Tribpedia: Department Of Public Safety

Tribpedia

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 ...

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Analysis: A Simple and Very Expensive Proposal

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.

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.

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Law Enables Drivers to Display Insurance on Phones

Motorists in Texas will soon be allowed to use their cellphones to show proof of insurance during traffic stops. Proponents of the legislation say that the law will increase at the efficiency at those stops. This story is part of our 31 Days, 31 Ways series, a monthlong look at how the bills and budget passed by the 83rd Legislature will affect Texans' lives starting Sept. 1. 

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Pictured is a sexual assault evidence collection kit used by law enforcement throughout Texas.
Pictured is a sexual assault evidence collection kit used by law enforcement throughout Texas.

Money for DPS to Help With Backlog of Rape Kits

Thousands of untested rape kits are likely to get processed for DNA evidence after state budget writers included $11 million for the effort in the 2014-15 budget. This story is part of our 31 Days, 31 Ways series, a monthlong look at how the bills and budget passed by the 83rd Legislature will affect Texans' lives starting Sept. 1. 

A vehicle near the remains of a fertilizer plant burning after an explosion in West, Texas, near Waco.
A vehicle near the remains of a fertilizer plant burning after an explosion in West, Texas, near Waco.

Lawmakers Seek Lessons From West Explosion

A panel of House lawmakers on Monday agreed to join other state officials in calling on the federal government to send additional aid to the small town of West, which was rocked in April by a massive plant explsion.

Texas DPS agent Cuevas removes a M2-40 machine gun from newly commissioned patrol vessel. The boat, part of the Tactical Marine Unit, funded by federal Homeland Security grants, will help with the state's efforts in combating Mexican drug cartels patrolling the Rio Grande River
Texas DPS agent Cuevas removes a M2-40 machine gun from newly commissioned patrol vessel. The boat, part of the Tactical Marine Unit, funded by federal Homeland Security grants, will help with the state's efforts in combating Mexican drug cartels patrolling the Rio Grande River

Budget Plan for DPS Includes Pay Raises for Troopers

The 2014-15 budget plan for the Texas Department of Public Safety doesn't include money for big-ticket items like gunboats or planes, but it does include money for troopers’ raises and retains funding for the agency’s fusion center. The budget plan also allots the DPS $11 million to help address the state’s massive backlog of untested rape kits.

After Drug Lab Scandal, Court Reverses Convictions

The Court of Criminal Appeals continued to reverse more convictions of drug offenders on Wednesday after investigators from the Texas Forensic Science Commission found that a former employee with a Department of Public Safety crime lab in Houston may have fabricated the results of thousands of drug tests.

DPS chief Steve McCraw, r, Ken Armbrister, l, and Brandy Marty of the Governor's Office announce the access policy change to the Governor's Mansion on March 5, 2013.
DPS chief Steve McCraw, r, Ken Armbrister, l, and Brandy Marty of the Governor's Office announce the access policy change to the Governor's Mansion on March 5, 2013.

DPS Changes Security Policy at Governor's Mansion

Calling the old policy "stupid," the head of the Department of Public Safety said Tuesday that congressional and state elected officials will no longer have to endure a background check to access the Governor's Mansion.

The Austin-Pflugerville Driver License Mega Center, which opened to the public on October 30, 2012, is one of six new facilities that have opened in the state since the 82nd legislature approved $63 million in funding for them.
The Austin-Pflugerville Driver License Mega Center, which opened to the public on October 30, 2012, is one of six new facilities that have opened in the state since the 82nd legislature approved $63 million in funding for them.

DPS Centers Aim to Keep Customer Traffic Flowing

Texas Department of Public Safety driver's license offices have a reputation for long lines and exhausting wait times for customers. But six new mega centers across the state are drastically cutting the wait time for license renewals and replacements.

Texas Department of Public Safety patch worn on a uniform during an April 7, 2011 graduation ceremony in Austin.
Texas Department of Public Safety patch worn on a uniform during an April 7, 2011 graduation ceremony in Austin.

Lawmakers Advocate Ending Driver Responsibility Program

State Rep. Larry Gonzales, R-Round Rock and state Rep. Lon Burnam, D-Fort Worth, have filed a bill that would end  Texas' Driver Responsibility Program. The program, which uses funds from driving offense surcharge to support trauma hospitals, has been labeled as ineffective by some lawmakers and judges around the state. 

Pictured is a sexual assault evidence collection kit used by law enforcement throughout Texas.
Pictured is a sexual assault evidence collection kit used by law enforcement throughout Texas.

Clearing Texas Rape Kit Backlog Brings Hefty Price Tag

It could cost Texas up to $11 million to clear the backlog of some 20,000 untested rape kits in police agencies statewide, state officials estimate. If Congress doesn't come through with funding, lawmakers here in Texas will search during the upcoming legislative session for funds to help solve the crimes and arrest predators.