SAPOA Press Release – Dec 11, 2018

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Press Release 12-11-18


City Refuses to Abide by Ruling Denying City Manager’s Decision to Civilianize Key Department

San Antonio, TX – The San Antonio Police Officers Association (SAPOA) filed a lawsuit in District Court yesterday against the City of San Antonio, City Manager Sheryl Sculley, and Police Chief William McManus. The lawsuit asks the Court to bring the City into compliance with a January 8, 2018 arbitration ruling stating that their decision to replace sworn SAPD Officers with non-sworn civilian employees in the SAPD’s Off Duty Employment Unit (the “ODEU”) violates terms of the SAPOA Collective Bargaining Agreement (the “CBA”).

“The refusal of the City Manager and the Police Chief to abide by the Arbitrator’s ruling is just another example of their contempt towards our legally binding contract,” said Mike Helle, President of the San Antonio Police Officers Association. “Sheryl Sculley said her attempt to replace officers with civilians in the Off Duty Employment Unit was necessary to annex areas of south San Antonio. Her actions show that she not only misled the public by telling them that this action would add 6 new officers to the south patrol, but that she also has little regard for our contract and the process of enforcement.”

In its 30 years of existence, the ODEU has always been staffed by Police Officers, not civilians, and Article 39 of the CBA lists nine department units that can be civilianized but does not mention the ODEU. The CBA states specifically that ODEU positions are to be filled with sworn officers. In fact, Article 14, Section 2 refers to “sworn support personnel,” and that the ODEU unit is required to be “staffed” by a sergeant and additional “sworn support personnel.”

With this lawsuit, SAPOA is simply asking the City to comply with the January 8, 2018 ruling by the Arbitrator, Richard F. Dole, Jr., who stated that our grievance was “proven” and that “the City is to correct its violation.”

Download Arbitration Decisions Download SAPOA VS COSA

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SAPOA Press Release – Dec, 6, 2018

City Lowers Hiring Standards For Police Applicants


New Employment Rules Threaten Integrity of SAPD, May Conflict with State Law


San Antonio, TX – Today, the San Antonio Police Officers Association sent a letter to Mayor Nirenberg asking that he direct the Fire Fighters’ and Police Officers’ Civil Service Commission to reverse their recent changes to Civil Service Commission Rules concerning police officer employment conditions. On November 13, 2018, the Commission adopted Final Order 2018-28, which lowers employment (hiring) standards for prospective San Antonio Police Officers. As such, they have put the safety of current police officers and the general public at risk.

“We’ve seen the results of neighboring law enforcement agencies that lowered their standards and paid the price,” said Mike Helle, president of the San Antonio Police Officers Association. “I don’t want San Antonio to go down that road, and I ask Mayor Nirenberg to direct the Commission to reverse their decision.”

This year, the Bexar County Sherriff’s Department suffered through twenty-four (24) arrests of members of their department for various criminal activities. They are now raising hiring standards. The City of San Antonio is going in the opposite direction. Here are just some of the changes adopted by the Commission:

  • 13 (c) – Admission to using hallucinogenic drugs including, but not limited to LSD, STP, or Psilocybin, i.e.; “Dropping (Acid)” is no longer a permanent disqualifier if committed by applicants nineteen (19) years or younger;
  • 14 (f) – Removes mandatory number of years that an applicant must wait after admission to class A and B misdemeanors;
  • 14 (i) – Admission of a FELONY prior to age 20 is no longer a disqualifier (This rule change may conflict with Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) guidelines, which mandate that a Felony prior to age 20 disqualifies someone from holding a Peace Officer’s license, a necessary requirement for any Police Officer in the State of Texas.)
  • 14 (j) – Admission to DELIVERY (sale) of Controlled Substance prior to 20 years old is no longer a disqualifier; and
  • 14 (l) – Admission to certain levels of FAMILY VIOLENCE is no longer a permanent disqualifier.


We urge concerned Citizens to contact Mayor Nirenberg and their City Council Member and tell them to repeal Civil Service Commission’s Final Order 2018-28.

Download Final Order Number 2018-28 Download SAPOA Letter to Mayor Download Press Release

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Tell Mayor Nirenberg and your City Council Member how you feel.

  • I am writing regarding the recent changes to Police Applicant Employment Standards made by the Fire Fighters’ and Police Officers’ Civil Service Commission on November 13, 2018 (Final Order 2018-28). These changes lower the employment standards for police applicants, and as such may threaten the integrity of our police force, endanger public safety, and conflict with State Law. As your constituent, I ask that you look into these changes and determine their impact on the potential caliber of our police force, and whether or not they may put public safety at risk and conflict with State Law.
    Thank you for your attention and I look forward to your reply.


