August 26, 2016


San Antonio, TX – Today, Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20) released the following statement regarding the City of San Antonio’s proposed contract with the San Antonio Police Officers Association (SAPOA): 
“The proposed police contract is incomplete. Of the three main issues up for negotiation – salary, benefits and accountability reform – only the first two have been addressed. The negotiations over salary and benefits revolved around saving money and properly compensating San Antonio's police force. I commend the City of San Antonio and the San Antonio Police Officers Association for reaching an agreement on these issues.  

“However, accountability reform is about saving lives. We are living in a time when technology has revealed the tensions and conflicts between police and citizens. We cannot turn away or pretend that it doesn't happen in San Antonio. Far too many citizens have been needlessly shot, injured or otherwise had their rights violated by officers performing below the standards of conduct expected of them.  

“The blessing of knowing comes with the burden to take action. This contract should address use of force and bad conduct accountability.  

“During my time in Congress, I have spearheaded an effort to increase the use of body cameras to promote transparency and accountability. Last year I secured and extra $8 million of federal funding for police body cameras. I also worked with the San Antonio Police Department and the U.S. Department of Justice to secure a $1 million grant for SAPD body cameras.  

“Good police officers represent the very best of our society. They should not have to compete for jobs, awards and promotions with bad officers. The bad ones should be weeded out rather than have their abuses swept under the rug. The people of San Antonio deserve no less. SAPOA and the city should return to the table to negotiate on accountability reform.”