SAN ANTONIO – Three new billboards in Bexar County are calling out the Sheriff’s office, stating the department is understaffed.
The billboards were put up by the Bexar County Deputies Association, and Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar says the signs are both false and misleading.
The billboards read: “Only one deputy assigned to patrol all of Alamo Ranch”, and “Only 3 DWI deputies for all of Bexar County”, along with one off of I-35 and O’Connor Road which states, “Only one deputy assigned to this area at night”.
Sheriff Javier Salazar said he wasn’t a fan of the move. He said not only is the information not correct, it could also attract criminals to the areas in question, if they think they are easy targets.
“That is actually false. Aside from our patrol staffing, we also have specialized units -- our streets crimes unit, our gang unit, our DWI traffic units that are out and about. Our warrant teams, and are our SCORE unit is out and about,” Salazar said.
When asked where he got the information for the billboards, Bexar County Deputies Association President Jeremy Payne said he couldn’t reveal his sources.
KSAT12 spoke to residents who drove by the signs for the first time. They had lots of concerns and questions about the claims.
“We want to feel protected. One deputy for a whole area, like that just seems well under serviced,” Shawn Grubbs said.
Another resident, Jayden Stevenson, also shared his concerns.
“You need more patrols in the area to help secure the citizens,” he said.
According to Salazar, the Alamo Ranch area has four patrolling deputies and there are currently three designated DWI deputies in the county. All patrolling deputies can enforce DWI laws. And as for the night shift near IH-35 and O’Connor, he said that is primarily patrolled by SAPD.
“If they would like to assist with our recruiting efforts, maybe they can take the money they’re wasting on senseless billboards and help us with our recruitment efforts,” Salazar said.
Payne said the issue isn’t hiring, but retaining employees.
“The problem we have at the Sheriff’s office is once they come work for the sheriff, they don’t want to stay and I don’t know why that is,” Payne said.