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Police Chief: SAPD Implementing New Policies After Baton Rouge Shooting

Joey Palacios
Texas Public Radio
San Antonio Police Chief kept detials on new tactical procedures secret during a media conference Sunday afternoon.

San Antonio Police are considering policy changes following more sniper-style killings of police officers. Police Chief William McManus hinted at the changes at a gun violence forum Sunday.

Following fatal attacks on police in Dallas and now Baton Rouge, San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said Sunday he’s taking steps to protect his forces.

“It certainly puts everybody on edge and what we’re doing, as before, is pushing as much intelligence to the street as we can so that officers have situational awareness of what’s going on, not only in Baton Rouge but around the country.”

McManus said SAPD will be implementing new safety procedures, though he wasn’t specific. SAPD may now assign two officers per patrol car. Right now most officers patrol alone.

“We have some other tactical things that we’re doing that we don’t want to reveal.”

Following a media briefing about heightened police measures, McManus joined a panel on gun violence at the New Creation Fellowship Church.  Among the many questions from the public was one from Army veteran Leroy Pipersberg.  He asked McManus why officers don’t just disarm suspects. “Explain to me why police officers the nation over shoot to kill and not shoot to disable.”

McManus replied officers do not shoot to kill but aim for what’s called center mass, as he pointed to his chest.

“The reason I’m taught to shoot center mass is it lowers the margin of error when your life is in danger. Because police officers are only allowed to shoot when they believe theirs or a third party’s life is in danger.”

About 300 people attended Sunday’s forum.