Bill Text: TX HB1396 | 2021-2022 | 87th Legislature | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating to law enforcement agencies and policies and procedures affecting peace officers.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 2-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2021-03-25 - Left pending in committee [HB1396 Detail]

Download: Texas-2021-HB1396-Introduced.html
  87R3270 MAW/JCG-D
 
  By: White H.B. No. 1396
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to law enforcement agencies and policies and procedures
  affecting peace officers.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Chapter 2, Code of Criminal Procedure, is
  amended by adding Article 2.1397 to read as follows:
         Art. 2.1397.  DUTIES OF LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY REGARDING
  PEACE OFFICER MISCONDUCT; DATABASE. (a) In this article:
               (1)  "Commission" means the Texas Commission on Law
  Enforcement.
               (2)  "Law enforcement agency" means an agency of this
  state or an agency of a political subdivision of this state
  authorized by law to employ peace officers.
         (b)  Each law enforcement agency in this state shall report
  to the commission each incident of misconduct by a peace officer
  employed by the agency, including:
               (1)  a conviction for a criminal offense committed in
  the course of performing the officer's duties; or
               (2)  the use of excessive force against a person
  suspected of committing an offense.
         (c)  In reporting an incident of misconduct under Subsection
  (b), the law enforcement agency shall also report whether the
  agency terminated or took disciplinary action against the peace
  officer or permitted the peace officer to retire or resign in lieu
  of termination for the misconduct.
         (d)  The commission shall establish a database for
  information reported to the commission under this article.
         (e)  The commission shall make information in the database
  accessible by all law enforcement agencies in this state.
         (f)  The commission may make information regarding an
  incident of misconduct that is maintained in the database available
  to a federal law enforcement agency that is investigating the
  incident.
         (g)  Information maintained in the database is confidential
  and not subject to disclosure under Chapter 552, Government Code.
         (h)  Not later than March 1 of each year, the commission
  shall make available on its Internet website a report regarding
  incidents of misconduct reported during the preceding calendar
  year. The report must include:
               (1)  the total number of incidents reported to the
  commission under this article during that period; and
               (2)  information regarding:
                     (A)  the most common types of misconduct reported;
  and
                     (B)  disciplinary action taken by the law
  enforcement agency, including termination or permitting the peace
  officer to retire or resign in lieu of termination.
         (i)  A report under Subsection (h) may not include
  information identifying a specific peace officer.
         SECTION 2.  Subchapter A, Chapter 772, Government Code, is
  amended by adding Section 772.0055 to read as follows:
         Sec. 772.0055.  LIMITATION ON ELIGIBILITY FOR GRANT. (a) In
  this section, "law enforcement agency" means an agency of this
  state or an agency of a political subdivision of this state
  authorized by law to employ peace officers.
         (b)  Notwithstanding any other law, to be eligible to receive
  a grant or other discretionary funding by the governor, a law
  enforcement agency must:
               (1)  consistently report incidents of misconduct as
  required by Article 2.1397, Code of Criminal Procedure; and
               (2)  maintain a current certification, issued by a
  credentialing entity designated under Section 1701.165(d),
  Occupations Code, certifying that the agency's policies regarding
  use of force by peace officers:
                     (A)  comply with all applicable laws; and
                     (B)  prohibit the use of choke holds or other
  physical maneuvers to restrict a person's ability to breathe for
  purpose of incapacitation unless the officer is justified in using
  deadly force against the person.
         (c)  For purposes of Subsection (b)(1), on request, the Texas
  Commission on Law Enforcement shall provide information to the
  governor's office regarding reporting of incidents of misconduct by
  a law enforcement agency.
         SECTION 3.  Subchapter D, Chapter 1701, Occupations Code, is
  amended by adding Sections 1701.165 and 1701.166 to read as
  follows:
         Sec. 1701.165.  ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY
  CREDENTIALING ENTITIES. (a) The commission shall establish an
  advisory committee to advise the commission regarding law
  enforcement agency credentialing entities.
         (b)  The advisory committee must include representatives of:
               (1)  municipal and county law enforcement agencies,
  including agencies of varying size and from different areas of this
  state;
               (2)  the Department of Public Safety;
               (3)  the Texas Department of Criminal Justice; and
               (4)  entities that operate correctional facilities
  under contract with a county or the Texas Department of Criminal
  Justice.
         (c)  The advisory committee shall review entities that
  provide credentialing to law enforcement agencies and identify
  credentialing entities that, at a minimum, establish standards and
  processes for reviewing adherence to the standards in the following
  aspects of a law enforcement agency's operations:
               (1)  policies and training regarding use of force and
  de-escalation techniques;
               (2)  performance management tools;
               (3)  procedures to ensure prompt identification of
  peace officers requiring intervention; and
               (4)  best practices regarding community engagement.
         (d)  The commission shall designate, for purposes of
  certifying that the policies of a law enforcement agency comply
  with the requirements of Section 772.0055(b)(2), Government Code,
  one or more of the credentialing entities identified by the
  advisory committee under Subsection (c).
         Sec. 1701.166.  COORDINATED RESPONSE PROGRAM MODEL POLICY.
  (a) In this section, "coordinated response program" means a
  program operated by a law enforcement agency in which a peace
  officer and a mental health professional jointly respond to a
  report of an alleged offense or other incident involving a person
  with a mental impairment, suffering from homelessness, or
  experiencing similar circumstances.
         (b)  The commission, in consultation with the Health and
  Human Services Commission and state and local law enforcement
  agencies, shall develop and make available to all law enforcement
  agencies in this state a model policy and associated training
  materials regarding the operation of a coordinated response
  program.
         (c)  In developing the model policy, the commission shall:
               (1)  survey coordinated response programs implemented
  in this state or another state; and
               (2)  consider the creation of specialized training
  programs for officers and mental health professionals
  participating in a coordinated response program.
         SECTION 4.  (a) Not later than January 1, 2022, the Texas
  Commission on Law Enforcement shall:
               (1)  establish the database required by Article 2.1397,
  Code of Criminal Procedure, as added by this Act;
               (2)  establish the advisory committee required by
  Section 1701.165, Occupations Code, as added by this Act; and
               (3)  develop and make available the model policy and
  associated training materials required by Section 1701.166,
  Occupations Code, as added by this Act.
         (b)  Not later than June 1, 2022, the Texas Commission on Law
  Enforcement shall designate one or more credentialing entities as
  required by Section 1701.165, Occupations Code, as added by this
  Act.
         SECTION 5.  Section 772.0055, Government Code, as added by
  this Act, applies only to a grant awarded by the office of the
  governor on or after September 1, 2022. A grant awarded before
  September 1, 2022, is governed by the law in effect immediately
  before the effective date of this Act, and the former law is
  continued in effect for that purpose.
         SECTION 6.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2021.
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