The Police NewsSan Antonio, TX
Bexar County Sheriff's Office wants non-citizen military vets to work in law enforcement
The Bexar County Sheriff Office is joining other departments to push the state legislature to change a law that bars non-citizens from becoming law enforcement officers.
Military veterans are among the best recruits and applying for a job in law enforcement is a great career transition from the military. The same career opportunity, however, is not an option for those veterans who are not American citizens.
"Even as I served in the military, there are those who are not citizens that served and if they did the job they are they not afforded the job of the land that they are serving," said Armando Hernandez
The Texas Commission On Law Enforcement (TCOLE) will not allow anybody other than a naturalized citizen to receive a license.
But Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar and other law enforcement leaders are now in Austin trying to change that. They're testifying before a state homeland security committee highlighting the importance of tapping into potential workforce.
"We can't continue to ignore this sizable demographic, that clearly by all accounts are suitable for this type of career, for this licensure, but we are not able to reach out to these folks," said Sheriff Javier Salazar.
Sheriff Salazar says, he is backed by the Urban County Sheriff's Committee within the Sheriff's Association of Texas, a committee comprised of the top 12 most populated counties.
The Sheriff says, if any part of Texas is not as protected as it should, the entire state suffers. That's why selecting from a larger talent pool, is something worth fighting for.
Ron Tooke, President of the Deputy Sheriff's Association of Bexar County agrees and is convinced that the military produces the best breed of law enforcement officers, "As far as I'm concerned, the military has already vetted you." said Tooke. "The military has long been the premier trainer for specialized law enforcement operations from k-9 to bomb disposable, you name it."
Sheriff Salazar is working with Fort Sam Houston military officials to strengthen his case to allow legal permanent residents who have served in the military apply for careers in law enforcement.