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The Texas Constable

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Since  many states dont have them folks ask me what exactly a Constable is in the state of Texas and what exactly they do...thought this was a pretty good wiki article on who we are and what we do....


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The Texas Constable is enshrined in the Texas Constitution of 1956 (Article 5, Section 18), which provides for the election of a constable in each precinct of a county, and counties may have between one and eight precincts each depending on their population. The term of office for Texas constables is four years. However, when vacancies arise, the commissioner’s court of the respective county has the authority to appoint a replacement to serve out the remaining term.


In Texas, constables and their deputies are fully empowered peace officers with county-wide jurisdiction and thus, may legally exercise their authority in any precinct within their county;[1][2] however, some constables’ offices limit themselves to providing law enforcement services only to their respective precinct, except in the case of serving civil and criminal process. Constables and their deputies may serve civil process in any precinct in their county and any contiguous county and can serve warrants anywhere in the state. Constables must have a peace officer license within 270 days of taking office, which is the same as every other police officer.


Constable Qualifications as changed by HB 1588 79th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature Local Government Code 86.0021 Qualifications; Removal


(a) A person is not eligible to serve as constable unless:


(1)the person is eligible to be licensed under Sections 1701.309 and 1701.312, Occupations Code, and:(A) has at least an Associate's Degree conferred by an institution of higher education accredited by an accrediting organization recognized by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board;(B) is a special investigator under Article 2.122(a), Code of Criminal Procedure; or(C) is an honorably retired peace officer or honorably retired federal criminal investigator who holds a certificate of proficiency issued under Section 1701.357, Occupations Code; or(2) the person is an active or inactive licensed peace officer under Chapter 1701, Occupations Code.(b) On or before the 270th day after the date a constable takes office, the constable shall provide, to the commissioners court of the county in which the constable serves, evidence that the constable has been issued a permanent peace officer license under Chapter 1701, Occupations Code. A constable who fails to provide evidence of licensure under this subsection or who fails to maintain a permanent license while serving in office forfeits the office and is subject to removal in a quo warranto proceeding under Chapter 66, Civil Practice and Remedies Code.(c) The license requirement of Subsection (b) supersedes the license requirement of Section 1701.302, Occupations Code.


A common reading of these changes indicate that you must meet the specified qualifications to “serve” as Constable in an either/or circumstance. If you are not currently or have been a TCLEOSE certified peace officer, an honorably retired Texas peace officer or Federal criminal investigator, you must have at least an Associates Degree from a college accepted by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.


Nothing here indicates any qualifications necessary to run for the office, only for having those qualifications necessary to take the oath and “serve” as constable. Any person failing to meet those qualifications is subject to removal and those eligible to take the oath must provide the evidence of licensure to his commissioner’s court. A person eligible to serve without the license upon taking the oath has 270 days to obtain it or maintain it falls under the forfeiture of office of section (b). We do not purport this to be a definitive legal opinion, but simply a generally held understanding of the legislative intent and language of the statute as altered.


The duties of a Texas constable generally include providing bailiffs for the justice of the peace court(s) within his precinct and serving process issued there and from any other court. Moreover, some constables’ offices limit themselves to only these activities but others provide patrol, investigative, and security services as well.


In 2000, there were 2,630 full-time deputies and 418 reserve deputies working for the 760 constables’ offices in Texas. Of this number, 35% were primarily assigned to patrol, 33% to serving process, 12% to court security, and 7% to criminal investigations. The Harris County Precinct 4 and 5 Constables’ Offices are the largest constables’ offices in Texas with over 300 deputies each.

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On March 5, 1823, John Jackson Tumlinson Sr., the first newly elected alcalde of the Colorado District in Stephen F. Austin's first colony in Texas, wrote to the Baron de Bastrop in San Antonio that he had "appointed but one officer who acts in the capacity of constable to summon witnesses and bring offenders to justice." That appointee, Thomas V. Alley, thus became the first Anglo law enforcement officer in the future republic and state of Texas. Other prominent colonists who served as constable included John Austin and James Strange.


