Report Says State Law Enforcement Commission Lacks Tools To Deal With Bad Cops

The Sunset Advisory Commission found that last year, one-quarter of cops fired for misconduct were rehired as sworn officers.

By Jill Ament, Laura Rice & Shelly BrisbinDecember 1, 2020 10:39 am,

A scathing state government report says the agency providing oversight for Texas law enforcement operations isn’t doing a very good job. 

According to The Houston Chronicle, a recently-released report by the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission notes the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, or TCOL’s, inability to adequately train officers and keep so called bad apples out of the law enforcement job pipeline.

St. John Barned-Smith covers public safety for The Houston Chronicle. He told Texas Standard that though more than 600 Texas law enforcement officers received dishonorable discharges for misconduct last year, more than one-quarter were rehired as sworn officers.

Barned-Smith said the report found TCOL doesn’t have the powers it would need to prevent rehiring of fired officers. 

“The TCOL is only allowed to revoke officers’ licenses in very rare circumstances,” Barned-Smith said.

What you’ll hear in this segment:

– How TCOL’s limited power prevents the agency from effectively disciplining bad cops

– What role police license requirements play in limiting enforcement

– How the Legislature could strengthen law enforcement regulations

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