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Sheriff Susan Pamerleau Cites Department Improvement In Address To Community

Eileen Pace
TPR News
Bexar County Sheriff Susan Pamerleau addressed the county in her first State-of-the-Jail address.

Bexar County Sheriff Susan Pamerleau, the county’s first female sheriff, gave her first State-of-the-Jail report today. She addressed local elected officials and business leaders, listing her accomplishments so far and outlining plans for the future.

With the largest chunk of the county’s budget, Pamerleau said she treats the office like a business, continuously searching for efficiencies. Pamerleau said 2013 was the year of improving the jail, and 2014 will be driven by facility improvements, starting with two new, permanent substations in East and West Bexar County.

"Every day, every patrol vehicle is driven somewhere between 70 to almost 300 miles just to reach their assigned districts," Pamerleau said. "That means that we are spending almost three-quarters of a million dollars just getting to where our officers patrol."

Pamerleau said the cost of two proposed substations would be amortized in five years with the savings they would create.

"Replacement tires [and] preventive maintenance that has to be done, and the number of vehicles that we’re replacing so quickly, it was pretty obvious," she said. "When you do the numbers, that’s where that came from."

Pamerleau told the audience that since she took office a year ago, electronic pay has been instituted, detention officer overtime hours have decreased, and the jail passed the Texas Commission on Jail Standards inspection with no discrepancies for the first time in the jail’s history.

Pamerleau asked for the support of county commissioners for continued upgrades to facilities, computer systems, and training this year. Her goal is to be the first in the state to attain national accreditation for a county jail.

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.