Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar announced a new “cite and release” pilot program aiming to put fewer Bexar County residents, including members of the UTSA student body, in jail for nonviolent crimes—including marijuana possession offenses under four ounces.
Instead of arresting offenders on the spot and sending them to jail, Bexar County officers have the option (on a case-by-case basis) to issue a citation with a court date and send the offender on their way.
During a press conference, Salazar described who could benefit from the cite and release program—“the 18, 19-year-old college kid that made a mistake that, quite honestly, thousands of kids every day make that same mistake,”
A form of discretionary action had been afforded to the UTSA Police Department prior to the cite and release program. The Student Code of Conduct Sec. 514 states those guilty of possession face a minimum sanction of suspension for a specified period of time, but any other sanction is determined by the Hearing Officer. The Hearing Officer’s options of punishment are listed in Sec 300 and/or 303 and vary in severity, ranging from a disciplinary warning to denying students their degrees.
UTSA students are arrested for possession of marijuana, but the UTSA Police Department reports do not indicate the type of “drug law” offenses students commit in their annual reporting.
The 2017 Annual Security and Fire Safety Report, released Sept. 29, 2017, reported 103 students arrested for drug law violations in 2016. In 2015, 115 students were arrested for drug