Subscribe to receive our Floor Reports covering all the action on the Texas House and Senate floor!
Relating to the definition of a designated law enforcement office or agency for purposes of certain laws governing the installation and use of tracking equipment and access to certain communications.
No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
For background on this issue it is useful to quote from the bill author's statement of intent: "Police departments are increasingly using "ping orders" to identify the location of suspects in certain crimes by pinging their cell phones. Concerns have been raised regarding the limited authority of certain municipalities to utilize this tool in the most efficient manner possible. H.B. 4157 seeks to address this issue by expanding the authority to effectively use this technique."
Current law defines "designated law enforcement office or agency" as a police department in a municipality of 500,000 or more people. HB 4157 would change the population bracket to a municipality of 200,000 or more people, thereby broadening the number of municipalities authorized to use "ping orders" as an investigative method.
Texas Action is neutral on HB 4157 as it neither advances nor hinders any of our liberty principles.