Bill Text: TX HB2826 | 2021-2022 | 87th Legislature | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating to access to and review of a person's employment records held by a law enforcement agency.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2021-03-18 - Referred to Homeland Security & Public Safety [HB2826 Detail]

Download: Texas-2021-HB2826-Introduced.html
  87R4973 MAW-F
 
  By: Bonnen H.B. No. 2826
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to access to and review of a person's employment records
  held by a law enforcement agency.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 143.089, Local Government Code, is
  amended by amending Subsection (g) and adding Subsections (h) and
  (i) to read as follows:
         (g)  A fire or police department may maintain a department 
  [personnel] file on a fire fighter or police officer employed by the
  department for the department's use.  Except as provided by
  Subsection (h), [but] the department may not release any
  information contained in the department file to any agency or
  person requesting information relating to a fire fighter or police
  officer. The department shall refer to the director or the
  director's designee a person or agency that requests information
  that is maintained in the fire fighter's or police officer's
  department [personnel] file.
         (h)  A police officer is entitled to view the contents of the
  officer's department file maintained under Subsection (g) and is
  entitled, on request, to a copy of any document in the officer's
  department file.
         (i)  A police department shall include in a police officer's
  department file maintained under Subsection (g) any statement that
  the officer requests to be included in the file.
         SECTION 2.  Section 1701.451, Occupations Code, is amended
  by amending Subsections (a) and (a-1) and adding Subsections (d)
  and (e) to read as follows:
         (a)  Before a law enforcement agency may hire a person
  licensed under this chapter, the agency head or the agency head's
  designee must:
               (1)  make a request to the commission for any
  employment termination report regarding the person that is
  maintained by the commission under this subchapter; and
               (2)  submit to the commission on the form prescribed by
  the commission confirmation that the agency:
                     (A)  conducted in the manner prescribed by the
  commission a criminal background check regarding the person;
                     (B)  obtained the person's written consent on a
  form prescribed by the commission for the agency to view the
  person's employment records;
                     (C)  obtained from the commission any service or
  education records regarding the person maintained by the
  commission; and
                     (D)  reviewed the person's employment records
  from [contacted] each of the person's previous law enforcement
  employers.
         (a-1)  A law enforcement agency, on receipt of [that obtains]
  a consent form described by Subsection (a)(2)(B), shall make the
  person's employment records available to a hiring law enforcement
  agency [on request]. The commission by rule shall prescribe the
  manner by which a law enforcement agency shall make a person's
  employment records available to a hiring law enforcement agency.
         (d)  A law enforcement agency's failure to review a person's
  employment records as required by Subsection (a)(2)(D) or to make a
  person's employment records available as required by Subsection
  (a-1) constitutes grounds for imposing an administrative penalty
  under Section 1701.507.
         (e)  To the extent of any conflict between this section and
  Section 143.089, Local Government Code, this section controls.
         SECTION 3.  Section 143.089, Local Government Code, as
  amended by this Act, applies to a request to view or obtain a copy of
  information made on or after the effective date of this Act.  
  Section 143.089(h), Local Government Code, as added by this Act,
  applies to the entire contents of a department file regardless of
  the date on which a document or other information was placed in the
  department file.
         SECTION 4.  (a) Not later than December 1, 2021, the Texas
  Commission on Law Enforcement shall adopt rules and update forms as
  necessary to comply with Section 1701.451, Occupations Code, as
  amended by this Act.
         (b)  Section 1701.451, Occupations Code, as amended by this
  Act, applies only to the hiring of a person by a law enforcement
  agency that occurs on or after December 1, 2021. The hiring of a
  person by a law enforcement agency that occurs before that date 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 5.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2021.
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