Entire investigative unit exposed to COVID-19 after Sheriff refuses ‘work from home’ request.
SAN ANTONIO, TX, APRIL 24, 2020 – Last week, in an attempt to prevent illness within our ranks and avoid possible exposure to COVID-19, the Deputy Sheriff’s Association of Bexar County (DSABC) made an official request to Sheriff Salazar to send investigators who could work from home to work remotely. The sheriff refused the request and now, unfortunately, it has been discovered that an entire investigative traffic homicide unit has been exposed to COVID-19 due to one of the investigators in the unit testing positive.
“This didn’t have to happen,” said Jeremy Payne, President of the Deputy Sheriff’s Association of Bexar County, “All the investigators we requested to work remotely have take-home cars, laptops, and can respond from their homes but, instead they were exposed to an infected colleague and now an entire investigative unit is compromised.”
The DSABC is asking Sheriff Salazar to reconsider his policy of refusing remote work requests for those who are able to do so. The first priority of the DSABC is the health and wellness of our members so that they can continue to serve the public in this time of crisis.
Sheriff Salazar’s Incompetence Literally Causing Harm
This is beyond crazy. Those investigators are in offices in the Bexar County Jail. Salazar has made a big deal in front of the media about getting inmates out of jail to lower the chance of spreading the virus (which we agree with) yet refuses to do a similar thing to protect his employees? If the investigators can work remotely then they should be allowed to. More people there just means more opportunities to infect those who HAVE to be there. The investigators interact with the civilians. The civilians interact with the Detention officers. Even if his administration is too ignorant to understand the risk, they didn’t have to figure it out on their own. It was pointed out to them.
Salazar intentionally refused to take a common sense action to protect his employees. Why? What is the rationale behind his refusal? The investigators don’t cover on the Detention side. They have their own work to do. So what was it? Was it an attitude of, if we have to be here then you have to be here? Or is it back to Salazar and Serrato continuing to be San Antonio Police Officers at heart and not trusting those county officers to actually do their job unless someone is standing over them?
If the media writes about this story then the Salazar administration will probably act. They ONLY do the right thing when they are worried about the public finding out what they are really doing. The reality is, the Salazar administration doesn’t care about their employees. Everyone is just a replaceable body to them. Chief Rios may have said the quiet part out loud when he told an officer, “you’re just a number” but he was relaying the sentiment that the whole Salazar administration has for the employees.