This morning, Bexar County Commissioners unanimously approved a request from Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales for additional investigators for the Family Justice Center.
The priority of investigators at the FJC is to serve high-risk respondents with paperwork so that the protective order can be assigned to a civil court judge who will determine if it will be granted. Currently, the FJC has one investigator; something D.A. Gonzales said is a safety issue.
“Many times, the respondents are dangerous. Our investigator has even encountered a known assassin who was a respondent in a protective order case. The amount of research and planning that it takes to serve someone like that and the manpower or firepower it may take to safely serve the papers is simply too much for one investigator,” Gonzales said.
|Bexar County Family Justice Center|
|Protective orders served||370||21|
|Active arrest warrants||234||16|
Last year, one investigator served 370 protective order notices. That investigator also conducted 868 address investigations to find the respondents. Of those who were served, 234 of them had active warrants as well as firearms in their possession. Because of the potential for danger, felony investigators who work in other divisions are pulled from their normal duties to assist the investigator.
“While we have great partners in the San Antonio Police Department, Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, the Constables and the United States Marshals Service, the work to locate and research the respondents is done by our office. The additional investigators will allow us to work more efficiently to serve the protective orders and keep the public and officers safe,” Gonzales said.
The additional investigators will cost a total of $190,400, with the cost of two vehicles totaling $71,921.
Anyone who needs a protective order may apply online here.