Sgt. Yvonne Vann is back on patrol again, months after her husband Kenneth, also a sergeant with the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, was gunned down in his patrol car.
The fatal shooting happened in May 2011, at the intersection of Loop 410 and Rigsby Ave, allegedly by a driver who pulled up next to him.
But Vann said the move n to reassign her from desk duty to doing what her late husband was the night he was killed, was not her decision. She said her captain told her it was due to low morale and complaints from some of the officers who she supervised in mental health services.
“I was never brought in, so I was never aware of any complaints,” Vann said. “I was disappointed, very disheartened and very upset.”
Vann said she also was denied due process, giving her an opportunity to respond and have the allegations investigated.
“That’s why we have civil service with the Sheriff’s Office,” Vann said.
However, spokesperson Louis Antu said Vann was not eligible for due process because hers was merely a reassignment, not a form of punishment. Because it’s a personnel matter, Antu would not divulge the reasons behind the move.
Antu said Kenneth Vann’s loss is still felt throughout the Sheriff’s Office, but Yvonne Vann’s reassignment was “for the betterment of the department.”
A 20-year veteran, who rose through the ranks from detention officer to patrol sergeant, Vann said her sudden reassignment was an emotional blow to her teenage son, being his father was killed on patrol.
“They always feel that’s going to happen to me as well,” Vann said. “I can’t say his concerns aren’t valid. They are.”
Vann said the patrol officers who welcomed her back told her, “We’re going to take care of you.”
“The love that they had for Kenneth and the love they have for me, that was there,” she said.
Vann said being back on patrol is second nature to her, but for the sake of her family, she is considering retirement. But she said doing so wouldn’t be fair to taxpayers.
“You’ve invested a lot of money in me and a lot of training,” Vann said.
She said she is certified mental health officer, with a master’s degree, who has overseen officers whose duties include extraditions for criminally insane and handling crisis calls in the community. Vann said she also was teaching crisis intervention training.
Vann said her late husband had tried being reassigned, but couldn’t because of what he called “the good old boy system.”
She said, “He probably would think that’s occurred with me as well.”