Skip to content

PC2.12 Define “PEACE OFFICER” in Texas Code of Criminal Procedure

1999 May 1
by admin

Reserve Law Officers

Association of America (reslaw)

P.O. Box 17807, San Antonio, Texas 78217 

Changes proposed in Texas Code of Criminal Procedure

Proposed PPC changes are contained in H.B. 957 by Rep. Tom Uher.

The changes would include:

  • Clarify the definition of “Who Is A Peace officer”; however
  • It includes language which does not exempt Reserves from the Private Security Act.

H.B 957 was substituted and unanimously passed the Public Safety Committee in the House 2/23/99; placed on General State Calendar 3/2/99; passed the House 3/17/99; was substituted and unanimously passed the Senate Intergovernmental Relations Committee and recommended for Local & Uncontested Calendar 4/16/99; passed the full Senate 4/29/99; sent to Governor Bush. Following is the text of the amended H.B. 957:

By: Uher (Senate Sponsor - Whitmire)H.B. No. 957

(In the Senate - Received from the House March 18, 1999; March 22, 1999, read first time and referred to Committee on Intergovernmental Relations; April 16, 1999, reported adversely, with favorable Committee Substitute by the following vote: Yeas 4, Nays 0; April 16, 1999, sent to printer.)

COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR H.B. No. 957By: Moncrief

A BILL TO BE ENTITLED

AN ACT

relating to the law enforcement authority and status of a reserve deputy, reserve deputy constable, and reserve municipal police officer.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:

SECTION 1.  Article 2.12, Code of Criminal Procedure, is amended to read as follows:

Art. 2.12.  WHO ARE PEACE OFFICERS. The following are peace officers:

(1)  sheriffs, [and] their deputies, and those reserve deputies who hold a permanent peace officer license issued under Chapter 415, Government Code;

(2)  constables, [and] deputy constables, and those reserve deputy constables who hold a permanent peace officer license issued under Chapter 415, Government Code;

(3)  marshals or police officers of an incorporated city, town, or village, and those reserve municipal police officers who hold a permanent peace officer license issued under Chapter 415, Government Code;

(4)  rangers and officers commissioned by the Public Safety Commission and the Director of the Department of Public Safety;

(5)  investigators of the district attorneys’, criminal district attorneys’, and county attorneys’ offices;

(6)  law enforcement agents of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission;

(7)  each member of an arson investigating unit commissioned by a city, a county, or the state;

(8)  officers commissioned under Section 37.081, Education Code, or Subchapter E, Chapter 51, Education Code;

(9)  officers commissioned by the General Services Commission;

(10)  law enforcement officers commissioned by the Parks and Wildlife Commission;

(11)  airport police officers commissioned by a city with a population of more than one million, according to the most recent federal census, that operates an airport that serves commercial air carriers;

(12)  airport security personnel commissioned as peace officers by the governing body of any political subdivision of this state, other than a city described by Subdivision (11), that operates an airport that serves commercial air carriers;

(13)  municipal park and recreational patrolmen and security officers;

(14)  security officers commissioned as peace officers by the comptroller;

(15)  officers commissioned by a water control and improvement district under Section 49.216, Water Code;

(16)  officers commissioned by a board of trustees under Chapter 341, Acts of the 57th Legislature, Regular Session, 1961 (Article 1187f, Vernon’s Texas Civil Statutes);

(17)  investigators commissioned by the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners;

(18)  officers commissioned by the board of managers of the Dallas County Hospital District, the Tarrant County Hospital District, or the Bexar County Hospital District under Section 281.057, Health and Safety Code;

(19)  county park rangers commissioned under Subchapter E, Chapter 351, Local Government Code;

(20)  investigators employed by the Texas Racing Commission;

(21)  officers commissioned by the State Board of Pharmacy;

(22)  officers commissioned by the governing body of a metropolitan rapid transit authority under Section 451.108, Transportation Code, or by a regional transportation authority under Section 452.110, Transportation Code;

(23)  investigators commissioned by the attorney general under Section 402.009, Government Code;

(24)  security officers and investigators commissioned as peace officers under Chapter 466, Government Code;

(25)  an officer employed by the Texas Department of Health under Section 431.2471, Health and Safety Code;

(26)  officers appointed by an appellate court under Subchapter F, Chapter 53, Government Code;

(27)  officers commissioned by the state fire marshal under Chapter 417, Government Code;

(28)  an investigator commissioned by the commissioner of insurance under Article 1.10D, Insurance Code; and

(29)  apprehension specialists commissioned by the Texas Youth Commission as officers under Section 61.0931, Human Resources Code.

SECTION 2.  Sections 85.004(a) and (b), Local Government Code, are amended to read as follows:

(a)  The commissioners court of a county may authorize the sheriff to appoint reserve deputy sheriffs [who may be called on by the sheriff to serve as peace officers during the actual discharge of their official duties]. The commissioners court may limit the number of reserve deputies that may be appointed.