The Constitution of the Republic of Texas (1836) provided for the election in each county of a sheriff and "a sufficient number of constables." During the ten years of the republic's existence, thirty-eight constables were elected in twelve counties, the first in Nacogdoches County and the largest number (thirteen) in Harrisburg (later Harris) County. Court records indicate that violent crime was rare in the republic, except when horse or cattle thieves entered Texas from Arkansas or Louisiana; most indictments were for nonlethal crimes such as illegal gambling or assaults resulting from fights or scuffles. Juan N. Seguín and Elliott M. Millican both served as constables during the republic.


Shortly after Texas became a state, an act passed by the legislature specified that the constable should be "the conservator of the peace throughout the county," adding that "it shall be his duty to suppress all riots, routs, affrays, fighting, and unlawful assemblies, and he shall keep the peace, and shall cause all offenders to be arrested, and taken before some justice of the peace." Constables were the most active law-enforcement officials in many counties during the early statehood of Texas.


After Texas seceded from the United States in 1861, many county offices, including that of constable, remained unfilled or were filled by men less competent than their predecessors. During the military occupation of Texas after the Civil War, the election of county officials all but ceased, as the Union military appointed more than 200 individuals to state and county offices. A number of these appointees refused to serve; from 1865 to 1869, over one-third of the county offices in Texas were vacant. Many counties had no appointed or elected constables during this period. Austin, DeWitt, Fayette, McLennan, and Navarro counties had but a single constable each, appointed by Gen. Edward R. S. Canby, head of the Fifth Military District, in 1868-69.


Under the Constitution of 1869, a Reconstruction document that centralized many governmental functions, no constables were elected in Texas from 1869 to 1872, though some were appointed by justices of the peace. Many of these appointees lacked experience in handling violent offenders and access to secure jail facilities, and had few deputies to call upon for assistance. They were no match for the poor, embittered, and heavily armed former soldiers from both sides who roamed the state, often turning to crime. As a result, the office of constable began to diminish in importance, and the better-equipped county sheriffs began to assume a leading role in law enforcement. Still, a number of prominent Texas peace officers of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries began their careers as constables or deputy constables, including Thomas R. Hickman, George A. Scarborough, and Jess Sweeten. In 1896, while serving as a United States deputy marshal, Scarborough shot and killed the controversial El Paso constable John Selman, who had himself gunned down the notorious John Wesley Hardin in 1895.


The Constitution of 1876, designed to decentralize control of the state government, reduced the power of many state officials and mandated that constables would once again be elected at the precinct level. A 1954 constitutional amendment extended their term of office from two years to four. Today, constables numbering approximately 780 are elected from precincts in most Texas counties. Their law-enforcement roles vary widely, but in general their police powers are no different from those of other peace officers in the state. Complete records do not exist, but the most recent estimate is that at least ninety-three Texas constables have died in the line of duty, including sixty-seven in the twentieth century.


Constables may make arrests for felonies or breaches of the peace anywhere in Texas [1] However, they may enforce traffic laws only in their county.


 

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  • 1. Precinct boundaries are set by the County Commissioners Court. See Texas Local Government Code §81.021. There are two to eight precincts per Texas county.

  • 2. Constables (and the Justice of the Peace, and County Commissioiners) are elected by these precincts and they must provide bailiffs for the Justice Court(s) in their precinct.

  • 3. They can also serve civil process in any precinct in their county and any contiguous county to their home county. See Texas Local Government Code §86.021.

  • 4. Moreover, they can serve warrants throughout the state. See Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Article 15.06.

  • 5. Furthermore, their jurisdiction to arrest, without warrant, extends throughout the county, where they have full arrest powers. See Texas Local Government Code §86.021 and Texas Attorney General’s Opinion GA-0189.

  • 6. They also have full arrest powers outside of their jurisdiction, while in the state, except that they can’t arrest for certain traffic violations. See Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Article 14.03(g).

Finally, constables and their deputies in Texas are full-fledged, “real” law enforcement officers. They must graduate from a state-certified law enforcement academy and in Texas, it does not matter what type of peace officer you are. All types of peace officers must be trained to the same state requirement. They also have the same powers of arrest and jurisdiction of sheriffs and their deputies.


In the Census of State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies, 2000, which was published by the US DOJ’s Bureau of Justice Statistics, it was noted that there were 2,630 full-time, sworn constables/deputy constables in Texas. Of this number, (35% of constables/deputy constables were primarily assigned to patrol duties. For example, in Harris County Precinct 4 and 5 (Greater Houston area), there are over 600 patrol deputies. Additionally, 7% handled criminal investigations, i.e. they are detectives and investigators.


