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Schertz police mistakenly destroy evidence for over 1,000 cases in San Antonio-area counties

Sixty percent of evidence was within the statute of limitations

July 14, 2022

The Schertz Police Department made a crucial error this week. The error resulted in the destruction of evidence that impacted over 1,000 cases in three different counties.

On Tuesday, July 12, the Schertz Police Department released a statement informing the public about an "administrative error" when staff "purged" 1,376 cases from 2007 to 2018 in Bexar, Comal, and Guadalupe counties.

"The goal of the Schertz Police Department is to provide exemplary law enforcement service and unfortunately, in this instance, we failed to meet that standard," said Police Chief Jim Lowery in a news release. "On behalf of the department, we apologize for this mistake. I hope that our residents know we are committed to learning from this situation and will work to ensure something like this never happens again. In light of these events, all department staff will undergo additional training and review of our policies and protocols with oversight from our partners at the County Attorney's Offices."

The Schertz Police Department is currently in the Texas Police Chiefs Association Best Practices accreditation program, which helps police departments with internal reviews of policies, facilities, and operations among other areas in the hopes of "providing efficient and effective delivery of service while protecting individual's rights," according to the release.

The police department worked with a consultant that was supposed to help consolidate the evidence room to be more efficient. In January 2022, staff started destroying evidence based on the consultants advice. Staff didn't use proper procedures during the purge, according to the release.

Police confirmed of the 1,376 cases, 60% of the destroyed evidence was within the statute of limitations.

No criminal violations have been charged to any staff members and the "administrative issue" is being addressed internally, according to the release. The police department did not say if any of the evidence that was destroyed was related to any open or pending criminal cases.

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