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Texas department of public safety

The meaning of «texas department of public safety»

The Department of Public Safety of the State of Texas, commonly known as the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), is a department of the state government of Texas. The DPS is responsible for statewide law enforcement and vehicle regulation. The Public Safety Commission oversees the DPS. However, under state law, the Governor of Texas may assume command of the department during a public disaster, riot, insurrection, formation of a dangerous resistance to enforcement of law, or to perform his constitutional duty to enforce law.[2] The commission's five members are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Texas Senate, to serve without pay for staggered, six-year terms. The commission formulates plans and policies for enforcing criminal, traffic and safety laws, preventing and detecting crime, apprehending law violators, and educating citizens about laws and public safety.

The agency is headquartered at 5805 North Lamar Boulevard in Austin.[3]

In March 1927, the "License and Weight Division" was formed to address the escalating problems of increased traffic, and the continual damages caused by large trucks on the narrow state roads. These new inspector positions were staffed by State Police units equipped with motorcycles, and would enforce motor vehicle laws and regulations. Concurrently, the Texas Rangers would continue to conduct the State's law enforcement investigations.

In 1931, during the Great Depression, Texas and other states created a movement that sought to “reform the administrative machinery, and to reduce the high cost of state government.”[4] The Texas Legislature enrolled Griffenhagen and Associates, “specialists in public administration and finance who had worked on similar projects throughout the United States and Canada, to make a survey and act as consultants.”[4] The firm concluded that Texas’ exceptional geographic size caused the Rangers and the License and Weight Division to struggle in providing adequate enforcement across the entire state. The firm also noted the State Highway Patrol’s inability to enforce felony charges, which burdened the Rangers with excessive enforcement responsibilities, when they were already overworked. Additionally, the firm negatively reported on the state of Texas utilizing the National Guard for law enforcement along the border. Recommendations were made to accumulate the necessary finances to create a state law enforcement agency. Four bureaus—Administration, State Police, Rangers, and Fire Prevention—were suggested to be created with the implementation of the new force.

The findings of Griffenhagen and Associates were ultimately unpopular across the state, and the Texas Senate created a committee to conduct its own survey of the State's law enforcement. As a result of the committee findings, on January 24, 1935, Senate Bill 146 was introduced. The bill created a "Department of Public Safety" that housed both the Rangers and the State Highway Patrol within one collective organization. The bill received final approval on February 18, 1935, and was sent to the House before finally reaching a joint committee for final revisions. On May 3, 1935, the final bill was voted on and passed, but without two-thirds approval.[5]

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