Manuel Medina received a major-month-of-March boost in his campaign for Mayor of San Antonio by gaining the official endorsements from the Fire and Police Pension Fund, San Antonio and San Antonio Professional Firefighters. Representing over 6,732 police officers and firefighters, both active and retired, Medina scored heavily against incumbent Ivy Taylor and Councilman Ron Nirenberg with these influential public safety groups. .
“We have become one of the most dangerous cities in the United States,” Medina told NEWS LEGIT. “There are 1,216 cities in Texas and we are now ranked the 4th most dangerous. Where has our Mayor Taylor and our city council been on this? They’ve been too busy catering to the powerful special interests and lobbyists who are pushing for a pork-filled $850 million bond proposal.”
“Our 911 response times are at 15-year highs, violent crime is off the charts, and Ivy does not seem to get it,” Medina continued. “I know that the first responsibility of federal, state and local government is to keep your families safe. As Mayor, that will be my highest priority.”
“Hire 250 police officers…It’s already in the budget, but Sheryl Scully (City Manager) has been an obstacle.”
What would he do?
“The first thing I would do would be to hire 250 police officers,” he replied. “It’s already in the budget, but Sheryl Scully (City Manager) has been an obstacle to get our police what they need. We have to keep up with recruitment, retention and retirement.”
“Next, I would end the power plays Scully has been playing against our police. When it comes to basic equipment, she has treated their needs like a tug of war battle. We know that our police officers are held to a higher standard. They have to be. But I support the vast majority of our officers who put their lives on the line every day to protect and serve honorably. If there are bad apples, then let’s identify them so we can weed them out.”
“People frequently tell me about their experiences with calling 911. Our Emergency Call Center does not answer 20 percent—one in five calls. That three times the average of 7 percent. We now have the longest-time rate in the last 16 years.”
Medina said he is particularly concerned about how the current Mayor and council are spending tax payers’ money for special interest projects. “When our city has become one of the most dangerous cities in Texas under their watch, I would devote the focus on public safety,” he said. “We must double-down on community policing strategies. Our police should continue to build relationships with local leaders, community organizations, and neighborhood families.”
“I want to partner effectively with churches, ministries, non-profits, and community organizations.”
“We can mitigate and prevent many tragedies with intervention and relationship building with at-risk individuals,” he continued. “We must invest all grants from the state for intervention programs into on-the-ground ambassadors and stop siphoning off these resources into pet projects. It’s a fact we have to face that there are over 30,000 parolees in San Antonio and Bexar County. Let us reach out more effectively to inform parolees of relevant workforce and educational opportunities.”
“I want to partner effectively with churches, ministries, non-profits, and community organizations. We must work with them to identify their needs and partner them with our available resources. The 2017 Bond would have been an excellent opportunity to include lights for parks, community buildings, and other projects that bring people together and reduce crime. This is essential. Spending $42 million to redo Broadway Street or $13 million to build a bridge to connect two parks together is not essential.”