Incompetence Rules at the Bexar County Jail

photo of Chief Jaime Rios
Chief Jaime Rios

Officer Mentions Concerns About Working Conditions

On Monday, the Deputy Sheriffs Association of Bexar County (DSABC) released a statement regarding an incident involving the Bexar County Jail’s newest chief, Jaime Rios. Per the statement, “Chief Rios was brought in specifically by Sheriff Javier Salazar to address staffing issues and to help improve morale and working conditions at the jail.”

DSABC’s function is to protect the deputies from abuse, unprofessional behavior and contract violations. The statement cites an incident in which a deputy expressed his concerns to Chief Rios regarding working conditions. According to the statement Rios’s response to the deputy was, “if he didn’t like it, he could quit and that it was ‘no sweat off me, you’re just a number.'”

No Sweat Off Me, You’re Just a Number

Wow! The amount of disrespect in that comment is almost incomprehensible. Well, it would be under any other administration but under the Salazar administration it’s just one more example of poor leadership that is rampant at the Bexar County Jail. These are officer that are scheduled, not only for mandatory overtime, but forced mandatory overtime also. Then on top of that, they can be forced to work ‘unscheduled forced overtime’. Every damn week they work a minimum of two shifts beyond their assigned duties and can be forced to work more.

They’re exhausted. And what do they get in return? A chief who tells them they are just a number. It appears that Chief Rios didn’t even have the sense to say it just to the one officer who was asking. He said it in front of about 30 officers. Now all the officers know that Chief Rios couldn’t care less about them. They’re just a replaceable cog in the machine. Has this man ever taken any courses on workplace morale? Does he even understand how badly he has blown his credibility?

I have no idea what kind of worker the officer was, yes past tense, because the officer did resign, but it doesn’t matter if he was a good or bad worker. Good bosses don’t do what Rios did, to their people. Good bosses maintain their professionalism even if inside they are thinking, what a whiner. They do it out of respect for the position the officer holds, if not for the person them self, and out of an awareness of the need to maintain morale in the workplace.

Coronavirus Could Make a Bad Situation 1000x Worse

The Sheriff’s Office is still down approximately 200 officers. The Salazar administration doesn’t seem to give a damn about the shortage as long as the duty slots get filled. They appear to be fine with the officers working crazy hours. And now we have the coronavirus on the horizon. A virus which is growing exponentially. Jails have people coming in and out on a constant basis. All jails and prisons are at high risk. It only takes one infected person being booked. The normal conditions in a jail,  confinement in close quarters to other people, will do the rest.

And from there it will jump to the officers. You know, those people who have to physically handle inmates. What happens when the virus starts going through ranks that are already drastically depleted? How well can officers fight off an illness when their bodies are already worn down from exhaustion? What will the Salazar administration do if 20, 30, or more officers go down with the virus? Make the remaining officers work even more?

DSABC Demands Disciplinary Action

I can’t express how deeply stupid Chief Rios’s actions would be under the best of circumstances but under the current circumstances they are dereliction of duty. DSABC is requesting that Sheriff Salazar reprimand Chief Rios. I think they are being generous. In my opinion, Chief Rios should be terminated. After all, he is one of three Detention chiefs. It shouldn’t be any sweat off of Salazar, Rios is just a number.

We recommend you read the statement from DSABC here or at the link about.

6 thoughts on “Incompetence Rules at the Bexar County Jail

  1. Brad

    Most of the chiefs have been saying this for years. I say most, chief Vela was an exception. He was a great person put I an impossible situation.

    • admin

      Brad – I probably should apologize for the anger I showed when writing that post but I found what Chief Rios said beyond acceptable. After everything the officers are having to do to keep things running, that’s the mentality? It’s infuriating. The reality is, the officers are more valuable than the chiefs.

  2. Joe

    The jail system needs to be privatized in the booking area, front desk, give the civil section to the Constables, and redirect those officers back into the jail. While some positions may not be reassign other smart moves may be made.

    • admin

      Joe – We posted your comment but we want to be on record that we do not support your suggestions. All privatizing does is add a middle man who taps into the funds that would go to support whichever area is being privatized. That means either the officers, the inmates, or more than likely both, are receiving less (pay or services) because money is being taken to make someone else rich. For our readers, we are firmly against privatization. As far as the constables, that’s not really how it works. Positions and budgets are determined on workload. If the workload is not there, the county manager will take the funds from the Sheriff’s Office. They will lose those positions. But thank you for the out-of-the-box thinking. If someone doesn’t do something innovative the jail will continue to have problems.

  3. Dunn

    This bothers the hell out of me! As an ex SERT Officer of the Bexar County Jail, I’m outraged at this! I still have friends who work in these conditions and it saddens me! They are “just a number” is a crazy statement! It makes me angry! If it wasn’t for the employees busting their butts everyday the inmates would run the jail! Is that what they want? I’ve only been gone a year, and I see the morale go down, and that’s only from posts and things my friends tell me! It’s crazy! I even visited the jail last year, and NOBODY looked happy coming into work! People were late, slowly walking in! My friends and I used to be happy going into work to see each other, knock another 8 hours out, keep people safe, and even work another 8! Not anymore! Just to think I wanted to
    Come back! I can’t see myself jumping back into the jail with Sheriff Javi leading the pack! It’s ridiculous! Something needs to be done!

    • admin

      Dunn – You bring up a very valid point. Who is going to want to come back or hire on with the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office when they know this is how personnel is regarded by the people in charge.

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