SAN ANTONIO- Is the Park Police Headquarters making officers sick? A 13 page grievance alleges mold, fungus and asbestos may be sickening nearly two dozen employees with things like cancer and Bell's Palsy.
News 4 WOAI's Lauren Lea obtained the document, which says a record number of employees are on leave because of health problems, which could have initiated from the building. The National Association of Public Employees filed the brief on behalf of the officers, who want to be moved out immediately.
"Employees should not be ordered to remain inside a city building while the structure is being remediated of hazardous and toxic materials," the grievance states. News 4 WOAI also obtained a copy of the Limited Indoor Environmental Quality Assessment Report, which was conducted on Feb. 22. Pictures included in the report show "suspect mold growth" in the men's locker room and it was also found on several air vents. But based on samples taken from within the building, the study found no "mold condition" or any "adverse asbestos condition" as defined by the Texas Department of State Health Services.
However, the grievance alleges employees could be harmed by long term-exposure to the asbestos, fungi and mold, including black mold, found inside.
The study recommended cleaning and sanitizing the heating and air-conditioning systems and removing damaged gypsum board. However, the grievance says the cleaning wasn't done properly and it was done while employees were present, which sickened one supervisor so much that an "injured officer report" was filed.
According to the document, 10 officers are being treated for active cancer and another 12 employees have suffered with cases of Bell's Palsy, with some having multiple episodes. Bell's Palsy
is a paralysis or weakness of the muscles on one side of the face.
The grievance also alleges discrimination against the Park Police Officers. The document states that when lead dust was found in the old firing range in the basement of San Antonio Police Headquarters, the area was restricted and people had to wear protective gear to enter. However, the grievance says no such pre-cautions were taken at Park Police Headquarters, or with their officers.
News 4 WOAI called the city for a response to the grievance, however no one could talk on camera. However, we were told Chief William McManus will respond to the grievance Friday.