CONTACT: Landry Stafford, (210) 207-7026
SAN ANTONIO (Nov. 27, 2018) – San Antonio City Council members and City staff received a briefing during Tuesday’s Public Safety Committee by SAPD Chief of Police William McManus on a proposal to implement “cite and release” tactics for specific minor offenses. State law currently allows local law enforcement a degree of discretion when addressing minor offenses. During the briefing, Councilman Clayton Perry questioned the inclusion of offenses related to property crimes and theft for potential cite and release actions.
“I do support cite and release on some of these proposals here today, such as misdemeanor possession or driving with an invalid license. However, I cannot support implementing a cite and release policy for crimes involving another person’s property or livelihood. To issue a ticket for $600 dollars-worth of property damage or theft seems counterintuitive to deterring future property damage or theft from occurring to the same individual. A ticket brings no peace of mind for the victim involved, and they are still stuck with the bill of rectifying another’s actions. I’m concerned that if we let would-be perpetrators know that a dine-and-dash at a restaurant or shoplifting clothes results in only a ticket, businesses may become more at risk of experiencing these types of incidents.”
“I really want to see the data on the cause and effect of these types of policies before throwing support behind these measures. According to Chief McManus, this proposal is similar to an initiative in Austin that began November 1st of this year. I see no problem with waiting to see how this type of public safety initiative plays out first. If we act first without taking the time to gather real statistics on citations issued, public safety hours utilized, and municipal court costs tallied, we fall short of our commitment to being a data-driven City Council.”