Former stay-at-home mom earns "top gun" in BCSO graduating class

Women make up half of newest BCSO graduating cadet class

SAN ANTONIO – Twenty cadets walked across a stage Wednesday at Texas A&M University-San Antonio to become the newest deputy sheriffs with the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office.

Half of the now former cadets were women.

Deputy Sheriff Smith, who asked her first name not be used, comes from a law enforcement family and spent the last seven years as a stay-at-home mom.

“I watched my dad go through the ranks. He's a DA investigator with Bexar County. I watched my husband go through the academy. He's a deputy sheriff with Bexar County as well,” Smith said. “And now it’s just my turn. My turn.”

Smith’s father pinned on her badge during the graduation ceremony.

She says her experience as a stay-at-home mom will translate into her new role at the Bexar County Jail.

“I can multitask,” Smith said. “I have 20 arms somewhere. They pop out.”

BCSO has been trying to recruit more women to join its ranks.

“Specifically, one of the things the male officers can’t do that the female officers can is that they can guard female inmates,” said Sheriff Javier Salazar. “Right now, we've got about 600 female inmates in the jail, but they add versatility because they can also guard male inmates.”

Smith doesn't expect to face any more challenges than her male counterparts at the jail just because she's a woman.

But having a certain kind of support and camaraderie through the last 10 weeks of training, she says, was invaluable.

"They knew what I was feeling, what I was going through, kids,” Smith said. “The whole aspect was really great having other females go through it with me.”

The newest graduates will spend the next three weeks having on the job training before they become full time detention officers at the Bexar County Jail.

They must spend two years working in detention before moving on to work in other BCSO divisions outside the jail.

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