SAN ANTONIO — One-third of murders in San Antonio happened in neighborhoods where only six percent of the city's residents live.
That eye-opening statistic is from a report city council received Thursday morning. In response, they approved an effort to make the city’s most vulnerable neighborhoods safer.
“That $60,000 extends us for another year," SAPD Chief Bill McManus said of the grant application that city council passed.
The vote will support the StandUp SA initiative that sends trained people called "violence interrupters" to work in high-crime areas. Their goal: to get people talking instead of shooting.
“It gets our people out in the community to prevent the violence that could occur," McManus said.
The chief added that while they are continuously evaluating the effectiveness of the effort, it has value in the short-term.
“As long as we are able to engage people out there on the street who may be prone to get involved in violence, I think it's well worth the price tag," he said.
McManus said developing relationships on the streets helps curb violent crime in a number of ways.
“A lot of violent crime is very personal; it's very sporadic and it's very difficult for police to prevent, if not impossible,” he said. “It helps us on the front end. That's the ideal. And in the event that there is a violent act then it could also help us on the back end as well.”
McManus said in addition to StandUpSA, he is looking at another new initiative with a different approach of tackling the issue. But he wasn't ready to reveal the details yet.
“We're looking at a model to help us address violent crime," he said. "We're studying that right now."