Neighborhoods all across San Antonio were taking part in National Night Out Tuesday, an event created to raise awareness of crime prevention through community engagement. It's something needed since violent crime is on the rise in the Alamo City.
Larry Garcia lives with his parents on the city’s near west side. His family has seen all sorts of crime in the area; everything from prostitution to shootings.
“Theft is really something we have to keep an important eye on,” Garcia said.
They find communication among neighbors is essential to fighting back against crime.
“We’re supposed to get together and re-unite ourselves as a community, but there’s a lot of people that don’t lend themselves to do it,” Garcia’s mother said.
That’s what National Night Out hopes to change as it brings residents and law enforcement together to build safer communities. However, it can be challenging when violent crime is on the rise.
Last year San Antonio saw a total of 94 murders. Through the end of September, the city has already surpassed that number with 98 murders.
“My concern with the type of crime that we’re seeing is that it’s random, it’s unpredictable and there’s no connection to each of the different offenses. That’s my biggest concern because it makes it hard to deal with,” SAPD Chief William McManus said.
McManus noted that it’s a problem seen across the country, but he thinks events like this still go a long way in building a relationship between law enforcement and residents, something that still needs improvement.
“The community is absolutely doing better, there’s still some that won’t give us the information that we could use to clear a lot of these cases a lot more quickly than we are,” McManus said.
The chief added that he will be attending the Major City Chief’s Conference next week and he anticipates the increase in violent crime will be a big topic of discussion.