Council Discusses Police Procedures and Reimagining Public Safety
This Wednesday, June 10, City Council heard a presentation from Police Chief McManus and City Manager Erik Walsh on police officer training and discipline.
This discussion was held in response to the days of protest centered around police reform and the tragic deaths of people of color by law enforcement throughout the country. You can view the full discussion
I’ve often heard Chief McManus say that in many cases, "we cannot arrest problems away." Yet, we continue to send our police officers into neighborhoods with crime problems, expecting crime to go down, and we are surprised when it doesn't. We must ask ourselves, do our neighborhoods have the resources they need? Do residents have opportunities to earn a decent living? Do those with addiction problems have access to treatment centers? Do those with mental health problems have access to treatment?
I'll share an example: each month, 1,100 people in San Antonio experience a psychiatric crisis so severe that the police department must transport them to a hospital. It is obvious to me that our health and social services are underfunded and underperforming, and we’re expecting the police to fill the gaps. That expectation is unrealistic. It has set us up for failure. It’s not fair to our law enforcement officers and it’s not fair to our community.
We must explore other, more effective ways to solve social issues. Investing in violence prevention programs like
Stand Up SA
and community development programs like
My Brother’s Keeper
can help victims of violence and reduce crime in our community.
Next Steps on Policing
The Mayor has charged the Health and Equity Committee which I lead, with evaluating "best policing practices to help promote race and gender equity in our community and to review mental health de-escalation measures." In addition, the Public Safety Committee will be hosting three listening sessions on policing. You are invited to attend and share your input. More information is below.
Share the Streets Kicks Off on Cincinnati Ave
As of this Monday, June 8th, Cincinnati Ave is officially the City’s first “shared street,” where walkers, joggers, and cyclists can use the road without worrying about through traffic. You can view the Facebook Live Ribbon Cutting
If you’ve been to a park lately, you’ve seen how packed they can get. This initiative began as a way to give people more room to exercise and get some fresh air while maintaining social distance.
I want to thank the Public Works Department, Activate SA, St. Mary’s University, the Woodlawn Lake Community Association, and University Park Neighborhood Association for their support of the project.
The trial run will last until July 5th. Try it out!