San Antonio Police Chief Bill McManus, 54, had controversial stints as chief in Minneapolis and Dayton, Ohio, after a 30-year police career in Washington, D.C. The Houston Chronicle says that nearly five months after McManus’ arrival in San Antonio, Mayor Phil Hardberger is convinced it was a “good hire,” based on feedback from the community, the police force, and city leaders. Among the impressed is Police Officers Association President Teddy Stewart, who said, “Chief McManus thus far has been a breath of fresh air to the department.”
He authorized a switch from stodgy to more functional uniforms, and he relaxed rules on shorts and ponytails. McManus told the force “they’re not going to get hammered every time they make a mistake. I just don’t believe that there are many officers out there who are going to intentionally do things wrong.” The union contends the police force is 500 officers short; the proposed city budget would add 150 officers next year. McManus claimed success by deploying a “crime response unit” that has arrested many gang members and an FBI most wanted murder suspect.