San Antonio, Texas, October 4, 2018: Since 2017, San Antonio has witnessed a dramatic and sustained decrease in crime. Preliminary year-to-date Uniform Crime Report (UCR) statistics for the San Antonio Police Department confirm that as of Sept. 30, total Part I UCR crimes, which include violent crime and property crime, are down 17 percent from last year. Additionally, violent crimes including homicide, rape, robbery and aggravated assault are down 10 percent and property crimes including burglary, larceny theft and motor vehicle theft are down 18 percent compared to 2017.
The decrease in crime rates is attributed to the continued efforts of the Violent Crime Task Force, a proactive, multi-agency unit that was created last year in partnership with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies and SAPD’s Covert Units, Street Crimes Unit, SWAT and Fusion Center personnel. The VCTF is an intelligence-driven initiative that strategically focuses on identifying and apprehending known criminals who are responsible for a significant share of the illegal activity that ultimately culminates in violent crimes.
“The Violent Crime Task Force continues to build upon the incredible progress achieved in 2017,” Police Chief William McManus said. “The numbers speak for themselves, and the task force is responsible for getting hundreds of thousands of grams of illegal drugs, hundreds of weapons and violent criminals off the street. Additionally, this success highlights SAPD’s continued commitment to working in partnership with residents and neighborhoods throughout the city to proactively address quality of life issues.”
Since Jan. 1, the Violent Crime Task Force made 7,379 arrests (a 97 percent increase compared to last year), executed 2,292 felony warrants (up 39 percent), arrested 582 gang members (up 39 percent), seized 980 firearms (up 59 percent) and seized 343,307 grams of illegal drugs (up 45 percent).
“I’m pleased to see that data shows our efforts to reduce crime are working. There is still much work to do. That’s why City Council approved funding for four police cadet classes and two additional SAFFE officers in the 2019 budget,” Mayor Ron Nirenberg said. “We are relying on help from the community, too. A safe city requires neighbors watching out for each other and speaking up when they see something that isn’t right.”
SAPD and City leaders expect to see a continued decrease in crime as a result of the department’s ongoing efforts to engage the community.
“Two years ago, while virtually every major city in the United States was grappling with identifying and responding to the factors that contributed to a spike in violent crime, Chief McManus and SAPD were being recognized by the Department of Justice for being at the forefront among law enforcement agencies in critical areas such as community policing, officer wellness and training,” City Manager Sheryl Sculley said. “San Antonio continues to be one of the safest large cities in the country, which is a testament to the dedication of the men and women of SAPD who serve and protect our community.”
Preliminary 2018 UCR data will be available in January.