SAPOA Press Release – Nov 30, 2018

paxton lawsuit final


 Investigation Finds Police Chief Violated Texas Law

San Antonio, TX – Today, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit against the City of San Antonio, Police Chief William McManus, and City Manager Sheryl Sculley, for their failure to comply with Senate Bill 4, which prohibits sanctuary cities. The lawsuit is the result of a lengthy investigation into the Chief’s actions on December 23, 2017, when police were called to the scene of an apparent human smuggling operation. A dozen suspected illegal aliens were found in the back of a tractor-trailer and when Chief McManus appeared on scene, he refused to cooperate with federal immigration authorities and subsequently ordered the 12 suspected illegal aliens released from custody, in violation of Senate Bill 4.

“The decision by the AG to sue Chief McManus and City Manager Sculley totally vindicates the position our organization took earlier this year when we called out the Chief for his brazen disregard of Texas law,” said Mike Helle, President of the San Antonio Police Officers Association. “We said at the time, that the Chief’s action’s violated state law and that he may have very well put lives in danger by releasing unknown illegal aliens into our city.”

The Attorney General began an investigation into the Chief’s action after SAPOA leaders approached the Lt. Governor and the Attorney General on January 10, 2018. After announcing his decision to investigate, the Attorney General delivered a letter to the City Council ordering that they preserve all records and documents regarding the December 23rd incident. Since that time, Sheryl Sculley and almost every member of the San Antonio City Council has voiced their support for the Chief’s actions, making them complicit in the Chief’s violation of state law.

In light of this lawsuit, which names Chief McManus as the first defendant, and which asks the court to issue an injunction requiring the City to comply with SB 4, prohibit SAPD from thwarting federal immigration enforcement, and assess civil penalties against the City, SAPD, and Chief McManus, the San Antonio Police Officers Association does hereby call on the Mayor and City Council to:

  1. Place Chief William McManus on Administrative Leave.
  2. Appoint an Interim Chief of Police.
  3. Investigate whether or not the Chief lied to City Council Members regarding his actions on December 23, 2017.

Form more information on the lawsuit and background on the incident, go to: SvM Original Petition_FINAL.pdf

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SAPOA Press Release – Nov 29, 2018:

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sculley retirement


Sculley Retirement Signals Possibility of Better Relations with City.

San Antonio, TX – After years spending millions of taxpayer dollars on a losing lawsuit against First Responders, and less than a month after voters said they were fed up with an overpaid and autocratic city manager, and only a day after giving herself a “glowing” performance review in the hope of collecting a bonus of up to $100,000, City Manager Sheryl Sculley has finally read the writing on the wall and surrendered – announcing that she will retire no later than June of next year.

“Christmas has come early for the people of San Antonio,” said Mike Helle, President of the San Antonio Police Officers Association. “Whether it was bad faith negotiating, or suing to undercut our rights, it was always the hard-way with Sheryl. Now, with her departure, we can turn the page on a bad chapter in relations with the City of San Antonio. I look forward to working with the City Council as they seek out a new City Manager who respects the work we do and can build a team that is willing to work with us in good faith.”

The San Antonio Police Officers Association (SAPOA) welcomes the City Manager’s announcement. During her long, thirteen-year tenure Ms. Sculley built a team and an environment hostile to the interests of San Antonio Police Officers. Consequently, as we look forward to a fresh start and as the City Council prepares to search for a new City Manager, SAPOA also believes that the tenure of high-ranking Sheryl Sculley appointees, such as San Antonio Police Chief William McManus, should also be considered for replacement. Chief McManus is currently under the investigation by the Texas Attorney General and his tenure has been marked by an unwavering obsequiousness to the City Manager, which has worked to the detriment of the typical San Antonio Police Officer.

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SAPOA Press Release – Oct. 24, 2018: ‘Rep. Castro to Police: Stay Away!



Chief McManus Surrenders to Castro’s Plea for Citizens to be Wary of Police

San Antonio, TX – At a time when people across San Antonio are voting, when we are seeing an increase in confrontations and assaults on public officials at restaurants and other public venues, and when suspicious packages are being mailed to media and others, U.S. Representative Joaquin Castro has called on the people of San Antonio to report on police officers “present at any polls.”

On October 22, 2018, Rep. Castro tweeted: “San Antonians – while I was at the Las Palmas early voting site this morning two police officers patrolled through the parking lot. Please let me know if other uniformed law enforcement is present at any polls.”

The response from Chief William McManus was not to question why law enforcement officers doing routine patrols was a problem for Rep. Castro, but instead to ask officers citywide to stand down and “refrain from patrolling through or parking in close proximity to polling locations in the City,” according to a directive in an email from Assistant Chief James (Tony) Flavin dated October 24, 2018.

“It’s no surprise that Congressman Castro views law enforcement so negatively, but his call for citizens to fear and report on police officers carrying out their duty is an insult to every officer and their family,” said Mike Helle, President of the San Antonio Police Officers Association. “It’s also very sad that instead of standing up for his officers, Chief McManus essentially agrees with Rep. Castro that police officers are people to be feared and reported on for doing their duty.”

The safety of all citizens while exercising their right to vote should be of utmost concern to everyone, but most especially to our elected officials who represent us in Washington, like Rep. Castro. The San Antonio Police Officers Association urges Chief McManus to stand up for police officers and not give in to Rep. Castro’s fear-mongering and anti-police rhetoric.

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