McManus making proper changes following mishandled cases, consultant says

Detective fired after tossing 130 sex assault cases

By Stephanie Serna - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - The San Antonio Police Department is taking proper measures to ensure cases are thoroughly investigated, a consultant said Tuesday.

Bob Stewart of Bobcat Consulting said he has reviewed changes SAPD made in its investigative processing after an internal affairs investigation in October determined that Detective Kenneth Valdez failed to thoroughly investigate 130 cases he was assigned while working in the Special Victims Unit. Valdez was fired following the controversy and a review into the investigative process began shortly after.

Among the changes made by Police Chief William McManus were only allowing supervisors to make the final call to close a case.

"They created a monthly audit process where not only the investigative sergeants but the lieutenants were involved, making sure they were on top of the investigator's activities," Stewart said.

McManus said the department's focus is on victim service and accountability across the board.

"As we discovered the SVU issue, we decided to take a look at all our investigative units, from property crimes to major crimes, and that's what we did," McManus said. "We focused on every investigative unit across the board."

Stewart said his only suggestion is for SAPD to streamline some of the case paperwork.

McManus said he respects Stewart's review.

"I'm very confident in his recommendations," McManus said. "Mr. Stewart has been involved in national policing issues for quite some time. He's currently a monitor for at least one city."

The review is expected to be completed by February.

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