The San Antonio Police Department has been awarded $3.125 million by U.S. Department of Justice to expand "community-oriented policing" (or COPS) programs, covering the salaries of 25 new officers over three years to focus on gun-related violence.
SAPD is one of five law enforcement agencies in the country to receive the maximum amount of federal funding offered in this specific COPS grant. Most agencies were offered $125,000, enough to cover just one new officer. In total, the DOJ granted more than $98 million to law enforcement departments
across the country — totaling 802 new officer positions.
In June, City Council voted to match the DOJ grant (if awarded) with $9,085,788
over the course of four years. This means that by 2020, more than $12 million city and federal dollars will be poured into the SAPD community policing program. It's unknown if the city's matched funds will also increase the number of new police hires for community policing work over that period.
In a Monday press release, SAPD Chief William McManus said the grant funding will allow the department to "produce tangible results that will enhance the quality of life in our neighborhoods.”
In clearer terms, this whopping grant will go toward fighting gang-related gun violence and other violent crimes across the city. It'll likely fuel more mass arrests like we saw Friday, when SAPD joined the FBI in arresting eight members of the San Antonio East Side's "Crips East Terrace Gangstas" — including alleged ringleader Alvin "Ray Ray" Clark for crack cocaine possession.
Funds will also specifically go toward the county's National Integrated Ballistic Information Network program, a database that surveys discharged bullets and spent cartridge casings to determine what type of firearm a bullet can from.
According to City Manager Sheryl Sculley, the DOJ has awarded the city with more than $14 million to fund 79 new SAPD positions since 2008.