A sharp decline in the number of homicides this year on San Antonio’s east side is drawing praise for new tactics used by the city and police department to take back the streets, reports the San Antonio Express-News. The drop in slayings through June in City Council District 2 was the most dramatic change of all 10 districts. Homicides there were down from 12 last year to four this year.
Experts warn trends can't be established with such short-term data. But it's enough to pique the interest of council members tracking the efforts in District 2 that began this year, especially the Eastside Reinvestment Initiative and the Problem Oriented Policing program. “We've got an exceptionally high clearance rate for murders,” said Police Chief William McManus. Citywide, more than half of homicide cases so far this year have resulted in arrests. Homicides dropped nationwide and in San Antonio last year, falling to the lowest level here since 2005. In the first six months this year, homicides dropped from 59 to 50.