The top two of candidates vying for the office of Bexar County Sheriff will be guest speakers at the September 15 membership meeting of San Antonio’s LGBT LULAC Council, Orgullo de San Antonio.
The current sheriff, Republican Susan Pamerleau, and her Democratic opponent SAPD Sgt. Javier Salazar will address the LULAC meeting.
“Orgullo de San Antonio, which was named the 2016 LULAC National Council of the Year, is committed to civic participation at all levels of our government. In an effort to provide our members and the broader community an opportunity to engage locally, we’ve invited two candidates vying for the Office of Bexar County Sheriff to be our special guests,” Robert Salcido, LGBT LULAC’s president, said in a statement.
There are four candidates running for sheriff this year. The other two competitors are James Dorsey of the Green Party and Larry Ricketts of the Libertarian Party. The election is slated for November 8, 2016.
Salazar, a 23-year veteran of the San Antonio Police Department, had a landslide win in the May 24 Democratic runoff garnering 75 percent of the vote. Prior to his run for sheriff, Salazar was the public information officer for the SAPD.
Pamerleau, who was elected to her first four-year term in 2012, did not have any challengers in the Republican primary. She is Bexar County’s first woman sheriff.
In terms of LGBT issues, both candidates have said they would appoint a liaison to the LGBT community.
“Absolutely,” Salazar told Out In SA during a December 2015 interview. “The SAPD has an LGBT liaison, Assistant Chief Jose Banales. I would like to create a team of officers that are liaisons to different segments of our population like the military, the African-American community, the Hispanic community and the LGBT community would definitely have a liaison.”
In an April interview, Pamerleu told Out In SA, “. . . we’re glad to designate liaisons to the LGBT community — one for Detention and one for Law Enforcement, so that those designated have the appropriate professional expertise to respond to questions or concerns related to different functional and operational areas.”
When asked about LGBT sensitivity training for law enforcement cadets, Salazar said, “Yes. It’s necessary to teach cadets how to interact with the LGBT community because it’s a real population, it’s a sizable population, bigger than we even know.”
Pamerleau told Out In SA the training offered to cadets in the Sheriff’s Department already covers LGBT issues.
Because she is a Republican, Pamerleau has been more measured in her outreach to the LGBT community. Despite that, she has met with members of the San Antonio Gender Association to address their concerns about the treatment of transgender prisoners.
Salazar has been endorsed by the Stonewall Democrats of San Antonio and recently participated in the Pride San Antonio Parade.
LULAC Council 22198 Orgullo de San Antonio membership meeting with special guests Sheriff Susan Susan Pamerleau and SAPD Sgt. Javier Salazar. Thursday, September 15, 2016 at 6:45 p.m. Luby’s Cafeteria, 911 N. Main St. This event is free and open to all.