NEW RULES PROPOSED TO ADDRESS SO-CALLED “GYPSY COPS”
In recent years, the problem of “gypsy cops” (police officers who move easily from one police department to another despite poor performance records or unethical behavior) has affected many Texas cities. H.B. 2445, passed in 2007, attempts to address the problem by increasing cooperation between local law enforcement agencies and the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education (TCLEOSE).
The 2007 legislation: (1) expands the circumstances under which a law enforcement agency is required to file a termination report with TCLEOSE; (2) formalizes language to be used in the report; (3) requires the agency to submit the report to TCLEOSE not later than the seventh business day after the date the peace officer separates from the agency or exhausts all administrative appeals; (4) requires the agency to provide the peace officer or the officer’s next of kin a copy of the report not later than the seventh business day after the officer separates from the agency or exhausts all administrative appeals; and (5) allows TCLEOSE to suspend the license of a peace officer upon the receipt of notification of certain termination situations.
On December 31, 2008, TCLEOSE proposed new agency rules that provide for the implementation of H.B. 2445. Specifically, the proposed rules outline the materials that local law enforcement agencies must submit to TCLEOSE prior to hiring or terminating a licensed peace officer.
The proposed rules are available at: http://www.sos.state.tx.us/texreg/sos/PROPOSED/37.PUBLIC%20SAFETY%20AND%20CORRECTIONS.html#108.
Prior to February 15, 2009, public comments on the proposed rules may be submitted electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org or in writing to Mr. Timothy A. Braaten, Executive Director, Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education, 6330 U.S. 290 East, Austin, Texas 78723.