Statement From Mike Helle, January 5, 2018

Mike Helle - SAPOA President

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                               Contact: Mike Helle

January 5, 2018                                                                      Email:


Statement From Mike Helle,

President, San Antonio Police Officers’ Association


San Antonio, TX – Mike Helle made the following statement regarding Police Chief William McManus’ decision to release twelve (12) undocumented immigrants who were found in the back of a semi truck on December 23, 2017:

“Police Officers deal with tough cases every day, and human smuggling is among the most difficult. Their jobs are made even more challenging when the Police Chief fails to enact or enforce any standard procedure for dealing with situations like the one that occurred on December 23rd, which unfortunately, are not rare and very likely to occur again. Chief McManus’ decision to abandon years of cooperation between Federal and Municipal agencies in dealing with human smuggling cases, released the undocumented immigrants without checking their immigration status or even running a standard background and/or ID check is completely contrary to the proper way SAPD handles such situations, including an almost identical situation in July 2017.

“This arbitrary decision by the Chief, which he himself admits is ‘…not necessarily how every case will be handled going forward,’ makes police officers jobs more difficult because they have no way of knowing how to handle or process cases like these.

“I also have serious concerns what impact the Chief’s decisions might have for the safety of our community. The Chief may very well have put this community at risk and possibly even violated federal or State laws. His failure to identify and run a routine background check on these individuals, who were in police custody for several hours, makes it possible that he could have very well let someone, or several people, with a criminal record loose in San Antonio.

“The job of the SAPOA is to protect the men and women of the SAPD just as they protect the people of San Antonio. It’s not the job of either organization to make law, but enforce it. This debate isn’t about immigration policy, but a debate about enforcement, and we deserve answers from the Chief.”

“The Chief owes the community and the men and women of the San Antonio Police Department some answers about his conduct and actions including how will our federal grant money for law enforcement be affected?”

“My concern is for the safety of the community and for the men and women of law enforcement first, and unfortunately on the eve of our City’s 300th anniversary, the Chief has thrust San Antonio into the national news in a negative light.”


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  1. Suzanne Hildebrand Reply

    Thank you Mike. You expressed my same concerns. I hate most of all the potential for more danger to our officers … not to mention his damaging our relations with the federal government. The man is a bonefide idiot. He cannot justify this action.

  2. James Prendergast Reply

    Mike, your response to the “Top Cop’s” inaction is timely and appropriate. When he ordered the release of these smuggled individuals, he turned a blind eye to the “Rule of Law”, forsaking his oath to enforce the laws. You say it’s not a question of immigration but it is, the bottom line. He took his personal political stance on the issue and incorporated it into his decision to release with even getting them. This placed the citizens at risk and convoluted the interpretation of any policy in regards to following Federal Immigration law. His premeditaded announcement of his desire not to enforce this Federal Law weeks ago; it was only a matter of time before he ignored the law. A leader leads by example. When an Officer stands in front of the “Top Cop” for picking or choosing not to enforce any law, Federal or not, will he get the level of absolute discretion?

  3. Maggi Oswald Reply

    All those years of accepting Federal money under HIDTA funding, and this is how the Chief treats the Federal LEOs. Way to go Chief McManus. You are a real piece of work.

  4. Detective Buck Buchanan (Retired) Reply

    Well said Mike. The men and women of the S A P D deserve a Chief who looks at the safety of the men and women of his department as well as the citizens of the city. Turning individuals loose on the street without even knowing who they are or the criminal history is pure stupid. He has placed the city in a position that could cost the tax payers millions of dollars. Past time for this man to leave and he needs to take Commander in Chief of the City Of San Antonio city manager with him.

  5. Frank R Doyle Reply

    Lawmakers that hold themselves above the law must go.Not only go but be held accountable for their actions putting the very people they are to protect in possable harms way.This ammounts to nothing less than dereliction of duty.How are our police know what the differance or right and wrong ?

  6. Elizabeth Gramm Reply

    We need to replace chief McManus now, he is not doing his job responsibly. Safety come first!


    Mike, Upon clicking the link on Facebook that directs to your response, Facebook labels your site as possibly “malicious” . I have a screenshot of that . BTW, it looks like we are slowly turning into Austin, so sad. God bless our officers and keep the pressure up in our corrupt leadership thar endangers our community and our officers.

  8. Mike Ross Reply

    Well said, Mike Helle. I’ve been saying for a long time, that San Antonio is headed in the same direction as Baltimore, Detroit, Ferguson, etc, ever since the Castro Twins came onto the public stage. Our elected leaders should act on this situation now before it becomes a ” normal ” for our city. If they choose to look the other way ( again ), then these decisions also rest ” on their shoulders” as well. McManus has needed to go for a long time. He has never been, nor will ever be, one of US. Sculley needs to go also. There are plenty of well qualified homegrown individuals in the SAPD to choose from. Quit going out of town searching for a Police Chief, or Fire Chief, for that matter. Our San Antonio Police Department deserves better.

  9. Det. Jerry Beck (Ret.) Reply

    This Chief(?) has done more to rip this Department apart than he has to bring it together. During my 26 years there, I was proud to be a member. Now, I feel sorry for the crap Officers have to stomach from the outside as well as the inside.