Also, the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officers Standards and Education (TCLEOSE) the regulatory agency for all peace officers in Texas (sheriffs, constables, security police, police officers and marshals) and the Bureau of Justice Statistics of the Department of Justice considers the Texas Constable to be a unique peace officer position.

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Intersting reading, thanks for posting this. I never realized that Constables were elected. Maybe I missed it, but do Constables work in specialty units, eg, SWAT. As a constable are you permitted to take the exams for Detective ? What would you say are the advantages of being  a Constable over other LE positions?


When my life has ended..And my time has run out
My friends and my loved ones..I'll leave there's no doubt
But one thing's for certain...When it comes my time
I'll leave this old world...With a satisfied mind

-Johnny Cash

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LP_MD says ...



Intersting reading, thanks for posting this. I never realized that Constables were elected. Maybe I missed it, but do Constables work in specialty units, eg, SWAT. As a constable are you permitted to take the exams for Detective ? What would you say are the advantages of being  a Constable over other LE positions?



Like the  article above, really depends on what county youre talking about, and even then what precinct youre talking about.  A small county, small precinct Constables office may have literally the elected Constable and no deputies, a larger one may have deputies who only serve the civil process....if youre talking about a large county with large precincts, then youre going to have all the same sort of divisions you see in a city police department or a sheriffs office minus the jail.  All will have a civil division since Constables and their deputies are officers of the court system. Criminal warrants divisions, patrol divisions, traffic enforcement, marine patrol, mental warrants, bike patrol, special response teams, criminal investigations divisions, etc etc etc....what a precinct has depends on what the needs are of the precinct itself.  2 of the major precicnts in my county are 911 agencies and primarily center on patrol and calls for service since they have primary LE jurisdiction in their precincts which are largely unincorporated...another precinct has a part time SRT unit and a K9 narcotics unit since it is an inner city precinct in Houston and is a high narcotics area, another precinct specializes in security of the courthouses in the county and has a mental warrants division and an environmental investigations division, another precinct that is where NASA is located has an astronaut protection program where they protect the houses and the familes of astronauts while they are in space, another precint has a unit that concentrates on fugitive and parole violator apprehension for the entire county....etc etc. So you will find many of the same divisions you find in a metro police department and many you wont. Depends on which agency youre talking about. 

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If i read this correctly, it sounds like constables are a lot like sheriffs and deputy sheriffs in other states.  The major difference, if I read it right,is that constables don't run a jail in the county where they serve.

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Thanks for the clarification gentlemen


When my life has ended..And my time has run out
My friends and my loved ones..I'll leave there's no doubt
But one thing's for certain...When it comes my time
I'll leave this old world...With a satisfied mind

-Johnny Cash

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Im not sure what all sheriffs from each state do, but the duty of civil process, court orders, is really the domain of the Constable in Texas. 


Since it appears to be such a unique LE field its hard to describe it one for one without other state frames of reference.  Best way to describe it for me though would be like a state version of the federal marshalls....since even a city marshall has the duty we do except their derive their power from the municipal courts rather than the county courts.  Our statewide authority comes from serving the county courts and the warrants and citations we serve have "state of texas" on them rather than each individual county...so technically, we could execute a warrant in the Texas panhandle  in Amarillo one day, and head down to the border and execute a warrant in Brownsville, nd the next day over to El Paso for a warrant there. However, me personally, Ive served warrants in 3 seperate counties...generally we dont go beyond any county that surrounds ours...simply based on both logistics and the fact that the warrants we execute come to our offices from our own counties Justices of the Peace.  However, since we have the largest mental warrants division in Texas, and the only one that serves our county, we often get calls for aid from other agencies across the state for help with their warrants, and Ive also executed one warrant from a federal agency who's agents had no experience dealing with those undergoing psychosis and or in crisis.


