SAN ANTONIO – Sheriff Susan Pamerleau and her challenger, San Antonio police Sgt. Javier Salazar, went head-to-head inside the KSAT studios Friday in one of their final appearances together before Election Day.
Both candidates began the debate by touting their respective careers in public service.
Salazar is a 20-year-plus veteran of the San Antonio Police Department and currently leads the department’s public integrity unit.
Pamerleau is a retired U.S. Air Force major general and former senior vice president of USAA. She said those careers set her up for success during her first term as sheriff.
The debate at times was venomous. The sheriff found herself on the defense about detention officer morale and the rollout of body cameras. Only eight body cameras are currently in use.
Jail suicides were also a sticking point for both candidates. A Defenders investigation last month revealed concerns from current and former detention officers who claimed inmate checks are botched and logbooks are falsified.
Pamerleau pointed out that she’s increased awareness of inmate mental health issues, as the suicide rate has dropped 30 percent since she took office.
Both candidates said they respect each other’s careers in public service.