SAN ANTONIO – A group of 23 residents who took part in the second Bexar County Sheriff’s Office Citizens Academy said they have a new level of understanding and respect for deputies.
Jose Jimenez was put through two different simulations in which he had to decide if he was going to use lethal force or not. He said his adrenaline and heart were pumping.
“It was tough having to pull the trigger on someone who clearly had some type of issue going,” he said.
In one scenario, Jimenez hit the bad guy and also hit a deputy, with only a second to decide if it was his life or the other person holding a weapon.
“It clearly shows this is not an easy thing,” he said. “It's a split-second decision and mistakes are made sometimes. It’s my life or the perpetrator.”
During the 13-week course, class members are taken to the dispatch center, on ride-alongs and even shown how the investigative process works.
Sam Pulling, another class member, said his routine uneventful ride-along ended with the deputy saving a life by using CPR.
“It could be a routine day and in a heartbeat, it could be a crisis for someone,” Pulling said. “It was automatic what he was doing. His training kicked in. It was perfect.”
The intention of the class is for citizens to get a better understanding on how BCSO operates and to erase misconceptions. For those 23 who stuck with the class, it worked. They urge others to take the class as well. The next class will be offered in May.