Wayland Baptist University will honor Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar, a 1997 alumnus of its San Antonio Campus, with the Distinguished Alumni Award for 2023 at its winter commencement ceremony slated for Feb. 2, 2024.

A native of Bexar County, Salazar earned his associate’s degree in criminal justice from Alamo Colleges District before completing his bachelor’s degree at Wayland. He holds a Master Peace Officer license from Texas Commission on Law Enforcement.

Salazar served with the San Antonio Police Department for 23 years, starting as a young patrolman and the Downtown Bike Patrol, then becoming one of the first members of the Community Policing Unit. He promoted through the ranks, serving in narcotics, executive protection detail and the Office of the Chief. He also served in internal affairs and was director of communications before taking his last assignment as director of the department’s Integrity Unit.

He was sworn in on January 1, 2017, as the 24th Sheriff of Bexar County. During his time in the office, he has created several units, including the Adult Detention Mental Health, Contraband Abatement Team and the Applicant Processing Unit. In the interest of community engagement and safety, he also created the Public Integrity Unit, Mounted Patrol, Special Victims Unit and the Sheriff’s Community Oriented Response and Education Unit, known as SCORE.

“Sheriff Salazar has not only proven himself a great law enforcement leader and servant, but he has a heart for the community and for improving his own hometown. His work to help build bridges with his alma mater for other officers within the Sheriff’s Office to further their education has also been important to the San Antonio campus,” said Jeffrey Vera, alumni director at WBU. “For these reasons, he was a perfect choice to represent that campus as a distinguished alumnus.”

Salazar’s priority has been on community engagement, and he’s created programs on active shooter training, Gold Badge Business Certification, Pastors on Patrol, the senior fraud program and the Sheriff’s Citizen Academy. He and wife Sarah have two daughters, and he serves with several nonprofit and community organizations.

Salazar will be competing with other campus winners from 2023 for the Alumnus of the Year award to be presented at Homecoming in February 2024 at the Plainview campus. Wayland has selected a winner for each of its campuses since 2018.

Wayland Baptist University was established in 1908 by Dr. James Henry Wayland, a pioneer physician who believed that education should be accessible to all and that it should be grounded in faith in Christ. The San Antonio campus was established in 1984 and is one of seven external campuses operating in the United States. Our mission is to educate students in an academically challenging, learning-focused and distinctively Christian environment for professional success and service to God and humankind. Learn more at www.sa.wbu.edu or contact Pamela Raines at rainesp@wbu.edu