Official Statement by San Antonio Police Officers’ Association President Danny Diaz on the SA Justice Charter Initiative:
In the past two years, there have been several events that have impacted our nation and community. Since then, efforts have been made to ensure that effective policing is in place despite the officer shortage our city is facing. There is no quick solution.
The SA Justice Charter initiative is proposing several reforms that will only hinder the effective policing in place today. Now, their petition has secured enough signatures to potentially make it on the ballot in the May 2023 election.
What citizens don’t know is that Act 4 SA has a much greater agenda than just “decriminalizing marijuana.” Our goal is to ensure voters have the FACTS to make an informed decision on what exactly they are signing up for.
One of the main reforms SAPOA would like to address is the creation of a City Justice Director position. The initiative would like to appoint a Justice Director to oversee city policing, but prohibits them to have any law enforcement background? How are we saving scarce City resources by creating a new position for an individual with limited to no prior experience doing so?
The Mayor, City Manager, City Council Members and Chief of Police, are already overseeing the responsibilities outlined in this proposed position. It is not a good use of tax dollars to hire an individual to be in charge of policing without any law enforcement experience.
Taxpayers will not only be paying for this individual’s salary but their staff as well.
Secondly, a Cite and Release policy is already in place for misdemeanors, however this Charter wants to expand the policy even further.
Expanding this policy will encourage repeat offenses for vandalism, shoplifting and theft of services which will in turn destroy tourism, harm honest businesses and eliminate jobs.
Taking discretionary measures away from our officers is not reform, it’s reckless.
This proposition essentially decriminalizes shoplifting, theft and property damage across our City.
In addition, the use of chokeholds and no-knock search warrants have already been prohibited in San Antonio, except in life or death situations.
This charter wants to stop the use of chokeholds altogether no matter if our officers’ lives are at risk.
Lastly, the decriminalization of marijuana and abortion are handled at the state and federal level of government. This is not a decision that can be implemented at a local level. This action is added to this initiative to distract voters and add a layer of smoke and mirrors.
The safety of our City and citizens is our top priority. SAPOA wants voters to stay informed and ask questions before they vote. As they say, some things are too good to be true and could cause even more harm to our City and the officers who have sworn to protect it.