2016 was a violent and dangerous year for San Antonio, with double-digit growth in violent crime. However, help is on the way. Governor Greg Abbott announced Monday, he's directed DPS to help SAPD combat violence and gang activity.
The city’s east side has been plagued with much of the violence, but the Davis-Scott Family YMCA is doing its part to fix that. Providing an outlet and positive influence for youth in the community. That includes programs like the midnight basketball league for teenagers and young adults.
“What we’ve seen, not only are they building relationships with each other, but also SAPD officers and with that, we see crime rates that decrease,” said Davis-Scott YMCA executive director Whitney Oliver.
The announcement of additional DPS resources to help the SAPD Violent Crimes Task Force was welcome news.
“The more people we have, the more visibility we can provide, the more area we can cover, the more days of the week we can cover,” said SAPD chief William McManus.
The task force is made up of different agencies and since it’s creation at the beginning of the year, the group has been busy.
“From January 2017 to October 2017 we had over 4,100 arrests. That is a lot of arrests,” said McManus.
McManus said the additional help from DPS will come in a variety of ways.
“We don't just have those troopers on the ground, we have K9 from DPS, we have air support from DPS, analysts from DPS,” said McManus.
“I believe we will start to see a drop in crime. Like I said, it takes partnerships with each other, with the community, with SAPD and it’s working together to collectively tackle the issues we're seeing in our community,” said Oliver.
McManus said since January the task force has seized more than 700 guns, 258,000 grams of drugs and arrested more than 400 people.