So back we go to likening it to the us marshalls...they serve the court system, execute warrants, apprehend fugitives, deal in security of the courthouses, have divisions that other LE agencies have.....but also have a role as the national uniformed police force.  We mirror that exactly, we have allthe duties to the court, we have the same divisions city police have depending on the size of the precinct....yet while the Sheriff is the Conservator of the Peace in each county in Texas per the Constitution, the Constable of each precint has ultimate law enforcement jurisdicion in his precinct per the Constitution.  City PDs can be shut down, Constable's and Sheriff's Offices cannot be shut down.  And each precinct is independant of the other within the county, each precinct elects its own Constable, each Constable empowers (hires) his own deputies, each precinct sets its own hiring standards......however, every deputy in the county where I work whether Constable or Sheriff deputy has the same pay scale...same amount of years, same amount of education, same level of TCLEOSE classification...same pay. 

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Great post PSD, I work w/ Constables here and are a great help.

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Not a prob, nothing like good LE specific chatter says I.  For our county, it represents 8 more agencies you can apply with other than Houston PD and Harris County SO....

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_JakesDad_ says ...



Great post PSD, I work w/ Constables here and are a great help.



Out of curiosity jakesdad, what division do you usually work with? Patrol deputies?

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We used to have a constable that drove around my town in Arkansas growing up, never was quite sure what he did though, thanks for the post, I've always been curious about that.


Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. - Theodore Geisel (Dr. Seuss)

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PSD_TEAM_LEADER says ...



_JakesDad_ says ...



Great post PSD, I work w/ Constables here and are a great help.



Out of curiosity jakesdad, what division do you usually work with? Patrol deputies?



Mostly patrol, I usually give them our bolo's.

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Bexar County Constable Office


Bexar County Constable’s Department (also known as Precinct 1, 2, 3, or 4) are the joint county police force along side of the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office for Bexar County, Texas. The Constable’s office are an authorized Law Enforcement Department created by the Texas Constitution and can be found in Article 5 Section 18. It is run by the Constables, who are elected every four years to one term in the Precinct of His / Her’s residency. The Constable is the Second Highest law enforcement officer within the county. Additionally, the Constable’s Office is also the Second largest law enforcement agency in the County. Each Precinct consist of approximately over 1,000 square miles, several school districts, several cities to include the City of San Antonio. The Precincts are patrolled by Constable’s Deputies in areas which are in dire need of policing. The number of Constable’s Deputies has grown within the past several years due to budget increases. The primary duties of the Constables and his deputies are to deliver and execute civil process papers to include but not limited to; criminal warrants, subpoenas, forcible detainer suits, small claims, different types of writs. Some other Department duties include enforcing Local, State, and Federal laws. In other words, although the job of the Bexar County Constable's Department deals mainly with civil litigation and are considered to be the officer's of the Courts, they are highly trained and ready to deal with any type of criminal activity within the precinct or throughout the county.


Funding:


The Departments are funded by the County Of Bexar. Funding is based on a complex formula that includes the core missions of the Constables Office which are but not limited to, Civil, Warrants, and Bailiff Duties. The county government must approve the annual budget including their percentage of budget.


Enforcement Areas:


Bexar County Constable's Department provide law enforcement warrants service for all of the following Law Enforcement Departments who file citations with the Justice Of The Peace Courts in and for Bexar County.



  • -Texas Department Of Public Safety Highway Patrol

  • -T.A.B.C Commission Police

  • -Texas Game & Wildlife Police

  • -Bexar County Constables Department

  • -Bexar County Sheriff’s Department

  • -Bexar County Code Compliance

  • -Bexar County Fire Marshals

  • -Bexar County District Hospitals Police Department

  • -San Antonio "VIA" Transit-Metro Police Department

  • -San Antonio ISD Police Department

  • -Harlendale ISD Police Department

  • -South Side ISD Police Department

  • -Somerset ISD Police Department

  • -South West ISD Police Department

  • -South San Antonio ISD Police Department

  • -Edgewood ISD Police Department

  • -East Central ISD Police Department

  • -Judson ISD Police Department

  • -North Side Police Department

  • -North East ISD Police Department

  • -Union Pacific Rail Road Police Department

  • -UTSA Downtown Campus Police Department

  • -San Antonio Alamo Community Colleges Police Department

  • -University of Incarnate Word Police Department

  • -University of Texas at San Antonio Police Department

  • -A&M University Police Department

  • -Trinity University Police Department

  • -Our Lady of the Lake Police Department

Specialized Units:


-Civil Division: The Civil Division's main function is the service of civil process, such as EVICTIONS and SUBPOENAS. Plus, other civil related issues. The eviction process is one of the most common civil actions that are taken in the Justice of the Peace Courts, in order to properly evict a tenant from rental property, or to gain possession of real property.


