SAN ANTONIO – Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar says he needs more deputies on the streets to combat increased crime in growing areas.
Salazar wrote a letter on Friday asking the commissioners court to “approve the addition of 12 patrol deputies and increase our Criminal Investigations Division by at least 5 criminal investigators.”
He stated that additional deputies are needed to adequately address a rise in violent crime in advance of the summer months.
“Ask anybody in law enforcement and anybody that has any interest in crime, ‘When are you busy? When is your busiest time of the year?’ Everybody says summer,” said Salazar.
He added that the increase in crime has created a strain on the already taxed resources of the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office. Salazar said additional CID investigators would be assigned to violent crimes.
“If you get investigators that are buried under a caseload, it’s hard to give individualized attention to any one of those case files,” said Salazar. “Getting more investigators to spread that caseload out more evenly will allow us to give individualized attention to each one of those cases but additionally give ourselves the advantage and allow us to solve more cases in the process.”
Salazar noted that “shootings, domestic assaults, human trafficking, and other crimes against persons are daily occurrences.” But he said the spike in violent crime is also a result of thieves breaking into vehicles and stealing guns, and it is a major concern for BCSO.
“People are getting their guns stolen out of cars, and then those guns are being in turn used to commit violent crimes,” said Salazar. “It’s careless gun owners that are leaving that gun under the seat of their car, forgetting about it, going to bed and leaving their car unlocked in a lot of these cases.”
“The chances are they are going to find a gun either under the seat, in the glove box or the center console. And then that gun can be used against an innocent citizen or law enforcement officer,” said Salazar.
In the letter, Salazar also referenced an unsolved string of car break-ins in west Bexar County in April, where the suspects were openly carrying guns in Alamo Ranch neighborhoods.
“As the county grows, the crime issues grow and morph, and some areas get worse. We have to continue to grow with the county to keep up with the urban sprawl,” said Salazar.
Salazar said while his recruiters are working proactively to fill BCSO vacancies, he hopes to meet with commissioners over the next few weeks to discuss his proposal before a budget is finalized.
You can read the letter from Sheriff Salazar to the commissioners court below.