Public safety, support for shooting victims discussed in second gun violence town hall

By Japhanie Gray - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - UPDATE (9/12/19): The third and final town hall meeting on gun violence is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Ecological Center at Hardberger Park.

The town hall will be a community forum, emphasizing steps that the public and governing bodies can take to reduce the risks of gun violence. 

Policymakers, law enforcement officers and gun rights advocates are scheduled to be featured. 

(Previously)

Public safety and support for people who witness shootings were just some topics discussed at the second gun violence town hall organized by District 8 Councilman Manny Pelaez.

The training that our law enforcement departments undergo was also discussed by some panelists, who pointed out that they can't stop every shooting.

The panelists included Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar, San Antonio Police Chief William McManus, Fire Chief Charles Hood and University of Texas at San Antonio Police Chief Gerald Lewis. Each of them talked about the training methods they have in place to respond to shootings and other violent incidents, including the Bexar County Sheriff's Office building its full-time SWAT team instead of using patrol deputies.

The panelists also talked about the Fusion Center, which allows different agencies to all work and communicate together.

McManus spoke about just one of many trainings police officers go through to cut down on response time to active shooter situations.

Community members also had a time to chime in on what they thought would be helpful for people in active shooter situations.

One of those requests was that the community wants to see more engagement with students who feel like they're the main ones in the line of fire.

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