Graduating Jailers’ Class Exposed to COVID-19?

Sheriff Salazar
Sheriff Javier Salazar photo by KSAT 12

Bexar County Jail Puts New Deputies on Leave

The whole graduating 2020-Alpha jailers’ class may have been exposed to the coronavirus even before they could begin working in the Bexar County jail . KSAT 12 reported that one new deputy was experiencing flu-like symptoms which lead to the action by the Sheriff’s Office. This whole group that deputies were desperately waiting for is now on leave for two weeks. And that short a time only if they turn out to be negative.

We’ve noticed that phrase, flu-like symptoms, keeps being used by the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office. That doesn’t make sense to us. It’s allergy season. A LOT of people will have flu-like symptoms. Are they putting everyone out on leave? It’s doubtful. They wouldn’t have enough people left to run the place. So why are certain people being put out on leave? Odds are high there is more to this story, and probably the others, that we are not being told which would be no surprise considering how much Salazar tries to hide from the public.

Bexar County Jail Cadet Training

Cadets trying to become deputies are treated in a paramilitary fashion. Some of their training resembles the kind of basic training that is given to our military and the instructors seem to want to think of themselves as just as tough as those military instructors. Not only do the cadets study and exercise together, they even get punished together. By that I mean that when one person messes up, the whole class will be punished. Quite often the punishment is physical, running, push-ups or other activities while in close proximity to each other.  Those are things that make people breathe harder and sweat, both of which increase the risk of spreading a virus. Under normal circumstances that wouldn’t be a problem but under the current situation it’s outright deadly.

Untrained People Working the Jail

There’s a paragraph in the the KSAT story that I want to bring to your attention.

“Cadet class 2020-Charlie will continue to work in the Adult Detention Center to augment staffing levels until 2020-Alpha returns to duty, the release states. Cadet Class 2020-Bravo is currently in the academy, and is slated to graduate on April 16th.”

The classes are currently 2020-A, B and C. Class A was obviously the first class of the year. They were at the graduating point. Class B is still in training. So why is Class C, the newest group, working in the jail? In case you are not aware, the sheriff was able to list them as temporary employees which means they do not have to have a jailer’s certification. He is using untrained staff to work the jail while they are waiting for it to be their turn to go to class to learn how to work the jail. Working the jail while waiting to learn how to work the jail. What could possibly go wrong?

There is an Up Side to This Mess

Ironically, in some ways things are not as bleak as they were before the COVID-19 pandemic. Remember, the jail was down approximately 200 officers and the numbers were still dropping. For some utterly incompetent reason, even though staffing was already an issue, the Salazar administration only had three jailer training classes in 2019, when the number is usually closer to eight. Things were bad. However, with the pandemic, judges are allowing more people to be released on P.R. bonds. That has reduced the jail population by 770 people.

The Bexar County Courthouse has been closed, no cases are being heard. That means the Sheriff’s Office was able to bring those officers to the jail to help. I hear there are tons of people resigning and retiring, most to get away from an administration they consider to be incompetent, but some because of the risk of infection. Even with those leaving, the lower population and the added deputies seems to have helped the situation. It’s a silver lining on a terribly black cloud but it’s a silver lining nonetheless.

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