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Bexar County Sheriff Responds To Recent Deputy Arrests

Eileen Pace

Following the arrest of several deputies in the past week, Bexar County Sheriff Susan Pamerleau told reporters she has implemented programs to address disciplinary problems among deputies and detention guards.

In three separate incidents, two deputies were arrested at their homes in connection with domestic violence issues.

Paul Berry, a sheriff's department spokesman, said that in another incident two jail guards got into a fight Sunday evening.

"It began as a disagreement between two officers over how a rookie officer was being trained, and it quickly escalated into a physical altercation," Berry said.

One of the deputies was hospitalized with part of his ear bitten off.

Although these incidents concern a small percentage of personnel, Pamerleau said they represent common problems that she wants addressed immediately.

"As I've stated before, I don't put Band-Aids on problems," she explained. 

Pamerleau said her team is working actively to incorporate outlets for stress release and training in coping skills.

"These are primarily related to family counseling. Work-related stressors in law enforcement dictate differently-experienced counselors, and we're looking at options provided either by contract or by full-time personnel," she said.

Pamerleau said she is developing guidelines for a volunteer chaplain program.

She said each deputy is accountable for his actions, but she wants a long-term solution to the systemic problem and says the level of professionalism will be higher than it is today.

Eileen Pace is a veteran radio and print journalist with a long history of investigative and feature reporting in San Antonio and Houston, earning more than 50 awards for investigative reporting, documentaries, long-form series, features, sports stories, outstanding anchoring and best use of sound.