Pics of kids with officers go viral as SAPD Chief talks of police-community climate
SAN ANTONIO —
We have a great community here in San Antonio that has been so supportive - especially when these types of things happen.
That's San Antonio Police Chief William McManus talking to reporters Thursday, the day before the funeral for murdered officer Miguel Moreno.
McManus said he wanted to thank the community for the outpouring of support for the department since Moreno was fatally wounded and Officer Julio Cavazos was injured when a gunman opened fire last week near San Antonio College.
The gunman, who shot and killed himself, was described as a troubled heroin addict by his girlfriend.
As Chief McManus thanked people here for the show of support, he also expressed some frustration.
We're a great community. We have great support. But there is a small number of people here - not only here, but around the country - that think it's OK to berate police, to badger police, to insult police. And it's not OK. I'm here to tell you today, it's not OK.
I don't know what has gotten into people who think they can go out and shoot the police. I don't understand why people think it's OK to advocate for that, condone that, celebrate it. It doesn't make any sense to me. It's a warped way of thinking.
McManus said he's received a lot of support for similar comments he made Saturday when he told reporters he's "sick of police-haters."
At some point you've got to speak your mind. And if there's a point to do that, then I would say when one of our officers is murdered, then that's the point.
Right now there is a wave of public support for officers here on social media, with some of the posts featuring pictures of children with officers.
SAPD Officer Cliff Burns posted a photo on his facebook page Monday night of himself and a young girl, both smiling for the camera.
As you see from the caption, he was as happy to see her as she was to see him.
And his post, which was shared on the SAPD facebook page, has now been liked and shared thousands of times with hundreds of positive comments.
One of the responses included a photo of the same girl happily posing with other officers.
Chief McManus told us Thursday that he is aware of the mistrust of police by some in the community and is working on improving things.
We have taken steps. We've changed our curricula at the Academy. We stress community engagement. All those things that hopefully create a better partnership with the community.
And we do have a good partnership with the community here. We have a great community. We have great support.
One way to show your support is by donating to the 100 Club of San Antonio, which supports the families of first responders who've been killed or injured in the line of duty.
Thursday, here at News 4 San Antonio, we raised more than $10,000 for the 100 Club and the families of Officer Moreno and Officer Cavazos.
Another way you could show your support Friday is by turning out for a procession of first responders, which will make its way from the Alamodome to Community Bible Church on Gold Canyon Road before the 10 am funeral for Officer Moreno.
The funeral is open to the public, along with the police honors, which will follow.
You can also watch the funeral streamed live on our website, News4SA.com.