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SAPD Launches Violent Crime Task Force

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Joey Palacios/TPR News
SAPD Chief William McManus, Mayor Ivy Taylor and Councilwoman Rebecca Viagran announce a new violent crime task force initiative.

The San Antonio Police Department announced a new initiative Wednesday to crack down on violent crime across the city. The effort comes in response to a disturbing uptick in violent crime last year.  

SAPD investigated 151 homicides last year, a 61 percent increase from the year before. Chief William McManus says his Department is rolling out a violent crime task force, where covert units like the Homicide, Vice, Drug and Gang Units will coordinate.

“All of these units, we’re going to gather some synergy by putting them altogether focused on one specific mission and that is violent crime,” McManus told the City Council Public Safety Committee

McManus says SAPD will also coordinate with federal and county agencies. Last year, SAPD had a violent crime initiative focused on the East Side, but McManus says the new strategy won’t focus on any particular area.  Instead, it will rely on information from intelligence detectives and data analysis to track down violent crime suspects wherever they are.

“There’s no one specific place or one specific reason why [violent crime] is happening, which is what makes it difficult,” McManus said “So, we don’t want to over police one area of the city. Over-policing leads to complaints. We want to avoid that. So, we’ve got our intelligence detectives pulling information on who we need to target.”

McManus says the new effort will begin with a warrant roundup of violent offenders. He says the violent crime task force will have no affect on police patrols.