Texas Sunset Commission Report Shows State Law Enforcement Regulator Needs Blue Tape Sign

The report shows that Texas needs a better approach to law enforcement regulations.

AUSTIN, Texas — A Texas legislative commission overseeing state agencies has signaled that the way we regulate law enforcement isn’t good enough.

The Texas Commission on Law Enforcement regulates law enforcement in the state.

The Sunset Advisory Commission found three issues with the agency:

Problem 1: Texas’ approach to law enforcement regulation is ineffective.

  • Establish a panel of experts to thoroughly assess law enforcement regulations in Texas and make recommendations for necessary changes.
  • Sue the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement for two years, until 2025.

Issue 2: Key elements of TCOLE’s statutes and procedures do not conform to common licensing and regulatory standards.

  • Direct TCOLE to work with DPS to subscribe to rap reminders on fingerprint-based criminal background checks for all applicants and licensees.
  • Clearly authorize TCOLE to maintain complainant confidentiality where possible.
  • Explicitly allow TCOLE to temporarily suspend a license if there is an imminent threat to public health, safety, or welfare, and require a schedule for due process hearings.
  • Require TCOLE to establish and maintain a system for LEAs to report failed aptitude-for-duty exams or refusals to be tested, and authorize TCOLE to suspend licensees in limited circumstances.

RELATED: Texas Sunset Commission Staff Uncovers Six Issues With State’s Electric Industry Regulator

Issue 3: TCOLE’s statute does not reflect certain typical elements of sunset reviews.

  • Update the General Standard Requirement for Panel Member Training.
  • Authorize the commission to establish advisory committees in good standing.”

The report shows that a comprehensive review of the agency is needed.

“Rather than trying to fix a fundamentally flawed system, a comprehensive review of how the state regulates law enforcement is needed to make the necessary changes to better protect the health, safety and welfare of be from the public, as well as law enforcement personnel,” the report states.

The Sunset staff report is one of three reports. The second report will contain the first as well as the committee’s decisions on which recommendations to make to the Texas Legislature and which the agency should implement. The third report contains the two precedents plus the final decision of the Legislative Assembly.

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