A North San Antonio City Council member recently told a gathering of constituents that, despite a decrease in vehicle break-ins, it is important for residents to take simple steps to help protect themselves from crime.

What happened

District 8 council member Manny Pelaez held a “Breakfast with the Councilman" event June 14 at the north side Pre-K 4 SA campus, where several residents came to receive local public safety information from Pelaez and San Antonio Police Department representatives.

SAPD Assistant Chief Robert Blanton said vehicle burglaries in San Antonio have gone down 18% from late spring 2023.

Blanton also reiterated statistics provided by the police department earlier this year that San Antonio saw a 37% decrease in homicides and overall violent crime dropped 5.7% during the first three months of 2024 compared with the same period in 2023.

Zooming in

Pelaez said the latest San Antonio crime figures look promising as a whole, but when individuals are directly affected by crime, they want law enforcement to respond in various ways.

Pelaez and SAPD representatives said help has come in the form of the city’s fiscal year 2023-24 budget containing $8.6 million to add 100 patrol officers. Pelaez said more patrol officers on the streets means more law enforcement visibility, especially in neighborhoods and at retail centers.

Pelaez also encouraged attendees at the June 14 gathering to speak at council meetings or contact fellow elected city leaders to show their support for more, and not fewer, public safety personnel and resources.

“San Antonio has grown and continues to grow. You guys see the housing developments all over the place,” Pelaez said, referencing the 100 additional patrol officers correlating to the city’s expansion. “It’s just not enough. I want a thousand officers. I actually want to see 10,000 people."

Take action

Despite the positive public safety data, Pelaez and Blanton urged residents to take simple steps to help reduce the risk of crime. Blanton provided some crime prevention tips:
  • Make yourself less vulnerable to the potential of crime, and avoid risky behavior.
  • Lock your vehicles and doors to your home. Ensure no valuables can be seen through your vehicle’s windows.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and communicate with neighbors.
  • If someone sees a crime being committed and if that offender is armed, do not confront, just contact law enforcement.
  • Reach out to your neighborhood’s San Antonio Fear Free Environment officers.
"We need people to be less prone to victimization, so reach out to your SAFFE officers if you need help with that,” Blanton said.

What they're saying

Brian Howell, who serves with the Huntington Place Homeowners Association board in District 8, attended the June 14 meeting.

Howell said as chair of his neighborhood’s Citizens On Patrol program, his community can rely on a group of residents who stay in contact with each other and with San Antonio police about suspicious activity in their area, and crime prevention efforts.

Howell said communication among neighborhood residents and with police helps to maintain a high level of law enforcement visibility in Huntington Place.

“We’ve got a good group. It’s been enjoyable seeing it grow. We share a lot of [surveillance] videos, and we know what’s happening from one corner to another,” Howell said.