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Relating to the procedures required before a law enforcement agency hires certain persons.
Estimated Two-year Net Impact to General Revenue Related Funds for SB 24, Committee Report 2nd House, Substituted: a negative impact of ($981,008) through the biennium ending August 31, 2023.
The bill would make no appropriation but could provide the legal basis for an appropriation of funds to implement the provisions of the bill.
SB 24 would create new pre-employment requirements for the hiring of police officers, giving the hiring agency the ability to view the contents of the officer's personnel file, providing written consent is given, including prior employment records, any employment termination reports, and any criminal history information. The hiring agency would have to submit confirmation to the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement that they contacted each agency or individual as needed to obtain the required records.
If enacted, the head of a law enforcement agency would be required to sign off on each confirmation form. Failure to do so would be grounds for an agency head’s license suspension. Prior employers of the officer would be required to give the information upon request by the hiring agency if the officer has consented in writing.
Texas Action supports SB 24 because it would promote government transparency and limit the re-hiring of unqualified police officers. The bill would create stricter requirements for the information that a law enforcement agency would be required to review prior to hiring a new officer and provide penalties for failure to comply.
Individuals who have abused their position as a police officer in one agency should not be hired again to enforce the law in a different agency in Texas.