SAPD: Police union trying to 'mislead and scare' city with police shortage claims

By Mariah Medina - Digital Journalist

SAN ANTONIO - San Antonio police chief William McManus said the president of the San Antonio Police Officer's Association is trying to "mislead and scare" with his claim the city has a critical shortage of officers that is threatening public safety.

On Friday, SAPOA president Mike Helle released a statement titled "Police shortage 'plagues' San Antonio." In the statement, Helle said San Antonio City Manager Sheryl Sculley helped create the city's police shortage and that the shortage threatens public safety.

“Instead of putting more resources into strategies to fill the gap, like improving our recruitment efforts and adding cadet academy classes, she’s cancelled (sic) cadet classes and wasted valuable tax dollars on things like a frivolous lawsuit against first responders,” Helle said. “It’s amazing to think that in light of this crisis, City Council is thinking about giving her a raise and a bonus.”

McManus, however, said Helle is fearmongering and that there are plenty of officers and more on the way.

"As of this coming Monday, we’ll have 108 cadets in the police academy," McManus said in a statement sent to KSAT-12 Friday night. "We have three more classes scheduled over the next nine months. There is no police shortage. I'm disappointed that the union would mislead and scare the public into believing that there are not enough police officers to protect this city. Crime is down, response times are down and our dedicated officers are doing a great job."

McManus presented the uniform crime report in early January. The report showed that while violent crime took a plunge in 2017, the number of homicides was the second highest since 2011.

Read Helle's full statement below:

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