Updated January 2018
Community Safety Overview
One of the very first SA2020 targets ever met was decreasing the emergency response times of the SAPD, which we met in 2012. San Antonio saw an increase in crime in 2016. While still lower than 2010, it is higher than 2015. Crime rate includes: criminal homicide, forcible/legacy rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft, and arson. In 2014, we exceeded our 2020 goal for increasing attendance at community trainings, but with incomplete data from all substations, we show a decrease in these trainings for 2016. Tracking resident satisfaction with community safety is done by the City of San Antonio. There have been no new reports since 2014, but since the last report, we are making progress to reach the goal. A new survey will go out in 2018. Other pieces of the Community Safety puzzle are more difficult to measure and even more difficult to improve. This brings us to issues like domestic violence. The number of family assaults, after a steady decrease for three years, has gone up, again. Finally, Bexar County recently released recidivism rates, so we now have a baseline for tracking this. Recidivism refers to a relapse into criminal behavior – measured by re-arrest, reconviction, or return to prison - often after the person receives sanctions or undergoes intervention for a previous crime (National Institute of Justice).
Why is this important?
Safe communities are productive communities, and productive communities thrive. Perhaps this explains the strong relationship between community safety and family well-being. Without safe communities in which to live, work, and play, the well-being of families is placed at risk. And the impacts ripple throughout the fabric of the community, affecting areas like education, economic competitiveness, and health and fitness to name a few. A safe community involves many players and strategies: systems in place that are trusted and responsive; citizen involvement and awareness; coalitions between law enforcement and community; and resources available to help keep neighborhoods and households safe.