SAN ANTONIO – A new multi-million dollar prisoner intake center opening this fall is causing frustration between the county and the San Antonio Police Department.
On Wednesday, more than 20 city and suburban mayors, city managers and police chiefs toured the brand new magistration office. SAPD Chief William McManus didn't show up.
"My thoughts on it are is it simply doesn't work for us," Chief McManus said.
The nearly $33 million facility introduces a new concept several counties across the country are transitioning to.
"Where we are is what we call 'Open Booking' and this is where a person, if he is not causing trouble, can sit here in an open way," said Judge Nelson Wolff of Bexar County, during the tour.
For up to 48 hours, those arrested can find out if they can bond out. During this time, many also have access to health experts, who can assess and provide recommendations to magistrates on appropriate release services.
Chief McManus expressed concern over the length of time people will spend at the office.
"Our plan is to have those prisoners out of there in a maximum of five hours or less," said McManus. "We would spend a lot more time then we do at our current facility because of the way processing would flow over there."
According to McManus, SAPD processes more than 60 percent of arrests in the county at the current location on South Frio. He felt the county didn't take his department into consideration.
"I think it's unfortunate that the county went ahead and planned this facility out without any consultation from SAPD," Chief McManus said.
However, the county is confident officers won't be held up by the new process and hopes SAPD will reconsider when the facility opens.
"The fact of the matter is we are going to be able to handle it in a much more expeditious matter here than we are in the current facility," said Judge Wolff.
In the meantime, Chief McManus said his department isn't considering using the facility at this time and will remain processing people at the current magistrate's office.