SAN ANTONIO -

Bexar County commissioners plan to hire a civilian range master for its new state-of-the-art gun range, something the Sheriff’s deputies’ union said is a waste of taxpayer money.

“We have qualified range masters already on the department payroll but they’re not being utilized,” said Joel Janssen, President of the Deputy Sheriff’s Association of Bexar County.

Range masters must be certified by the state, and are responsible for the maintenance, scheduling, and safety of the gun range.

County Commissioner Kevin Wolff said the county wants to hire a civilian to run the facility for several reasons.

First, because the facility will be used by several county agencies like the fire marshals and the District Attorney’s office, he said it’s not fair for the Sheriff’s office to run the range.

The county will also receive payment from outside groups who want to use the range — money the county wants.

If the sheriff’s office ran the range, all payments would go directly to them, and not to the county as a whole.

Wolff argued the Sheriff’s office will still get a slice of the pie, however, as some of the money the county receives will inevitably go to them.

The county plans to hire the civilian range master soon.