On October 17, 2023, City Manager Daniel Valenzuela spoke to the attendees at the San Angelo Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon. He delivered the “State of the City” address and gave updates on a variety of topics.
Valenzuela spoke about updating City areas, such as sidewalks, buildings, and parks to make them ADA compliant.
Streets were also a topic of interest. Valenzuela spoke about the allotted annual funds designated for sealcoating projects. Sealcoating prolongs life expectancy of asphalt streets by protecting streets from damaging materials like vehicle fluids, water, and even UV rays.
Public safety was also addressed at the luncheon. Both the San Angelo Fire Department and San Angelo Police Department are under the City of San Angelo’s direction.
SAN ANGELO FIRE DEPARTMENT
According to information obtained from the San Angelo Fire Department, the SAFD responded to 16,928 total calls for service between September 2022 and September 2023. Of those calls, 12,358 were for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and 294 were structure fires.
The Fire Department currently has their 178 classified positions filled however, the document states that the department is forecasting seven to 10 vacancies within the next six months.
Also noted by SAFD, two Pierce Engines were delivered in October 2023. Engine 5 was assigned to Station 5, located at 3351 TLC Way. Engine 3 was assigned to Station 3, located at 514 Smith Blvd. One Pierce Engine is slated to be delivered in November 2023. That will be designated as Engine 8 and assigned to Station 8, which is located at 7894 Knickerbocker Rd. This location is also known as the Airport Fire Station.
SAFD has also partnered with Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aide System (TIFMAS) over the last several years.
“We have supported state requests for Border Support in Dilley, TX since August of 2021. We have deployed 52 groups for the past year for around the clock fire watch,” the document states.
The number of wildland deployments includes 15 teams who were sent on 11 wildland deployments across the state over the last year.
Other recent developments within the SAFD include the creation of a tactical medical team to assist with high-risk warrant and SWAT call-outs. All of the certifications earned and trainings these team members participate in are done during off hours and are voluntary.
The SAFD also provides public education. This year to date, 50 “Stop the Bleed” classes have been delivered to the community and more than 300 citizens and employees have been trained in CPR by SAFD personnel. These classes and trainings are provided to the public at no cost.
According to the document, the SAFD listed their greatest needs as recruitment of new employees and retention of current staff, keeping their fleet of fire engines and ambulances up to date, and adding a new fire station which would service the south edge of the city.
According to public records, the current pay scale for SAFD employees is listed below.
SAN ANGELO POLICE DEPARTMENT
According to Valenzuela’s presentation, the number of authorized officers that would make the San Angelo Police Department fully-staffed should total more than 180. In documents obtained from the San Angelo Police Department, there are currently 164 officers employed as of the third quarter in 2023. There are also six cadets currently in the police academy and 48 civilian employees. The documents also state that as of September, there are 17 dispatchers on staff. The total authorized number of dispatchers is set at 24.
The document also shared other statistics. In 2018 there were 99,352 calls for service. In 2019, there were 91,325. In 2020, 100,434. In 2021 there were 94,219 calls for service. In 2022 there were 95,993. And between January 1, 2023 to August 31, 2023 there have been 73,914 calls for service.
When it comes to the crime rate, the information from the San Angelo Police Department shows that from 2017 to 2021, there was a decrease in both violent crimes and property crimes. In 2022 there was a 4% increase in these crimes.
In the report, violent crimes include murder, sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault. Property crimes include burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft.
In 2016, seven murders were reported. In 2017 there were three. In 2018, there were four homicides. In 2019, there were six. In 2020, there were eight. In 2021 and 2022 there were six homicides each year. And according to the data collected as of August 2023, there have been two homicides.
The number of arrests are shown in the graph below provided by SAPD.
According to the report, SAPD created the Anti-Crime Unit (ACU) in 2017.
“This unit was designed to reduce the number of crimes being committed,” the document states. “The ACU focuses on repeat offenders who are continuing to commit crimes. Since 2019, the ACU has arrested approximately 734 individuals.”
The following chart provided by SAPD shows the number of traffic accidents from 2018 through August of 2023.
Below, the number of fatalities from traffic accidents can be seen:
According to the document provided by SAPD, for the fiscal years of both 2022 and 2023, the department has applied for numerous state and federal grants. The department has received $611,111 from grants during that period. The funding was used to purchase bullet resistant shields, laptops, hand-held radios, bullet proof vests, payroll assistance for five officers, lidar speed measuring devices, stalker radar devices for police motorcycles, night vision for K9 officers. SAPD reported receiving $185, 661 in donations. The donated funds purchased two K9s, gym equipment, high visibility safety lights, firearms, and door entry kits.
In the document, SAPD reported the need for a new police headquarters building.
“The current police headquarters was built in 1963,” the document states. “Currently, the department is divided into four buildings: the main police building, the annex of City Hall, the child crimes building, and two training locations.” The report states that the cost for maintaining the facilities, including HVAC, electric, and plumbing, cost $211,025 per year and has since 2018.
The report also listed that a new training facility is needed, stating that the current facility is outdated and rundown which requires the need for constant maintenance.
According to the SAPD website, the current pay scale is as follows: