SAN ANTONIO (November 3, 2023) — The United States Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) has awarded the City of San Antonio with a grant of $6.25 million to hire 50 new police officers over a three-year period. San Antonio was one of the four cities in the United States to be awarded the maximum number of officers along with Houston, Detroit and Cincinnati.
“Public safety is a priority of the community and City Council; we have a goal of adding 360 police officers over the next three to five years and this grant award will help us achieve that goal,” said City Manager Erik Walsh. “I want to thank our Federal Legislative Delegation for their efforts to advocate for our community’s needs. We are looking forward to welcoming these new officers to the San Antonio Police Department.”
Residents and City Council named public safety as one of their top priorities for the Fiscal Year 2024 budget. The San Antonio City Council adopted the budget in September, which added 117 new police officer positions to the Department. The grant will provide the City with funding to bring 50 new police officer positions on board to implement strategies developed through the data-driven Violent Crime Reduction Plan, which was developed in partnership with the University of Texas at San Antonio.
“The San Antonio Police Department is excited to have been awarded this hiring grant by the Department of Justice,” said San Antonio Police Chief William McManus. “This grant will pay for half of the 100 new officer positions that City Council approved in the Fiscal Year 2024 budget, allowing our officers more time to do proactive policing and build relationships and trust with the community we serve.”
SAPD’s grant application emphasized the Department’s collaborative role in the City’s newly launched Good Neighbor Program. The program improves current community-based public safety strategies by enhancing the coordination between multiple City departments, non-profit organizations and other community stakeholders to address locations with the highest demand for public safety services.
With the COPS grant, the City expects to improve call response times and interactions with the community. The grant will also enable SAPD to bolster efforts focused on education, prevention and intervention of crime. In addition, the grant will continue the Department’s commitment to address community needs and concerns through traditional policing, as well as innovative strategies to provide services and resources to the community.
The COPS office was created in 1994 with the goal of advancing community policing nationwide through grants that support hiring and redeployment of officers.
The grant marks the fifth time the City has been awarded the COPS grant. Previous awards include:
- Fiscal Year 2010: 50 officers to enhance patrol services
- Fiscal Year 2016: Four officers to augment the Mental Health Unit
- Fiscal Year 2018: 25 officers to address violent gun crime
- Fiscal Year 2020: 25 officers to address domestic violence
Those interested in joining the San Antonio Police Department can learn more and apply at SAPDCareers.com.