2018 marked the second consecutive year that San Antonio witnessed a significant crime decrease with a 16% reduction in Part I crimes compared to 2017. This reduction is a testament to the commitment of the SAPD and community members such as you. The progress we have seen can be attributed to the continued endeavors of our patrol officers who respond to over a million calls for service annually, the SAFFE Program which maintains a strong relationship with our neighborhoods, the detectives and follow-up units that work tirelessly to bring criminals to justice and the targeted mission of the Violent Crime Task Force (VCTF).
Ultimately, preserving our quality of life will require our entire community to lend its time, energy and talent to proactively identify public safety concerns, issues and priorities as they emerge and work to develop solutions. To that end, I have strengthened my Advisory Group to include a diverse cross section of leaders that represent key areas of our community.
In 2017, we created the VCTF, a proactive, data-driven, multi-agency task force focused on apprehending chronic violent criminals throughout the City, which has drastically reduced crime. Since its inception in 2017, the VCTF is responsible for:
- 16,533 arrests
- 1,485 gang member arrests
- 5,781 felony warrants executed
- 6,359 narcotic charges
- 2,181 firearms confiscated
- 839,174 grams of drugs seized
- $2,490,952 in currency seized
The SAPD, and the local, state and Federal law enforcement agencies that comprise the VCTF, are heartened by the impact of the Task Force. I remain committed to continuing this partnership and thank our law enforcement partners for their participation.
As successful as the VCTF has been over the last two years, the SAFFE Program continues to serve as the foundation for our most vital partnership – the partnership that we have built with neighborhoods across San Antonio. Our SAFFE officers are responsible for working hand in hand with residents to resolve crime and quality of life issues. In light of the crucial role that SAFFE officers play within our neighborhoods, I have added SAFFE officers each of the last two years and directed all service areas to create a SAFFE Facebook page to improve our ability to communicate with residents and to share important updates.
Together, our officers and our community partners have made San Antonio one of the safest large cities in the nation – citywide, 89% of registered neighborhoods saw a decrease in violent crime and 73% of registered neighborhoods saw a decrease in property crime compared to 2017. While these numbers are strong, there is no finish line. Our officers are eager to work with you this upcoming year to tackle the issues important to you and your neighbors.
Each year, I attend dozens of community meetings, where we discuss a variety of public safety related topics. The conversations that I have with you reinforce our belief that we are most successful when we collaborate with the community to develop innovative responses to the pressing issues facing San Antonio.
On behalf of the over 2,400 officers of the SAPD, I thank you for your continued support. Your support is important to us and we continually strive to demonstrate our commitment to you every day. We look forward to your continued partnership and encourage you to stay in touch with the SAPD by attending meetings, visiting our updated website and connecting with us on social media to stay informed on what we are doing everyday to keep you and your families safe in 2019. I look forward to seeing you soon.
William McManus, Chief of Police