The Texas Department of Public Safety and Austin Police Department will begin including information about how drivers can file complaints against officers on the citations they issue, one quick result from ongoing legislative efforts to improve relations between police and communities.
DPS Executive Director Steve McCraw and Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo agreed during a state Senate Criminal Justice Committee hearing on Tuesday to provide that information on the back of citations, as lawmakers brainstorm ways to make drivers' rights and avenues for recourse more clear.
Legislators and members of the public also discussed proposals that would require Texas schools to teach students how to act when stopped by law enforcement and change drivers' handbook guidelines for when officers pull over motorists. The proposed changes come after several high-profile fatal encounters between police and civilians, particularly among unarmed black men and women.
McCraw said he'd like to make the changes immediately but has to go through a process. Acevedo said the change would take a few weeks but that in the meantime the department will hand out brochures about encountering officers.
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