Residents of Prospect Hill neighborhood want safer community

SAPD having discussions with residents on how it can help

By Tiffany Huertas - Video Journalist

SAN ANTONIO - In response to continuous crimes around the Prospect Hill Neighborhood area, resident Jason Mata wants to offer social services and renovate his building at the corner of Buena Vista and North San Jacinto.

"A place where the community can have a social service if needed because we are hoping that that, stabilizing family, stabilizing individuals will reduce our crime issue," Mata said. 

Mata has also been pushing a police storefront, a place where police officers can be and allow residents to stop by and discuss neighborhood issues, report crimes, and ask questions. 

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"We don't expect the police officer to be here all day long, but more presence and combination with social services that we do here," Mata said. 

We followed as Mata walked around the neighborhood and spoke with fellow west-siders about their issues. 

"She was having an issue right now with utilities being disconnected. We would hate for someone like her to not be able to make it in life and then turn to crime," Mata said. 

There are not only dozens of businesses, but several schools around this community, including Our Lady of the Lake University. 

"There is a lot of crime and people do need the help, even if they are too full of pride," Bambi Whitkanack, resident said. 

Whitkanack said her family has become victims of the neighborhood's crime. 

"It happens too much and to know that I almost lost my son," Whitkanack said. Whitkanack's 7-year-old son was almost shot through her window. 

We tracked down the crime in a two-mile radius of the Prospect Hill Neighborhood. Since Jan. 1, there have been five homicides and dozens of aggravated assault cases and burglaries.

Cristina Vidauri Veloz, the manager of Los Angeles Restaurant in North Zarzamora is also concerned. 

"They are affecting our business. We are losing clients," Veloz said. 

Veloz says when she comes to work at 5 a.m., there are people outside waiting for her and have even made threats. 

"I come at 5:30 a.m. and I'm alone, and sometimes they are outside and I'm afraid. They have threatened me several times," Veloz said. 

KSAT 12 spoke with SAPD about the issue. 

"In the Prospect Hill or the shallow West Side, we have deployed street crimes unit and we had our safe officers responding to different locations, patrolling the area. We've had officers on bikes at times," Sgt. Doug Greene, SAPD spokesperson said. 

SAPD said there has been an ongoing discussion with the community. 

On October 7, SAPD will be holding a coffee with the cops event at 826 S. Zarzamora at 9:30 a.m. where residents in this community are welcome to attend. 

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