  10. Alfred Noriega Reply

    Just a couple of Questions. Who was Chief McManus trying to please? He definitely wasn’t concerned for the Safety of his Citizens and should have turned those illegal immigrants over to the proper federal agency. Is Chief McManus undermining federal authority only because of the current Administration because of his Liberal ideologies? Or is he acting under orders of his City Manager and Mayor? I feel he violated his oath of office. He failed to protect and serve, forgot his common sense of duty. Negligence should be looked into.

    • Mike Ross Reply

      I agree 100%, Alfred.

  11. Ted Collie Reply

    I agree Mike. I truly believe the Chief needs to be fired and federally prosecuted. What does his actions teach his police force? Not good. The San Antonio Mayor and Council needs to remove this Chief tomorrow. I will be watching the action or inaction and vote accordingly.

  12. Magdalena Olmo Reply

    Yes McManus needs to be held accountable for his actions. He has made San Antonio a sanctuary city , he needs to be fired along with schuley and all the city council, they do not have the safety of their constituents in mind or the safety of our Police Officers, where are those illegals now they should go find them and deport them . Good Heavens what is happening with our city officials so willing to break our laws to get fraudulent votes 😡😡😡😡

  13. Lela Talley Reply

    You addressed what many are concerned about. My question is,was he following orders from city administration. My personal take on this is it sets SA up as a sanctuary city. I hope I’m wrong but that what I thought immediately. Our citizens and our officers are at al higher risk if this continues.

  14. Vicki Steerman Reply


  15. Jan Ericsson Reply

    We need a full investigation into why these illegals were released, and not turned over to ice. If it’s because of the direction from the city manager or the mayor then they should be held accountable, and know We the people of San Antonio won’t stand for that! If this action waa solely McManus, he needs to be Fired! No sanctuary city for SA. Enforce the law, or find another career.

  16. Mike Appleby Reply

    As a former federal agent and one who has worked hand in hand with members of the SAPD for over twenty years, I am dumbfounded by Chief McManus’ action, or lack thereof, in this matter. My many endeavors with SAPD Patrolmen and Detectives were team efforts, which could not have enjoyed success without teamwork and full cooperation. I can say without hesitation that this is the finest department with whom I have had the privilege to be associated with, and I have worked with many. Many of my friends, including my best friend, are former SAPD officers. When I saw Mrs. Hildebrand’s posting I could not help but recall her late husband’s time working with our agents on joint bank robbery cases. I have met Chief McManus, and during my interaction found him to be personable and seemingly dedicated to those under his command. However, I cannot understand the Chief’s actions in this matter, but it is likely that they were spawned by his political leanings or by someone up the up the food chain. The transparency of his actions in this matter leaves no other explanation. The singular thought that keeps running in my mind is, what does this say to the dedicated agents of the US Border Patrol, who as I write this email, are chasing illegals and drug traffickers through the prickly pear laden arroyos of South Texas, or worse, what does it say to the families of the two Border Patrol killed and injured recently near El Paso and the many others who have perished while serving their country.

  17. Freddie Hernandez Reply

    Your point is well made Mr. Helle, but could u cite where it states and what are the proper procedures in handling a case of this nature. By doing so we can be assured that every point u made in your statement is backed up by facts and no just your opinion. I am on no one side until I see it in black and white.

  18. Don MacDiarmid Reply

    I am not a big fan of public employee unions. But I congratulte Mr. Helle for speaking out against this arbitrary and politically motivated action by McManus. Well done!

  19. Paula Reply

    He is pleasing those who pay him, with OUR money. Mayor and city council and city mgr. We are now under the heavy hand of leftists elitists who know better.

  20. Larry Miller MD Reply

    You are absolutely right. The chief should be fired for his unconscionable actions or inaction. There is no excuse for placing the city in jeopardy.
    He is making law enforcement a joke in San Antonio.

    Larry Miller

  21. Larry A. Gembler Reply

    I think we have a lot of bias city officials in San Antonio that pulls McManus strings ! I think San Antonio officials are a part of the swamp that needs to be drained ! Also really have to hand it to the Mayor for having Robert E. Lee’s statute remove in the middle of the night , what a courageous leader ! I back the Blue not McManus !

  22. Patricia Ann Spaeth Reply

    Thank you Det. Helle for this clarification and also the letter you sent to our mayor and city council. I am so glad that you speak up and protect we citizens and the members of the SAPOA. I’ve always said that it seems kind of fishy that the day before the city manager was to announce that our new Police Chief would be Acting Chief Trevino (I think that’s his name) and then suddenly announces ‘retired’ Chief McManus would be our new chief. So why did he leave? I feel like after reading and hearing all of the info about this case and the Sculley-McManus relationship that the only way he will be removed is when we citizens along with y’all, SAPD who protect us file formal complaints to fight his actions. Once again, it’s Sculley-McManus that decided for him to takeover this case to use the $500K Federal Grant to train officers on these cases as an excuse that this case will be used for training. As far as I’m concerned, this case would not be appropriate training material since McManus’s handling of this case was in conflict with Federal Laws already set in place. What were they covering up? The way I see it, the Feds could pull that $500K for training purposes since it is clearly not being used as such to teach Federal law. Thank you for letting me ramble about the problems I have with the chief and city manager.

  23. Dennis Medina Reply

    I believe the the SAPOA is treading into the political area and I do not think it is right. You should be thinking about how to make allies of the communities that you serve, not sowing divisions within the populace. If you think that the Police Chief is putting officers in danger, you should spell those out and not depend upon innuendo and inaccurate feelings held by some members of the general population. Stick to your mission and do not sow political divisions.

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