-Warrant Division: It is the duty of the warrant division to enforce state laws, and enforce the clearance and disposition of all warrants issued to the Constable's office. Our office works closely with all law enforcement agencies throughout Bexar County on all warrants of arrest. Most of our warrants are a result of unpaid traffic citations, or truancy warrants.


-Bailiff Division: The Bailiff Duties include, maintaining order and court room security in The Justice of the Peace Courts, taking people into custody as ordered by the judge, the transportation of adult prisoners, and of juvenile prisoners. Precinct deputies, oversee six Justices of Peace Courts.


-Patrol Unit: The Patrol Unit is committed to reducing quality of life offenses and is dedicated to keeping the County of Bexar a safe and enjoyable place to live and visit. The Patrol Unit is often used in locations where calls for service are high, the unit focuses on offenses such as public intoxication, street level substance abuse, common disruptions of disorderly groups, street gangs, and, traffic enforcement, parking/noise violations.


-Bike Patrol Unit: The Bike Patrol Unit's goal is to provide our residents and visitors with an unsurpassed level of expertise and safety. They embrace the idea of community policing by making themselves more approachable and accessible to the citizens of our community. The Bike Deputies' primary responsibility is to facilitate positive deputy / civilian relations by interacting with the general public on a daily basis.


-A.S.A.P “Save Our Students: Absent Student Assistance Program (A.S.A.P) is a program that started with volunteer deputies visiting the homes of absent students. Students who are chronically absent from school are more likely to dropout of school and become involved with the juvenile justice system than their peers who attend school. The purpose of A.S.A.P. is to improve school attendance by providing the earliest possible response to absenteeism, thereby reducing dropout rates and detering delinquency.


-D.A.R.E Unit: (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) The goal of the D.A.R.E. Unit curriculum is to provide students with additional knowledge of D.A.R.E. lessons that will build upon and reinforce what they need to know to resist the everyday temptations of drug use, thus providing a foundation for long term and results.


-Traffic Unit: The traffic enforcement unit is patrolling the streets of Bexar County daily to enforce traffic laws and to promote the safety of our community.


-Marine Safety Enforcement: These patrols decrease the alcohol related incidents on the water by actively pursuing the few who insist on boating while intoxicated. This unit also assist other agencies in Bexar County with water related problems as needed. All officers are Marine Safety Enforcement certified.


-K-9 Unit: The unit consists of highly proficient canines trained to detect marijuana, hashish, heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine. The canine officers are on call to assist federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.


-Reserve Division: The Bexar County Constable's Office has a highly regarded unit of approximately over 50 volunteer Reserve deputies who hold commissions as law enforcement officers. These deputies provide the Bexar County Constable's Office and the citizens of the county the same type of service as any other peace officer.


 

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Going further with Texas LE, alot of guys looking to move into LE often ask me for guidance.  I remembered this from the Code of Criminal Procedure....on who is a peace officer in Texas, and also who is a "special investigator."  Interestingly enough, it mentions civilian agents of the NCIS, but does not mention agents of Army CID or Air Force OSI as special investigators...I take it that means they have no LE authority in the state of Texas outside of military installations.


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Art. 2.12.  WHO ARE PEACE OFFICERS.  The following are peace officers:


(1)  sheriffs, their deputies, and those reserve deputies who hold a permanent peace officer license issued under Chapter 1701, Occupations Code;


(2)  constables, deputy constables, and those reserve deputy constables who hold a permanent peace officer license issued under Chapter 1701, Occupations Code;


(3)  marshals or police officers of an incorporated city, town, or village, and those reserve municipal police officers who hold a permanent peace officer license issued under Chapter 1701, Occupations Code;


(4)  rangers and officers commissioned by the Public Safety Commission and the Director of the Department of Public Safety;


(5)  investigators of the district attorneys', criminal district attorneys', and county attorneys' offices;


(6)  law enforcement agents of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission;


(7)  each member of an arson investigating unit commissioned by a city, a county, or the state;


(8)  officers commissioned under Section 37.081, Education Code, or Subchapter E, Chapter 51, Education Code;


(9)  officers commissioned by the General Services Commission;


