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.