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 law ...

Stolen after Super Bowl in Houston, Tom Brady's jersey recovered in Mexico

New England Patriots' James White (R) scores a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Atlanta Falcons at Super Bowl LI in Houston, Texas, U.S., February 5, 2017.
New England Patriots' James White (R) scores a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Atlanta Falcons at Super Bowl LI in Houston, Texas, U.S., February 5, 2017.

After being stolen from the Patriots' locker room at NRG Stadium in Houston last month after the Super Bowl, quarterback Tom Brady's jersey was traced to Mexico and found in the possession of a credentialed member of the international media, according to a statement from the NFL. 

A DPS trooper spots a motorist along Highway 83 in Starr County.
A DPS trooper spots a motorist along Highway 83 in Starr County.

Many border drug smugglers avoid prison

In two key counties, less than a quarter of the “high-threat criminals” arrested by Department of Public Safety troopers for felony drug offenses during the state’s border surge have been sent to prison.

45-year-old Nickolas Mares is described by DPS as a “high-threat criminal,” though he only faced a drug possession charge. He can hardly speak from a stroke and lives with his mother in Rio Grande City.
45-year-old Nickolas Mares is described by DPS as a “high-threat criminal,” though he only faced a drug possession charge. He can hardly speak from a stroke and lives with his mother in Rio Grande City.

Most border arrests by Texas troopers are not for drug smuggling

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DPS has added more troopers to the border under the assumed objective that they're going after drug and human smugglers. But most of their arrests are for drunk driving and misdemeanor drug possession. 

Ayana Flewellen speaks to a large crowd assembled at The Texas Capitol for a candlelight vigil in remembrance of Sandra Bland on Thursday July 23, 2015.
Ayana Flewellen speaks to a large crowd assembled at The Texas Capitol for a candlelight vigil in remembrance of Sandra Bland on Thursday July 23, 2015.

Hearings Will Address Criminal Justice Reforms in Sandra Bland's Name

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Texas lawmakers will meet Tuesday to discuss the push for reforms in Texas jail standards, police training and care for mentally ill inmates in the wake of Sandra Bland's death in the Waller County Jail.

 

Steve McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, is interviewed by Texas Tribune CEO and Editor-in-Chief Evan Smith on Jan. 19, 2016.
Steve McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, is interviewed by Texas Tribune CEO and Editor-in-Chief Evan Smith on Jan. 19, 2016.

Police Group Upset After DPS Director Says Cops Should "Just Take" Being Spit At

When asked about escalations with law enforcement, Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw said last week that officers need to respond professionally and added, "Anybody that’s been spit at ... you just take it."

Video: McCraw on Race and Policing

At our 1/19 conversation, Steve McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, explained why racial profiling is only a "perception" problem in Texas and how the agency is handling traffic stops these days.

Fleeing before Hurricane Rita hit land on Sept. 24, 2005, evacuees faced a separate disaster on roads like Interstate 10. The chaotic evacuation contributed to more deaths than the storm itself. Officials say they are better prepared for the next evacuation.
Fleeing before Hurricane Rita hit land on Sept. 24, 2005, evacuees faced a separate disaster on roads like Interstate 10. The chaotic evacuation contributed to more deaths than the storm itself. Officials say they are better prepared for the next evacuation.

Will Another Traffic Nightmare Precede the Next Big Storm?

Before Hurricane Rita hit the Texas coast 10 years ago, there was an evacuation marked by a traffic disaster. Officials say they're prepared to avoid a similar catastrophe on the roads. This is part of our "Road From Rita" series, a collaboration with the Beaumont Enterprise.