(10)  law enforcement officers commissioned by the Parks and Wildlife Commission;


(11)  airport police officers commissioned by a city with a population of more than 1.18 million that operates an airport that serves commercial air carriers;


(12)  airport security personnel commissioned as peace officers by the governing body of any political subdivision of this state, other than a city described by Subdivision (11), that operates an airport that serves commercial air carriers;


(13)  municipal park and recreational patrolmen and security officers;


(14)  security officers and investigators commissioned as peace officers by the comptroller;


(15)  officers commissioned by a water control and improvement district under Section 49.216, Water Code;


(16)  officers commissioned by a board of trustees under Chapter 54, Transportation Code;


(17)  investigators commissioned by the Texas Medical Board;


(18)  officers commissioned by the board of managers of the Dallas County Hospital District, the Tarrant County Hospital District, or the Bexar County Hospital District under Section 281.057, Health and Safety Code;


(19)  county park rangers commissioned under Subchapter E, Chapter 351, Local Government Code;


(20)  investigators employed by the Texas Racing Commission;


(21)  officers commissioned under Chapter 554, Occupations Code;


(22)  officers commissioned by the governing body of a metropolitan rapid transit authority under Section 451.108, Transportation Code, or by a regional transportation authority under Section 452.110, Transportation Code;


(23)  investigators commissioned by the attorney general under Section 402.009, Government Code;


(24)  security officers and investigators commissioned as peace officers under Chapter 466, Government Code;


(25)  an officer employed by the Department of State Health Services under Section 431.2471, Health and Safety Code;


(26)  officers appointed by an appellate court under Subchapter F, Chapter 53, Government Code;


(27)  officers commissioned by the state fire marshal under Chapter 417, Government Code;


(28)  an investigator commissioned by the commissioner of insurance under Section 701.104, Insurance Code;


(29)  apprehension specialists and inspectors general commissioned by the Texas Youth Commission as officers under Sections 61.0451 and 61.0931, Human Resources Code;


(30)  officers appointed by the inspector general of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice under Section 493.019, Government Code;


(31)  investigators commissioned by the Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education under Section 1701.160, Occupations Code;


(32)  commission investigators commissioned by the Texas Private Security Board under Section 1702.061(f), Occupations Code;


(33)  the fire marshal and any officers, inspectors, or investigators commissioned by an emergency services district under Chapter 775, Health and Safety Code;


(34)  officers commissioned by the State Board of Dental Examiners under Section 254.013, Occupations Code, subject to the limitations imposed by that section; and


(35)  investigators commissioned by the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission as officers under Section 141.055, Human Resources Code.

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Art. 2.121. RAILROAD PEACE OFFICERS.  (a) The director of the Department of Public Safety may appoint up to 250 railroad peace officers who are employed by a railroad company to aid law enforcement agencies in the protection of railroad property and the protection of the persons and property of railroad passengers and employees.


(b) Except as provided by Subsection (c) of this article, a railroad peace officer may make arrests and exercise all authority given peace officers under this code when necessary to prevent or abate the commission of an offense involving injury to passengers and employees of the railroad or damage to railroad property or to protect railroad property or property in the custody or control of the railroad.


(c) A railroad peace officer may not issue a traffic citation for a violation of Chapter 521, Transportation Code, or Subtitle C, Title 7, Transportation Code.


(d) A railroad peace officer is not entitled to state benefits normally provided by the state to a peace officer.


(e) A person may not serve as a railroad peace officer for a railroad company unless:


(1) the Texas Railroad Association submits the person's application for appointment and certification as a railroad peace officer to the director of the Department of Public Safety and to the executive director of the Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education;


(2) the director of the department issues the person a certificate of authority to act as a railroad peace officer; and


(3) the executive director of the commission determines that the person meets minimum standards required of peace officers by the commission relating to competence, reliability, education, training, morality, and physical and mental health and issues the person a license as a railroad peace officer; and


(4) the person has met all standards for certification as a peace officer by the Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education.


(f) For good cause, the director of the department may revoke a certificate of authority issued under this article and the executive director of the commission may revoke a license issued under this article. Termination of employment with a railroad company, or the revocation of a railroad peace officer license, shall constitute an automatic revocation of a certificate of authority to act as a railroad peace officer.


