The Bexar County Sheriff's Office will pay just over $724,000 for the use and maintenance of eight trailers and three temporary buildings to house its only substation, officials confirmed Friday.
The move comes after the office was told to vacate its current substation building on Herbet Lane, as the building's owner had found a buyer.
The lease, entered into by Sheriff Amadeo Ortiz and the Edgewood Independent School District, owner of the current building, allowed either party to exit the lease with 90 days of prior notice.
"The biggest issue here, as I see it, is the lease that Sheriff Ortiz signed with Edgewood school district," said Kevin Wolff, County Precinct 3 Commissioner.
The district informed the Sheriff's Office of their decision to sell the building earlier this summer, prompting a hasty search by the office for a location to house the substation.
That was not an easy task, when considering the amount of critical units the substation houses.
Units include east and west patrol, and its approximately 200 deputies, the K-9 unit, street crimes, crisis intervention, and the Sheriff's training academy.
The amount of logistical problems moving units of that size, with everything from setting up new phone and computer lines to figuring out where to park patrol cars, is immense.
It's for that reason that trailers were settled on as the fastest, most logical choice to house the substation and its units, according to officials.
Wolff said he fears the move will impact day-to-day abilities of the office to fight crime.
He said the new location of the substation, on the south side just off Southton road, south of Loop 410, is too far away from the county's main population centers in northeast and northwest Bexar County.
The Sheriff's office disagreed, however, and said its deputies will constantly have a presence in all parts of the county, no matter where deputies' home base is.
Lt. Jose Trevino also assured citizens that any training done in the substation will continue in the trailers.
"We will continue to meet state standards when training our officers," said Trevino.
The current substation must be vacated by the end of September.
A long-term plan by the county has two new substations being built in the northwest and northeast parts of the county, although those plans are far from complete.
The best-case scenario on the completion of those substations is a two-year time frame, according to Wolff.
That means the trailers will be utilized for at least that long.