SAN ANTONIO -

Bexar County Sheriff Susan Pamerleau said she knew she had a big job ahead when voters chose her as Bexar County’s first elected female sheriff.

“The election was Nov. 6,” Pamerleau said. “On Nov. 8, we started the transition.”

Her first objective was to establish open communication inside and outside the department.

“We weren’t about partisanship. We weren’t about the 'good-old-boy' system,” Pamerleau said.

Another objective was to establish a good working relationship with Bexar County Commissioners, the sheriff said.

“They provide my budget, so the last people I want to have a bad relationship with are those who fund this organization,” she said.

She said that’s already producing results in terms of a budget matters and a jail staffing study agreement.

Pamerleau, a retired Air Force general, said working with commissioners has been smooth.

“I worked in the largest bureaucracy in the United States with the federal government,” she said. “So I know relationships are important.”

Among her disappointments, Pamerleau said, was that three deputies and a civilian department employee were charged with drunken driving.

And there were problems with jail overtime.

A positive concerning the jail was the best inspection in many years, she said.

The sheriff said that her staff, which includes just a handful of people from the previous administration, has made the transition much easier.

She said, “There are great people at the sheriff’s office and they are deeply committed to protecting this community.”

For a list of recent stories Paul Venema has done, click here.