(g) A railroad company is liable for any act or omission by a person serving as a railroad peace officer for the company that is within the person's scope of employment. Neither the state nor any political subdivision or agency of the state shall be liable for any act or omission by a person appointed as a railroad peace officer. All expenses incurred by the granting or revocation of a certificate of authority to act as a railroad peace officer shall be paid by the employing railroad company.


(h) A railroad peace officer who is a member of a railroad craft may not perform the duties of a member of any other railroad craft during a strike or labor dispute.


(i) The director of the department and the executive director of the commission shall have the authority to promulgate rules necessary for the effective administration and performance of the duties and responsibilities delegated to them by this article.




 


Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 531, Sec. 1, eff. June 12, 1985. Subsec. (c) amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 3.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.





 



Art. 2.122. SPECIAL INVESTIGATORS.  (a) The following named criminal investigators of the United States shall not be deemed peace officers, but shall have the powers of arrest, search and seizure as to felony offenses only under the laws of the State of Texas:


(1) Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation;


(2) Special Agents of the Secret Service;


(3) Special Agents of the United States Customs Service;


(4) Special Agents of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms;


(5) Special Agents of Federal Drug Enforcement Agency;


(6) Inspectors of the United States Postal Service;


(7) Special Agents of the Criminal Investigation Division and Inspectors of the Internal Security Division of the Internal Revenue Service;


(8) Civilian Special Agents of the United States Naval Investigative Service;


(9) Marshals and Deputy Marshals of the United States Marshals Service;


(10) Special Agents of the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service; and


(11) Special Agents of the United States Department of State, Bureau of Diplomatic Security.


(b) A person designated as a special policeman by the Federal Protective Services division of the General Services Administration under 40 U.S.C. Section 318 or 318d is not a peace officer but has the powers of arrest and search and seizure as to any offense under the laws of this state.

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(c) A customs inspector of the United States Customs Service or a border patrolman or immigration officer of the United States Department of Justice is not a peace officer under the laws of this state but, on the premises of a port facility designated by the commissioner of the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service as a port of entry for arrival in the United States by land transportation from the United Mexican States into the State of Texas or at a permanent established border patrol traffic check point, has the authority to detain a person pending transfer without unnecessary delay to a peace officer if the inspector, patrolman, or officer has probable cause to believe that the person has engaged in conduct that is a violation of Section 49.02, 49.04, 49.07, or 49.08, Penal Code, regardless of whether the violation may be disposed of in a criminal proceeding or a juvenile justice proceeding.


(d) A commissioned law enforcement officer of the National Park Service is not a peace officer under the laws of this state, except that the officer has the powers of arrest, search, and seizure as to any offense under the laws of this state committed within the boundaries of a national park or national recreation area. In this subsection, "national park or national recreation area" means a national park or national recreation area included in the National Park System as defined by 16 U.S.C. Section 1c(a).


(e) A Special Agent or Law Enforcement Officer of the United States Forest Service is not a peace officer under the laws of this state, except that the agent or officer has the powers of arrest, search, and seizure as to any offense under the laws of this state committed within the National Forest System. In this subsection, "National Forest System" has the meaning assigned by 16 U.S.C. Section 1609.


(f) Security personnel working at a commercial nuclear power plant, including contract security personnel, trained and qualified under a security plan approved by the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission, are not peace officers under the laws of this state, except that such personnel have the powers of arrest, search, and seizure, including the powers under Section 9.51, Penal Code, while in the performance of their duties on the premises of a commercial nuclear power plant site or under agreements entered into with local law enforcement regarding areas surrounding the plant site.


(g)  In addition to the powers of arrest, search, and seizure under Subsection (a), a Special Agent of the Secret Service protecting a person described by 18 U.S.C. Section 3056(a)  or investigating a threat against a person described by 18 U.S.C. Section 3056(a) has the powers of arrest, search, and seizure as to:


(1)  misdemeanor offenses under the laws of this state; and


(2)  any criminal offense under federal law.


 


 


 

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Art. 2.123. ADJUNCT POLICE OFFICERS.  (a) Within counties under 200,000 population, the chief of police of a municipality or the sheriff of the county, if the institution is outside the corporate limits of a municipality, that has jurisdiction over the geographical area of a private institution of higher education, provided the governing board of such institution consents, may appoint up to 50 peace officers who are commissioned under Section 51.212, Education Code, and who are employed by a private institution of higher education located in the municipality or county, to serve as adjunct police officers of the municipality or county. Officers appointed under this article shall aid law enforcement agencies in the protection of the municipality or county in a geographical area that is designated by agreement on an annual basis between the appointing chief of police or sheriff and the private institution.


