Posted on August 23, 2012 at 10:12 PM
Thursday, Aug 23 at 10:18 PM
SAN ANTONIO -- Problem Oriented Policing is one way the San Antonio Police Department fights crime, so their “POP unit” is targeting an area residents claim has recently seen too much crime.
SAPD’s pop unit is different from other patrol units because it doesn't respond to calls, rather seek potential crime before it unfolds.
“We’re a self motivated unit basically, so we’re out there looking for work,” said officer Roy Hoyos.
Since the Pop unit targets areas known for crime it's recently been near the Haven for Hope homeless shelter because residents claim their neighborhood has seen an influx in crime.
KENS 5 rode along with Hoyos and his partner Thursday. Within 15 minutes officers spotted someone drinking alcohol in public.
As soon as officer pulled up everyone near the man scattered. However, the open container wasn’t the most alarming discovery, rather a syringe that was still full of suspected drugs.
Just down the road another man is spotted with another open container of alcohol. This time nothing illegal is found, but it turned out the man had half a dozen outstanding warrants. Another Pop unit patrol officer arrived and hauled the man away to jail.
From wanted individuals to drugs just a couple of hours of patrolling shows how the Pop unit is trying to curb crime before it escalates.
“A lot of times small things can turn into something huge,” said Hoyos.
SAPD Chief William McManus has recently said more patrol in the Have for Hope area isn’t the only answer for fighting crime in that area and said a more extensive plan must be created among his department, other city offices and residents.