BCSO: Deputies who 'volunteered' for Far NE side neighborhood cleanup were paid

By Mariah Medina - Digital Journalist

SAN ANTONIO - Editor's note: A previous version of this story stated that Bexar County Sheriff's deputies volunteered for this event based on information provided by the Sheriff's Office. After a KSAT viewer questioned whether the deputies were on duty and paid to participate, KSAT reached out to BCSO for clarification. Despite initially referring to deputies as volunteers, a spokesman for the Sheriff's Office confirmed that the deputies were paid to be there. The headline of this story has been updated to reflect that the deputies did not volunteer.

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Members of the Bexar County Sheriff's Office, adult and juvenile probation and members of local groups participated in a cleanup event on the Far Northeast Side early Saturday morning.

Participants went through the Camelot II and The Glen neighborhoods to clear trash piled up in alleyways and nearby creeks.

Participants, including Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar, assisted crews of volunteers in removing broken, discarded appliances, furniture, tires and other trash from the alleyways.

In addition to cleaning the area for members of the community, one participant, Deputy Joel Babb, said the cleanup helps humanize members of law enforcement.

"I think it just shows (members of the community) that we're human beings just like them," Babb said. "We're just here to help them."

Joel Chavez, a graduate of the Sheriff's Office's 2018 Bravo patrol class, called the cleanup "humbling." He said he received nothing but positive feedback from members of the community who witnessed the cleanup.

"Everything about policing is giving back to the community," Chavez said. 

Volunteers from Crosspoint Church and BCSO Explorers program also participated in the event.

San Antonio's Solid Waste Management provided the crews with garbage trucks to dispose of the trash, and Tiger Sanitation, Inc. also provided trash services, the Sheriff's Office said.

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