(b) The geographical area that is subject to designation under Subsection (a) of this article may include only the private institution's campus area and an area that:


(1) is adjacent to the campus of the private institution;


(2) does not extend further than a distance of one mile from the perimeter of the campus of the private institution; and


(3) is inhabited primarily by students or employees of the private institution.


(c) A peace officer serving as an adjunct police officer may make arrests and exercise all authority given peace officers under this code only within the geographical area designated by agreement between the appointing chief of police or sheriff and the private institution.


(d) A peace officer serving as an adjunct police officer has all the rights, privileges, and immunities of a peace officer but is not entitled to state compensation and retirement benefits normally provided by the state to a peace officer.


(e) A person may not serve as an adjunct police officer for a municipality or county unless:


(1) the institution of higher education submits the person's application for appointment and certification as an adjunct police officer to the chief of police of the municipality or, if outside a municipality, the sheriff of the county that has jurisdiction over the geographical area of the institution;


(2) the chief of police of the municipality or sheriff of the county to whom the application was made issues the person a certificate of authority to act as an adjunct police officer; and


(3) the person undergoes any additional training required for that person to meet the training standards of the municipality or county for peace officers employed by the municipality or county.


(f) For good cause, the chief of police or sheriff may revoke a certificate of authority issued under this article.


(g) A private institution of higher education is liable for any act or omission by a person while serving as an adjunct police officer outside of the campus of the institution in the same manner as the municipality or county governing that geographical area is liable for any act or omission of a peace officer employed by the municipality or county. This subsection shall not be construed to act as a limitation on the liability of a municipality or county for the acts or omissions of a person serving as an adjunct police officer.


(h) The employing institution shall pay all expenses incurred by the municipality or county in granting or revoking a certificate of authority to act as an adjunct police officer under this article.


(i) This article does not affect any duty of the municipality or county to provide law enforcement services to a geographical area designated under Subsection (a) of this article.




 


Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 1128, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 31, 1987.

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Art. 2.125.  SPECIAL RANGERS OF TEXAS AND SOUTHWESTERN CATTLE RAISERS ASSOCIATION.  (a)  The director of the Department of Public Safety may appoint up to 50 special rangers who are employed by the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association to aid law enforcement agencies in the investigation of the theft of livestock or related property.


(b)  Except as provided by Subsection (c) of this article, a special ranger may make arrests and exercise all authority given peace officers under this code when necessary to prevent or abate the commission of an offense involving livestock or related property.


(c)  A special ranger may not issue a traffic citation for a violation of Chapter 521, Transportation Code, or Subtitle C, Title 7, Transportation Code.


(d)  A special ranger is not entitled to state benefits normally provided by the state to a peace officer.


(e)  A person may not serve as a special ranger unless:


(1)  the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association submits the person's application for appointment and certification as a special ranger to the director of the Department of Public Safety and to the executive director of the Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education;


(2)  the director of the department issues the person a certificate of authority to act as a special ranger;


(3)  the executive director of the commission determines that the person meets minimum standards required of peace officers by the commission relating to competence, reliability, education, training, morality, and physical and mental health and issues the person a license as a special ranger; and


(4)  the person has met all standards for certification as a peace officer by the Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education.


(f)  For good cause, the director of the department may revoke a certificate of authority issued under this article and the executive director of the commission may revoke a license issued under this article.  Termination of employment with the association, or the revocation of a special ranger license, shall constitute an automatic revocation of a certificate of authority to act as a special ranger.


(g)  The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association is liable for any act or omission by a person serving as a special ranger for the association that is within the person's scope of employment.  Neither the state nor any political subdivision or agency of the state shall be liable for any act or omission by a person appointed as a special ranger.  All expenses incurred by the granting or revocation of a certificate of authority to act as a special ranger shall be paid by the association.


(h)  The director of the department and the executive director of the commission shall have the authority to promulgate rules necessary for the effective administration and performance of the duties and responsibilities delegated to them by this article.

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Very informative.  Very impressive, long history, office.