Legislative Topics Mental Health and De-escalationEmergency DetentionSchool SafetyOfficer WellnessTCOLELEOSE FundsStreet TakeoversLEMITPaper License Plates
- Strategic deployment of more School Resource Officers to prevent, deter, and respond to violent crime.
- Increase focus on mental health support for children and young adults.
- Smartly fortify our schools through target hardening against those who would do harm.
- Improve internal and external communications for first responders during emergency situations with designated standardized emergency channels.
- Increase quality and quantity of interior and exterior cameras including License Plate Reader (LPR) technology.
- Expand law to allow Emergency Medical Services personnel to complete Emergency Detention Orders (EDO) for those who are a danger to self and others.
- Include mental health professionals and others into the EDO process, this change will provide a more efficient and humane way for a professional response to mental health concern.
- Eliminate law enforcement as the sole provider of EDO services to reduce the current drain on police resources.
- Continue funding of the First Responder Mental Health Grant Program coordinated from the Officer of the Governor, Public Safety Office to include eligibility for non-profit organizations.
- Incentivize and promote departments to initiate proactive programs like the Dallas PD Checkpoints in which personnel follow up with those who have responded to traumatic incidents.
- Eliminate stigma and cultural impediments related to officers asking for help.
- Encourage counseling for first responders and families through non-profit organizations.
- Identify ways to improve TCOLE and address the Sunset Commission Report recognizing the current regulation of Texas law enforcement was ineffective.
- Encourage current productive dialogue between TPCA and TCOLE staff under new leadership.
- Support TCOLE efforts to remedy staffing deficiencies within their agency.
- Grant greater rule making authority to TCLOE to streamline their processes.
- Convert the current F-5 to a separation document
- Establish a process to provide TCOLE with an overview of misconduct.
- Clarify TCOLE’s responsibility to track misconduct and initiate suspension or revocations on TCOLE license to prevent further employment and/or misconduct.
- Acknowledge that Police organizations across the state implement their own policies, which vary by department. Departments that do not have best practices in place, expose themselves to community concerns and liability, while also contributing to community distrust surrounding critical incidents.
- Understand that many law enforcement agencies across the state are small and lack resources or finances needed to implement current policing standards and/or pursue accreditation.
- Establish grant program to be administered by Criminal Justice Division for accreditation through a proven statewide program designated by the criminal justice division such as the one operated by the Texas Police Chiefs Association.
- Enact implementation based on jurisdictional size: September 1, 2026, for agencies of 50 plus and September 1, 2027, for agencies less than 50.
MENTAL HEALTH and DE-ESCALATION
- Increase grant opportunities through Governor’s Criminal Justice Division per Chapter 772 of Government Code. Suggested for research and program implementation.
- Improve collaboration for major stakeholder disciplines such as medical, counselors, police, paramedics, and academia to address this ever-increasing issue.
- Expand programs supporting the continuity of care through mental health specialty courts.
- Recognize that the Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education Fund (LEOSE) is the account in the state treasury that funds on-going law enforcement training for peace officers and telecommunicators.
- Know that local Texas law enforcement agencies have received the same amount - $6 million per year ($12 million per biennium) – for continuing education over the past two decades.
- Act to improve policing for Texas, by investing in the on-going training funds for existing officers by doubling the commitment for LEOSE funds to $12 million per year ($24 M per biennium).
- Understand that all police chiefs from a municipality, ISD or institution of higher education police department must attend the Texas Police Chief Leadership Series (TPCLS) or the New Chief Development Program (NCDP). These classes are exclusively taught by the Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT) at Sam Houston State University.
- Know that funding for these programs come primarily from the state general fund through fines collected on conviction of certain offenses but the funding is not sufficient to maintain or grow the training program and meet the current demands on law enforcement professionalism.
- Increase the funding directed to LEMIT for these programs to at least $4.2 million.
- Understand the danger that organized street racing and street takeovers have on many communities across Texas.
- Appreciate the work done by the 87th Legislature, to create the offense of Reckless Driving Exhibition, Penal Code 42.03(f) to cover this type of dangerous and disruptive behavior. However, the new statute was not enumerated under Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity (PC 71), so it cannot be elevated into Chapter 59 as basis for seizing vehicles used in this conduct.
- Add Reckless Driving Exhibition into the Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity statute will allow for a more aggressive enforcement with further significant consequences.
PAPER LICENSE PLATES
- Recognize that the current system of issuing paper tags for vehicle registration in not secure and provides limited security for illegal abuses and the ability to thwart law enforcement efforts to identify criminal suspects.
- Modify existing law to eliminate the use of paper tags and create new structure using individual assigned metal plates.