(b)  A reserve deputy serves at the discretion of the sheriff and may be called into service if the sheriff considers it necessary to have additional officers to preserve the peace and enforce the law. The sheriff may authorize a reserve deputy who is a peace officer as described by Article 2.12, Code of Criminal Procedure, to carry a weapon or act as a peace officer at all times, regardless of whether the reserve deputy is engaged in the actual discharge of official duties, or may limit the authority of the reserve deputy to carry a weapon or act as a peace officer to only those times during which the reserve deputy is engaged in the actual discharge of official duties. A reserve deputy who is not a peace officer as described by Article 2.12, Code of Criminal Procedure, may act as a peace officer only during the actual discharge of official duties. A reserve deputy, regardless of whether the reserve deputy is a peace officer as described by Article 2.12, Code of Criminal Procedure, is not:

(1)  eligible for participation in any program provided by the county that is normally considered a financial benefit of full-time employment or for any pension fund created by statute for the benefit of full-time paid peace officers; or

(2)  exempt from the Private Investigators and Private Security Agencies Act (Article 4413(29bb), Vernon’s Texas Civil Statutes).

SECTION 3.  Sections 86.012(a) and (b), Local Government Code, are amended to read as follows:

(a)  The commissioners court of a county may authorize a constable of the county to appoint reserve deputy constables. [A reserve deputy constable may serve as a peace officer during the actual discharge of the reserve deputy constable's official duties.] The commissioners court may limit the number of reserve deputy constables that a constable may appoint.

(b)  A reserve deputy constable serves at the discretion of the constable and may be called into service at any time that the constable considers it necessary to have additional officers to preserve the peace and enforce the law. The constable may authorize a reserve deputy constable who is a peace officer as described by Article 2.12, Code of Criminal Procedure, to carry a weapon or act as a peace officer at all times, regardless of whether the reserve deputy constable is engaged in the actual discharge of official duties, or may limit the authority of the reserve deputy constable to carry a weapon or act as a peace officer to only those times during which the reserve deputy constable is engaged in the actual discharge of official duties. A reserve deputy constable who is not a peace officer as described by Article 2.12, Code of Criminal Procedure, may act as a peace officer only during the actual discharge of official duties. A reserve deputy constable, regardless of whether the reserve deputy constable is a peace officer as described by Article 2.12, Code of Criminal Procedure, is not:

(1)  eligible for participation in any program provided by the county that is normally considered a financial benefit of full-time employment or for any pension fund created by statute for the benefit of full-time paid peace officers; or

(2)  exempt from the Private Investigators and Private Security Agencies Act (Article 4413(29bb), Vernon’s Texas Civil Statutes).

SECTION 4.  Sections 341.012(f), (g), and (h), Local Government Code, are amended to read as follows:

(f)  A member [Members] of a reserve force who is not a peace officer as described by Article 2.12, Code of Criminal Procedure, may act [serve] as a peace officer only [officers] during the actual discharge of official duties.

(g)  An appointment to the reserve force must be approved by the governing body before the person appointed may carry a weapon or otherwise act as a peace officer. On approval of [After] the appointment of a member who is not a peace officer as described by Article 2.12, Code of Criminal Procedure [is approved], the person appointed may carry a weapon only when authorized to do so by the chief of police and only when discharging official duties as a peace officer.

(h)  Reserve police officers may act only in a supplementary capacity to the regular police force and may not assume the full-time duties of regular police officers without complying with the requirements for regular police officers. On approval of the appointment of a member who is a peace officer as described by Article 2.12, Code of Criminal Procedure, the chief of police may authorize the person appointed to carry a weapon or act as a peace officer at all times, regardless of whether the person is engaged in the actual discharge of official duties, or may limit the authority of the person to carry a weapon or act as a peace officer to only those times during which the person is engaged in the actual discharge of official duties. A reserve police officer, regardless of whether the reserve police officer is a peace officer as described by Article 2.12, Code of Criminal Procedure, is not:

(1)  eligible for participation in any program provided by the governing body that is normally considered a financial benefit of full-time employment or for any pension fund created by statute for the benefit of full-time paid peace officers; or

(2)  exempt from the Private Investigators and Private Security Agencies Act (Article 4413(29bb), Vernon’s Texas Civil Statutes).

SECTION 5.  This Act takes effect September 1, 1999.

SECTION 6.  The importance of this legislation and the crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an emergency and an imperative public necessity that the constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended.

* * * * *

PROBLEM!!

While this bill needs to be passed to clarify the definition of “peace officer” as it applies to volunteers, a part at the end of this bill specifically states that volunteer peace officers are still subject to the Private Security Act.


Click to return to: Home Page

Revised on: May 1, 1999

Leave a Reply

Note: You may use basic HTML in your comments. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS