Should San Antonio Police 'Stay Away' From Voting Locations?

Controversy is brewing in San Antonio over an order from a deputy police chief that officers 'refrain from patrolling through or parking in close proximity to polling stations,' News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

Deputy Chief James Flavin's order stems from a Tweet from Congressman Joaquin Castro, urging voter to report to him if they see uniformed officers near the polling places, hinting that it could be interpreted as 'voter suppression.'

"Please instruct your officers to refrain from patrolling through or parking in close proximity to polling locations in the city unless they receive a call for service to the address," Flavin said in his memo, which was e-mailed to 1200 WOAI news by an officer.

That prompted a strong response from the San Antonio Police Officers Association, accusing Chief Bill McManus of 'surrendering' to Castro.

It’s no surprise that Congressman Castro views law enforcement so negatively, but his call for citizens to fear and report on police officers carrying out their duty is an insult to every officer and their family,” said Mike Helle, President of the San Antonio Police Officers Association. “It’s also very sad that instead of standing up for his officers, Chief McManus essentially agrees with Rep. Castro that police officers are people to be feared and reported on for doing their duty.”

Helle said considering all of the 'confrontations and assaults' which have occurred during the campaign, more police officers should be posted at the polls, not less."

"The safety of all citizens while exercising their right to vote should be of utmost concern to everyone, but most especially to our elected officials who represent us in Washington, like Rep. Castro. The San Antonio Police Officers Association urges Chief McManus to stand up for police officers and not give in to Rep. Castro’s fear-mongering and anti-police rhetoric," Helle said.

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