In the Bexar County Sheriff's race, incumbent Republican Sheriff Susan Pamerleau is facing off with Democratic candidate Javier Salazar.
Susan Pamerleau was elected as Bexar County Sheriff in November 2012 making her the first woman to hold that position in the county. She served 32 years in the U.S. Air Force rising to the rank of major general. She went on to work as a senior vice president at USAA.
Pamerleau is currently running as the Republican incumbent candidate in the 2016 Sheriff’s election against Democratic nominee, Javier Salazar.
During her tenure as Sheriff, Pamerleau spurred the implementation of a pre-trial diversion program which tackles recidivism in the jail and cuts costs. Pamerleau has said that the program which sends offenders with mental health diagnoses to treatment facilities instead of jail has saved the county more than $50 million.
District Attorney Nico LaHood has said that properly caring for offenders with mental health issues is both a moral issue and a financial one. Pamerleau has said that the program also saves money by treating inmates consistently as opposed to in crisis situations when they need to be sent to the ER. Pamerleau faced some criticism when four inmates at the Bexar County Jail committed suicide in the span of four weeks in the summer of 2016.
The Deputy Sheriff’s Association has endorsed Pamerleau’s opponent, Javier Salazar. 219 officers of the 1,600 deputy force voted “no confidence” against Pamerleau in May 2016. The vote was cast after members of the Deputy Sheriff’s Association complained that morale was lower than previous administrations.
Pamerleau has been an outspoken activist on domestic violence issues and has spoken out about her own experiences with her ex-husband who she said was both emotionally and physically abusive to her.
After joining the San Antonio Police Department at the age of 21, Javier Salazar is looking to turn a new chapter in his law enforcement career by being elected as Bexar County sheriff.
The Democratic nominee has picked up quite a few endorsements along the way, but it will be no easy task defeating current sheriff and Republican, Susan Pamerleau.
Some of Salazar’s endorsements include the Deputy Sheriff’s Association of Bexar county and the San Antonio Police Officer’s Association. Salazar has promised to increase manpower within BCSO and enhance education and training of deputies, among other public safety goals.
Salazar was born and raised in Bexar County and joined SAPD when he was 21. He started his career working as both a patrolman and bike patrol, eventually working his way to detective and then Sergeant. He recently served as the public information officer, or spokesman for SAPD.
Salazar did raise some eyebrows during his campaign when it was discovered he had a poor voting record. Salazar registered to vote for the very first time in November of 2015. And since that time, he went to vote four times as a Democrat.
When Eyewitness News interviewed Salazar in October, he defended his voting history by saying, “What you hear a lot from people as they’re registering is they don’t like the political rhetoric, that’s thrown around. They don’t like the mudslinging and the non-issues that are thrown around, and like many people, I was somewhat disillusioned with the political process.”