1,047 Schertz PD cases were impacted in purge that destroyed decade’s worth of evidence

12 cases have been dismissed due to the error

Schertz Police Department headquarters. (Joshua Saunders, KSAT)

SCHERTZ – Schertz police said more than 1,000 cases were impacted in the purge of the department’s property room that led to evidence being destroyed or removed.

The department said Friday that the review into the error has been completed, and the investigation determined that 1,047 cases — mostly in Guadalupe County — were impacted.

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However, the error did impact some cases in Bexar and Comal counties, where portions of Schertz also sit.

A total of 12 cases were dismissed due to the error, which was discovered in January, SPD said in a news release.

“All 12 cases reside within the Guadalupe County Attorney’s jurisdiction and include Misdemeanor and Felony cases that occurred from 2002 through 2013,” the release states.

A July report from KSAT Investigates stated that in the error, over a decade’s worth of evidence was destroyed or removed from the Schertz Police Department’s property room without prosecutorial review.

A Feb. 15 cease and desist letter obtained by KSAT accused Schertz police of asking judges to sign destruction orders for drug evidence and weapons without them being reviewed.

Police initially said the blunder was believed to have impacted 1,376 cases from 2007-2018.

At the time, prosecutors from Guadalupe, Bexar and Comal counties said they would review the cases in their respective jurisdictions.

“The Schertz Police Department is committed to delivering premier law enforcement services and this incident is an opportunity for us to learn and improve as we work towards achieving that goal,” SPD Chief Jim Lowery said in the release. “We have implemented new protocols and processes that will require County Attorney review and a signed court order to be in hand before any evidence is purged. Additionally, all department personnel will complete in-house training pertaining to property and records retention.

Lowery added that the victims in the 12 dismissed cases have been contacted.

Pressed Friday about whether any SPD officers had been suspended, a city spokeswoman told KSAT Investigates:

“No, no one was suspended. Department personnel were coached/counseled regarding this incident and policies and processes were reviewed and updates are being finalized accordingly.”

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About the Authors:

Emmy-award winning reporter Dillon Collier joined KSAT Investigates in September 2016. Dillon's investigative stories air weeknights on the Nightbeat and on the Six O'Clock News. Dillon is a two-time Houston Press Club Journalist of the Year and a Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Reporter of the Year.

Joshua Saunders is an Emmy award-winning photographer/editor who has worked in the San Antonio market for the past 20 years. Joshua works in the Defenders unit, covering crime and corruption throughout the city.