San Antonio police union questions changes made to hiring standards for SAPD

Union sends letter to Mayor Nirenberg, asking for reversal of changes

SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Police Officers Association is questioning the lowering of hiring standards of the San Antonio Police Department. 

The changes were made in November by the Fire Fighters’ and Police Officers’ Civil Service Commission.

Police union President Mike Helle believes the changes will have an effect on the quality of the men and women serving and protecting the Alamo City.

"The person that you're putting your faith and hands into can take someone's life if they feel that it's justified to do so. You need to have the most qualified people in order to do that," Helle said.

SAPOA sent a letter a Mayor Ron Nirenberg expressing its concerns and asking the city to reverse the commission's decisions. Below is the letter and the changes to the hiring standards:

SAPOA Letter to the Mayor 

KSAT 12 obtained the following statement from SAPD's public information office:

“The rule changes we made to our hiring practices are in line with current standards. The proposals were reviewed by our Training Advisory Committee, which consists of SAPD officers, citizens and also our legal team. These changes were reviewed and approved by the San Antonio Police and Fire Commission. We believe that certain youthful transgressions should not disqualify an applicant who has demonstrated a higher level of maturity and responsibility with age. These mistakes made early on in life should not permanently disqualify someone from serving their community as a police officer. These changes bring fairness and common sense to our hiring process.”

The mayor has not yet responded to our request for comment.