Bexar County Courthouse, Cadena-Reeves Justice Center add new security measures

BCSO says goal is to keep staff and public safe

SAN ANTONIO – The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office has stepped up security at the Cadena-Reeves Justice Center and Bexar County Courthouse following several incidents inside the buildings.

Last October, a large fight broke out in the 144th District Courtroom as family members of a teen shooting victim jumped into the jury box to attack the defendant accused of killing him.

That incident forced some changes to be put into place, but as of late even more increased protocols have been put in place.

The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office told KSAT 12 changes include:

  • Increased training for bailiffs
  • Conducting courtroom security assessments
  • Modified tactics for high-profile trials
  • Revising the list of prohibited items at the courthouse

In some courtrooms, chairs are being zip-tied to benches and nobody is allowed to sit in the front row. Also, victim impact statements will be given from inside the gallery where the public sits or inside the jury box. And when a verdict is read or a defendant is sentenced, there will be numerous deputies in the courtroom.

KSAT has learned that more changes are in the works.

According to BCSO, they are developing a quicker response protocol for deputies during emergencies.

About the Authors

Erica Hernandez is an Emmy award-winning journalist with 15 years of experience in the broadcast news business. Erica has covered a wide array of stories all over Central and South Texas. She's currently the court reporter and cohost of the podcast Texas Crime Stories.

Sal Salazar is a photojournalist at KSAT 12. Before coming to KSAT in 1998, he worked at the Fox affiliate in San Antonio. Sal started off his career back in 1995 for the ABC Affiliate in Lubbock and has covered many high-profile news events since. In his free time, he enjoys spending time at home, gaming and loves traveling with his wife.

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