BEXAR COUNTY, Texas -- It’s been a troublesome year for more than a dozen Bexar County Sheriff deputies who’ve gotten themselves in trouble with the law.
The agency is now looking for new ways to get deputies the right help.
"It’s not an issue that we can arrest away. It’s not an issue that we can terminate away. At some point we’ve got to get out in front of it," said Sheriff Javier Salazar.
Salazar requested additional money to expand his agency at Commissioners Court Monday.
"We’re taking that additional step of asking and we appreciate [you all] considering it," said Salazar.
One of the new positions proposed is a police psychologist.
"The issue surrounding mental health, self-care, wellness, dealing with stress is something we’ve ignored far too long," said Salazar.
The number of deputies in trouble with the law has gone up this year. Eleven deputies were arrested last year and so far this year 18 deputies have been arrested. The latest arrest was Sunday morning, making it three in less than a week.
"That number may go up before it gets any better, and we’re willing to do it, but hopefully with the addition of this psychologist that we’re blessed to be able to start working toward. This is going to give us another dimension and maybe we can prevent some of those from becoming an issue in the future," said Salazar.
It’s been nearly 30 years since the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office had a law enforcement psychologist. Part of the duties would include helping deputies with counseling, academy training and pre-employment screenings.
"Yes, it’s going to disqualify even more people, but that is the problem for my recruiters. They are just going to work much harder and step up their game and get more qualified folks through the door," said Salazar.
If the $118,000 position is approved, the agency will launch a nationwide search to find the right candidate.