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Published on May 22, 2024
San Antonio Gears Up for Mass Shooting Threats: Police Ready, Funding Lacks, Says SAPD Chief McManusSource: Google Street View

As the grim milestone of the Uvalde school shooting's second anniversary looms, San Antonio officials have hashed out strategies to beef up preemptive measures and response tactics against the scourge of mass shootings. Engaged in fervent discussion, but short on concrete steps or fresh funding, council members aimed to get ahead of future tragedies.

Ace in the hole in case of another massacre, San Antonio Police Chief William McManus assured a City Council committee yesterday that his force is locked, loaded and ready to roll out. Boasting a battalion of officers with "the capability and capacity to respond to any threat anywhere in the city," McManus' words, as told to the San Antonio Report, were clear: The SAPD won't be caught flatfooted.

Following the Uvalde horror that claimed 21 lives, SAPD's partnership with surrounding schools has ramped up significantly, according to McManus. With 92 liaison officers and a high-tech emergency app called LifeSpot now in rampant use, the department means business. Councilwoman Melissa Cabello Havrda underscored this confidence in the San Antonio Report, expressing "full faith and confidence" should terror strike.

Despite a glistening arsenal of strategies and shiny new legislation like Texas House Bill 3 demanding armed staff on school campuses, gaping loopholes linger for districts running on shoestring budgets. The city's Violence Prevention Plan touts a focus on mass shooting strategies, yet eyeballs roll at the prospect of sustainable funding. The federal cash influx helping youth mental health programs is under threat as the funding is finite, a worry expressed by Cabello Havrda who told San Antonio Report that the budgetary drop is just a drop in the bucket.

Calls for the city to flex its muscles more, fund security upgrades, and extend 911 services to schools are met with skepticism and a reminder of the city's projected $10.6 million hole in its 2025 budget pants. Councilman Manny Pelaez critiqued the slow pace and temerity, labeling it a "lack of imagination and courage," as per San Antonio Report. Meanwhile, Cabello Havrda promised to keep the issue on the docket, hopeful for a brainstorm of cost-feasible aid solutions for schools.