerous calls or complaints in the past, involving not only crimes, but city code violations.

He was not able to say right away what led them to the El Tejas Motel on Roosevelt Avenue Tuesday morning.

However, during the inspection, Tovar said they found several violations involving water leaks, as well as a motel guest who had an outstanding warrant.

In cases involving other properties, he said, the inspections have led to the city cracking down and even shutting down some businesses.

Tovar said DART operates under the direction of the city attorney’s office.

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