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'Prop B' Raises Questions Of Police Accountability In San Antonio

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Kathleen Creedon
/
Texas Public Radio
Demonstrators face a line of San Antonio officers at a protest against police brutality at Alamo Plaza on May 30, 2020. The protest occurred days after Minneapolis police officers killed George Floyd.

Police reform is a hot topic nationwide and in San Antonio, where voters will soon decide whether to approve a controversial measure that would strip the police union of its collective bargaining ability.

Advocates say a "yes" vote on Proposition B — a repeal of Chapter 174 — will improve police accountability and reform what's seen as a flawed disciplinary system for officers who break the rules.

Those opposed argue the loss of bargaining rights would limit the department's recruiting ability, which they say would result in fewer officers and more crime on the streets.

San Antonio's police union played an influential role in the "playbook" departments across the U.S. use to negotiate their contracts.

Prop B was added to the May ballot after a petition by Fix SAPD — an organization focused on increasing police accountability in San Antonio — received the state-mandated 20,000 verified signatures.

The San Antonio Police Officers Association says reformers are trying to "defund the police" — a claim refuted by Fix SAPD leadership. Would Prop B actually reduce police funding, or is the union's messaging misleading?

What are the pros and cons of San Antonio's Proposition B? If it fails, is increased officer accountability off the table completely?

What will change if it passes, and how would that affect the City's ongoing negotiations for a new contract with police?

Early voting in Bexar County is April 19-27. Election Day is May 1. More information here.

Guests:

  • Ananda Tomas, deputy director of Fix SAPD
  • Alonzio Hardin, SAFFE Officer at the San Antonio Police Department's East Substation and president of the SA Black Officer’s Coalition within the San Antonio Police Officers Association

"The Source" is a live call-in program airing Mondays through Thursdays from 12-1 p.m. Leave a message before the program at (210) 615-8982. During the live show, call 833-877-8255, email thesource@tpr.org or tweet @TPRSource.

*This interview was recorded on Wednesday, April 14.