City Council voted unanimously to rehire William McManus as the city’s police chief on Thursday. McManus led the SAPD for nine years before retiring nine months ago to join CPS Energy as it senior security executive.Most council members praised City Manager Sheryl Sculley’s selection of McManus and all lauded his leadership abilities.
In late September, Sculley was reviewing finalists for the still-vacant permanent position, including then-Acting Police Chief Anthony Treviño. McManus, who said he had a change of heart about leaving law enforcement after more than 40 years, reached out to Sculley and asked to return.
“I evaluated the talent pool against McManus who went through public process nine years ago,” Sculley said.
“McManus has served the city very well for years,” Mayor Ivy Taylor said, a sentiment echoed by each council member.
“For nearly nine years, San Antonio benefitted from Bill McManus’ smart, community-oriented policing. He engaged all parts of our city, showed compassion for the victims of crime and was one of the most effective police chiefs in San Antonio’s modern history,” said Councilmember Joe Krier (D9). “That’s why I supported his appointment today to once again lead the San Antonio Police Department. I trust him with one of City government’s most essential duties – keeping us safe.”
Councilmember Rebecca Viagran (D3), who heads the Public Safety Committee (now called the Criminal Justice, Public Safety and Services Committee), said public safety is key for San Antonio.
“I believe that we need to make the most of every opportunity,” she stated in a press release. “We have been presented with the opportunity to reappoint Bill McManus as Chief of Police of San Antonio. After a search occurred and after listening to community feedback, the position remained open, and we (City Council) need to make sure we have the most qualified, leadership skills to lead this global city.”
Councilmember Roberto Treviño (D1) praised McManus for his approach to homelessness. During a press conference last week announcing his nomination for the job, McManus said he would soon be rolling out serious changes to how the SAPD handles homelessness.
“The reality of the situation is that you cannot strong-arm the homeless people into submission,” McManus said on Thursday. He did not give further details about what changes he would be making, but Sculley said last week that the changes would be subject to Council review.
Others praised McManus for his outreach to the LGBTQ community, domestic violence victims, and the SAPD’s plans to implement body cameras and shot spotter technology.
McManus will officially return to his position on Monday, Oct. 5.
*Top image: SAPD Chief William McManus leaves the podium after giving a statement before City Council. Photo by Joan Vinson.