Tribpedia: Department Of Public Safety

The Texas Department of Public Safety is the state's largest law enforcement agency. It issues drivers licenses and is responsible for providing emergency management during natural and manmade disasters.

The Texas Highway Patrol Division is responsible for general police traffic supervision, traffic, and criminal law enforcement on rural highways.

The Texas Rangers, among the oldest and nationally best known ...

McCraw Hammered at Hearing on Bland Case

DPS Director Col. Steve McCraw answers questions from State Rep. Garnet Coleman during invited testimony of the House Committee on County Affairs investigating the Sandra Bland death in Waller County on July 30, 2015.
DPS Director Col. Steve McCraw answers questions from State Rep. Garnet Coleman during invited testimony of the House Committee on County Affairs investigating the Sandra Bland death in Waller County on July 30, 2015.

State lawmakers grilled Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw on Thursday, voicing concerns about arrest procedures used by state police and pressing the agency head to explain the July 10 arrest of Sandra Bland, who was found hanged three days later in the Waller County Jail.

Waller County Jail booking video showing Sandra Bland appearing before Justice of the Peace Delores Hargrave.
Waller County Jail booking video showing Sandra Bland appearing before Justice of the Peace Delores Hargrave.

Mental Health Jail Check Failed in Bland Case

The Waller County Jail failed to complete a two-part mental health screening process as required by law during Sandra Bland's booking process, according to the state jail commission and at least one public policy group.

In Texas Jails, Hanging Most Common Suicide Method

Texas county jails see 1 million bookings a year, and inmate deaths there are a rarity. But of the 501 inmate deaths that occurred in county jails since 2009, nearly a third — 140 — were suicides. And most of those suicides were by hanging, with inmates using objects available to them as ligatures: bed linens, clothing, telephone cords and trash bags.

 

Screenshot from Department of Public Safety dash cam video shows Sandra Bland as she exits her car after DPS officer Brian Encinia has drawn his taser on July 10, 2015.
Screenshot from Department of Public Safety dash cam video shows Sandra Bland as she exits her car after DPS officer Brian Encinia has drawn his taser on July 10, 2015.

Records Show Bland Revealed Previous Suicide Attempt

As she was being booked into the Waller County Jail, Sandra Bland told officers she had attempted suicide earlier this year, records released on Wednesday show. Bland also indicated that she had been diagnosed with epilepsy and was taking an anti-seizure medication.

Waller County District Attorney Elton Mathis discusses the investigation of Sandra Bland's death at a July 17 news conference.
Waller County District Attorney Elton Mathis discusses the investigation of Sandra Bland's death at a July 17 news conference.

Bland's Death Being Treated Like Murder Investigation

HEMPSTEAD — The probe into Sandra Bland's hanging death inside a Texas jail — which a medical examiner ruled a suicide last week — now includes the possibility of murder. "This is being treated like a murder investigation," Elton Mathis, Waller County's district attorney, said Monday. 

Sandra Bland, who was found dead at the Waller County Jail on July 13.
Sandra Bland, who was found dead at the Waller County Jail on July 13.

Waller County DA: Bland's Death Won't Be "Swept Under the Rug"

As Waller County authorities vowed on Friday to conduct a thorough investigation into the death of Sandra Bland, who was found hanged at the county jail, the Texas Department of Public Safety moved forward on a separate inquiry into how arrest procedures were violated in the case.

Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Director Steve McCraw gives testimony during the joint Interim Committee to Study Human Trafficking in La Joya, Texas July 24th, 2014
Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Director Steve McCraw gives testimony during the joint Interim Committee to Study Human Trafficking in La Joya, Texas July 24th, 2014

Analysis: Bickering Over Inquiries, With a Legislative Audience

As the Texas Legislature debates moving ethics investigations out of Travis County, an exchange between prosecutors and state police illustrates some of the problems ahead.

Texas Department of Public Safety officers patrol Anzalduas Park as part of Operation Strong Safety. Texas National Guard soldiers deployed to the area on Monday will help DPS in its mission, officials said.
Texas Department of Public Safety officers patrol Anzalduas Park as part of Operation Strong Safety. Texas National Guard soldiers deployed to the area on Monday will help DPS in its mission, officials said.

Integrity Unit Won't Resume Inquiry Into DPS Contracts

The head of the state’s anti-corruption unit responded on Monday to a request by the Texas Department of Public Safety to continue an investigation into the department’s border security contracts, saying the public integrity unit was not equipped to continue the investigation.

Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Director Steve McCraw gives testimony during the joint Interim Committee to Study Human Trafficking in La Joya, Texas July 24th, 2014
Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Director Steve McCraw gives testimony during the joint Interim Committee to Study Human Trafficking in La Joya, Texas July 24th, 2014

DPS Chief: Resume Border Security Contract Inquiry

he Texas Department of Public Safety's commander-in-chief fired off a letter Thursday to the head of the state's anti-corruption unit asking that a halted probe into its $20 million no-bid  border security contracts awarded to Abrams Learning and Information Systems, to proceed to clear the agency's name.

Three of 44 Department of Public Safety troopers graduating from cadet training pause for prayer on April 7, 2011
Three of 44 Department of Public Safety troopers graduating from cadet training pause for prayer on April 7, 2011

Funding for More DPS Border Officers Gets Tentative OK

The House Appropriations Committee on Thursday tentatively approved $105 million in funding for several DPS troopers, but not before some border lawmakers on the panel questioned how the DPS would prove the money is being spent wisely.

State Rep. Elliott Naishtat, D-Austin, wearing an "I'm Poncho" sticker on Jan. 28, 2015 after fellow Rep. Alfonso "Poncho" Nevárez, D-Eagle Pass, was the target of threats and racial slurs from some gun advocates.
State Rep. Elliott Naishtat, D-Austin, wearing an "I'm Poncho" sticker on Jan. 28, 2015 after fellow Rep. Alfonso "Poncho" Nevárez, D-Eagle Pass, was the target of threats and racial slurs from some gun advocates.

Reps Wear "I'm Poncho" Stickers for Safety, Solidarity

After state Rep. Poncho Nevárez kicked gun advocates out of his Capitol office earlier this month, he received death threats and got a security detail. On Wednesday, Texas House members wore "I'm Poncho" stickers to show support for Nevárez.

A line of Department of Public Safety troopers keeps order in the House gallery on July 9, 2013.
A line of Department of Public Safety troopers keeps order in the House gallery on July 9, 2013.

Analysis: A Simple and Very Expensive Proposal

It's one thing to say highway funds should go to highways. The problem is with all of the other programs those funds support, like the Department of Public Safety — and where to get the money to replace the highway funds when the budgets are straightened out.

Gov. Rick Perry, flanked by State Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, and Texas Adjutant General John Nichols, announces the deployment of National Guard troops to the Texas border on July 21, 2014.
Gov. Rick Perry, flanked by State Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, and Texas Adjutant General John Nichols, announces the deployment of National Guard troops to the Texas border on July 21, 2014.

Perry's Office Defends National Guard Funding

A representative from Gov. Rick Perry’s office pushed back Tuesday against criticism that the governor overreached in funding the deployment of Texas National Guard troops to the border. Perry's deputy chief of staff said the office made the best choice possible in an emergency situation.

U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess (left), R-Flower Mound, joined Attorney General Greg Abbott and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz for a news conference on June 23, 2014, after touring a Lackland Air Force Base facility in San Antonio that was serving as a shelter for unaccompanied minors who crossed the border.
U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess (left), R-Flower Mound, joined Attorney General Greg Abbott and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz for a news conference on June 23, 2014, after touring a Lackland Air Force Base facility in San Antonio that was serving as a shelter for unaccompanied minors who crossed the border.

Abbott, Cruz Blame Obama for "Humanitarian Crisis"

Warning of the dangers faced by undocumented and unaccompanied children crossing the border to the U.S., Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz on Monday called on the Obama administration to more strictly enforce immigration laws. 

 

Forensic chemist Rusty White completes a workout during a cross-training class at the DPS office in Austin on May 14, 2014.
Forensic chemist Rusty White completes a workout during a cross-training class at the DPS office in Austin on May 14, 2014.

Law Helps State Workers Find Time for Fitness

Since the passage of a 2007 law allowing state employees a 30-minute exercise break three times per week, several state agencies have begun offering popular lunchtime workout programs, like weight training and Zumba.

State Rep. Dan Branch, R-Dallas, and state Sen. Ken Paxton, R-McKinney, are in a runoff for attorney general.
State Rep. Dan Branch, R-Dallas, and state Sen. Ken Paxton, R-McKinney, are in a runoff for attorney general.

Stimulus Fund Allegations Spice Up AG Race

President Obama has been a frequent target for the candidates in the Republican race for Texas attorney general. Now the campaigns for two of those candidates — state Rep. Dan Branch and state Sen. Ken Paxton — are accusing each other of benefiting from the president's 2009 stimulus package. Those are fighting words in a Republican primary in Texas.