‘That is the worst-run jail within the state of Texas’ | Deputy Sheriff’s Assoc. of Bexar Co. says poor staffing at jail is having a detrimental influence

The report sent to KENS 5 includes quotes from current MPs who report “exhaustion”.

SAN ANTONIO – The Bexar County’s Deputy Sheriff’s Association released study results conducted by a mental health expert. The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office had “a serious impact on the physical and mental health of MPs, as well as costly financial and public safety” on Bexar County’s taxpayers. “

The report sent to KENS 5 includes quotes from current MPs who report “exhaustion”. Some MPs have also raised gender and racial prejudice within the agency, according to the report.

The association held a press conference Wednesday morning to address the study.

The report documents one MP who they say must file for divorce because the overtime required is causing “problems” in their marriage. The report also highlights a pregnant MP who reported that her days of maternity leave were taken away because she did not work overtime.

Also at the press conference was Charley Wilkison of the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas (CLEAT).

“There’s a jaundiced, biased, blind eye to prison conditions,” Wilkison said.

“This is the worst-run prison in the state of Texas,” said Ron DeLord, chief negotiator for CLEAT.

The full press conference can be found here.

After the report, we contacted Sheriff Javier Salazar and have not yet received a response.

The association’s full report reads as follows:

A new study, conducted by a mental health expert, concludes that systematic understaffing of the Bexar County’s sheriff’s office has serious implications for the physical and mental health of MPs, as well as costly financial and public repercussions for taxpayers of Bexar County has.

The report, which includes survey results and direct quotes from the Deputy Sheriff of Bexar Co. on active duty, describes the extremely low morale in the agency with a dissatisfaction rate of close to 60%, a high level of “burnout and exhaustion” and reports of important ones health concerns due to overwork and gender and racial prejudice within the agency.

While the financial ramifications of this crisis are unacceptable – eleven years of systemic staff shortages cost the county millions in overtime in the last year alone – the human impact has been devastating, leading to life, family breaks, mental health problems, workplace injuries, burnout and exhaustion, Disciplinary issues, retention and recruitment issues. All of this has affected the ability of the Deputies of the Bexar Co. Sheriff’s to do the job they are sworn to do.

For the past nine months, the Bexar County’s Deputy Sheriff’s Association (DSABC) has asked the Salazar and Bexar County’s officers to find solutions to this issue, but those requests have fallen on deaf ears. Because district managers ignored or assessed the severity of the problem, DSABC commissioned this independent study to focus on key job satisfaction issues in the Bexar Co. Sheriff’s office.

The study reports that systematic understaffing has had a significant impact on the health and well-being of MPs, who work an average of 80 to 96 hours of overtime over a four-week period. The study reports that 73% of MPs polled feel that their health and wellbeing has not been considered. The Japanese have a word for it: Karoshi or “Overworked Death”. In Japan, restrictions are imposed on the number of hours a person can work due to increased incidences of mental health problems, workplace injuries, deteriorating health and high suicide rates. Much of these consequences can be seen here in our own back yard in the Bexar County’s sheriff’s office. The only difference between us and Japan is that they are ready to admit they have a problem and ready to fix it, unlike our local government.

Several topics emerged from the study, highlighting various challenges that had an impact on MEPs’ job satisfaction. Topics emerging include FNR / MOT / FMOT issues, political issues that affect women not being assessed by supervisors, guidelines on unfair discipline, overtime that affects their personal life, equipment issues, and political challenges at the administrative level.

During the study, a BCSO representative gave the following feedback:

“I’m pregnant and they never took this into account when assigning units. I have worked with female high risk units, male high risk units, units with COVID positive inmates, and mental inmates. You are taking maternity leave days from mine [Family Medical Leave Act] fmla if I don’t work my overtime. It’s a very rough work environment and I wouldn’t recommend anyone applying. Especially a woman. ”

The report also notes that MPs are the only category of employees in Bexar County who are expected to work overtime. Public works, prosecutors, clerks, police officers, district clerks, elections, firefighters, emergency management, housekeeping, tax officials, and even commissioners are not expected to do overtime that is forced on MPs. Although the sheriff (following an advertising campaign organized by DSABC highlighting the staffing problems in the Bexar County prison) slightly improved recruitment, poor retention rates and the underlying causes were not addressed.

“How can we ever be caught when we are losing so many MPs to the poor working conditions listed in this report,” said Jeremy Payne, president of the Bexar County’s Deputy Sheriff’s Association. “District managers refuse to address these shortcomings and even we as a union understand our limits and hire professionals to conduct a workplace study to find answers because we see the problem and refuse to sweep it under the rug or blame anyone otherwise give. ”

Bexar County’s deputies have a duty to protect the public and comply with the law while remaining calm and professional despite multi-faceted threats. In the meantime, staff shortages remain significant, forcing MPs to work overtime and spend time with their loved ones. When stressors are increased, they inherently increase the wellbeing and safety of the MPs who have to do their jobs.

During the study, a BCSO MP revealed the following:

“The morale I have at work is down. I am a 5 year old veteran who is slowly considering resigning because my job is negatively affecting where I live. All of the overtime I’m forced to work causes problems in my marriage, so much so that I apply for a divorce. I have to decide whether I want to resign or divorce my wife, with whom I have been together for 8 years and with whom I have 2 children. I like my job, but the superiors make it difficult for me. I get stressed from the inmates, which goes without saying, but also from my superiors, and when I get home I get stressed in my personal life. Because of overtime. ”

The current study was a starting point for the effort needed to examine the role of variables in overall job satisfaction on the welfare and morale of MPs. The results were dismal, revealing devastating information about the life, well-being and safety of BCSO MPs, as well as systemic problems within the agency.

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