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

# # #

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.



  1. Karen Dixon Reply

    My son is SAPD and he qualified under the previous standards so I would worry more if the standards are lowered. If the goal is to get more cadets in then change the tattoo policy and look at hiring more veterans. Look at the impediments for veterans and maybe consider if more lienency can be applied there. The sheriff’s office is a prime example of the problems you have with people with past incidents of law breaking. This will be a door to corruption. It seems like our city leaders are just looking for ways to screw up our city.

  2. Henry Avila Reply

    Councilwoman Viagran,
    I ask you to please not consider lowering the Hiring Standards for Police Applicates, as a Former City Councilman, Former Chairmen of the Greater Crime Prevention Commision, and most importantly as a father of a San Antonio Police Detective, the City of San Antonio must continue to set high standards during the application process in order to hire the best Police Department throughout, your consideration is greatly appreciated, thank you Henry Avila.

  3. Gasper Sifuentes Reply

    Councilman Pelaez, why would the police department choose to hire under a lower standard rather than increase police benefits and recruit a better prospect. This same argument was made by our mayor that the only way to maintain a quality city manager was to offer them the highest salary in the nation. Why is this same consideration taken not taken for those that lay their lives on the line every day? I look forward to your response.

  4. Linda Reply

    My nephew is SAPD, and he to qualify under higher standards. Why risk the integrity of the PD, and safety of citizens? What’s next, gang bangers?

  5. Joseph Dubs Reply

    It is offensive that changes were made to the hiring procedures without thought or care to the consequences for those you serve. For several years the council and public has been told that finding qualified applicants and filling cadet classes is not an issue, yet the standards are being lowered drastically, Mr Mayor what is the truth? Is there such a determination to annex more of the surrounding unincorporated area that we will do “whatever it takes” or is the the safety and integrity of the citizens of SA and SAPD not your priority? I look forward to someone coming up with truthful answers to these questions and future changes that are made being done with the integrity expected by us and the best interest of the citizens being the priority not the selfish goals of the few in the positions of authority who think others will not stand when they are disregarded as irrelevant.


    This seems to QUALIFY potential CRIMINALS. Our Police should ALL be of the HIGHEST Quality.

  7. Evan Reply

    This is nothing short of a conflict of interest, against the people of San Antonio! I have extreme opposition to this, and I am not sure that our mayor has our safety in his interests. How can convicted criminals be expected to uphold the law, while patrolling our streets! The thought is not only appalling, but I fear for the lives of every citizen of this city! Reverse these changes before something horrible happens!

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