Bill Text: TX HB3057 | 2019-2020 | 86th Legislature | Introduced

Bill Title: Relating to the appointment, powers, duties, rights, and privileges of special Texas constables.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 1-0)

Status: (Engrossed) 2019-05-14 - Referred to Criminal Justice [HB3057 Detail]

Download: Texas-2019-HB3057-Introduced.html
  86R8141 JCG-F
  By: Harris H.B. No. 3057
  relating to the appointment, powers, duties, rights, and privileges
  of special Texas constables.
         SECTION 1.  Chapter 2, Code of Criminal Procedure, is
  amended by adding Article 2.128 to read as follows:
         Art. 2.128.  SPECIAL TEXAS CONSTABLE. (a) The governor may
  appoint as a special Texas constable an honorably retired peace
  officer, as defined by Section 614.121(2), Government Code, who:
               (1)  served as:
                     (A)  an elected or appointed constable in this
  state; or
                     (B)  a chief deputy constable in the office of an
  elected or appointed constable in this state;
               (2)  was employed full-time as a peace officer by the
  state or a political subdivision of this state for at least 20
               (3)  held a master proficiency certificate issued by
  the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement upon retirement; and
               (4)  has reactivated the officer's license as provided
  by Section 1701.3161, Occupations Code.
         (b)  A special Texas constable:
               (1)  is subject to orders of the governor for special
  duty to the same extent as other peace officers commissioned under
  Chapter 411, Government Code;
               (2)  subject to Subdivision (3), has the same rights
  and privileges as any other peace officer of this state; and
               (3)  may enforce only:
                     (A)  provisions of the Penal Code; and
                     (B)  other state laws intended to protect life or
         (c)  A special Texas constable may:
               (1)  serve civil or criminal process and retain a fee
  from that service; and
               (2)  engage in off-duty employment, except at:
                     (A)  an establishment licensed or permitted under
  the Alcoholic Beverage Code; or
                     (B)  a business that allows a person to bring and
  consume on the premises of that business an alcoholic beverage.
         (d)  A special Texas constable is not connected to any
  elected or appointed constable's office.
         (e)  An application for a special Texas constable
  appointment must be filed with the governor's office and include a
  high-quality photograph of the applicant wearing a suit, tie, and
  silver belly western felt hat.
         (f)  On appointment of a special Texas constable, the
  governor's office shall provide the constable an identification
  card that bears:
               (1)  a high-quality photograph of the constable wearing
  a suit, tie, and silver belly western felt hat;
               (2)  the words: "I hereby certify that (name of
  officer) has been appointed a special Texas constable by the
  governor of the State of Texas effective (date of appointment).";
               (3)  following the words required by Subdivision (2),
  the governor's name and signature.
         (g)  Except as provided by Subsection (h), while engaging in
  any activity described by Subsection (c) or providing services
  under order of the governor, a special Texas constable must wear:
               (1)  pressed or starched western clothing, including a
  silver belly western felt or high-quality straw hat; and
               (2)  boots.
         (h)  A special Texas constable is not required to wear the
  clothing or boots described by Subsection (g) if:
               (1)  wearing the clothing or boots is not feasible; or
               (2)  a physician licensed under Subtitle B, Title 3,
  Occupations Code, recommends to the constable in writing against
  wearing the clothing or boots.
         (i)  On arrest of an individual by a special Texas constable:
               (1)  the constable shall as soon as practicable after
  the arrest notify a local law enforcement agency with jurisdiction
  over the location where the arrest was made; and
               (2)  the law enforcement agency shall:
                     (A)  take custody of the arrested person and take
  that person before a magistrate as required under Article 14.06;
                     (B)  take custody of any property seized during or
  after the arrest as if that property had been seized by a peace
  officer of that agency.
         (j)  Before appointment of a person as a special Texas
  constable, the person shall enter into a good and sufficient bond
  executed by a surety company authorized to do business in this state
  in the amount of $5,000, approved by the governor, and indemnifying
  all persons against damages resulting from an unlawful act of the
  person while serving as a special Texas constable.
         (k)  The governor:
               (1)  may establish by rule standards governing the
  conduct and duties of a special Texas constable;
               (2)  may revoke a special Texas constable appointment
  for good cause and for failure of the constable to provide proof of
  completion of a requirement described by Section
  1701.356(d)(1)(A), (B), or (C), Occupations Code; and
               (3)  is not required to provide to a special Texas
  constable a training program under Section 1701.352, Occupations
         (l)  A special Texas constable appointment expires on
  January 15 of the fifth calendar year after the year in which the
  appointment was made.  On expiration of the appointment, a special
  Texas constable is eligible for reappointment.
         SECTION 2.  Section 1701.356, Occupations Code, is amended
  by adding Subsections (d) and (e) to read as follows:
         (d)  A special Texas constable appointed under Article
  2.128, Code of Criminal Procedure, is exempt from the continuing
  education requirements of this chapter, except that the constable:
               (1)  must:
                     (A)  annually demonstrate weapons proficiency;
                     (B)  every 24 months attend at least 20 hours of
  instruction in civil process, as described by Section 1701.354;
                     (C)  every 24 months complete a training and
  education program that covers recent changes to the laws of this
  state and of the United States pertaining to peace officers, as
  described by Section 1701.351(a-1); and
                     (D)  provide the governor's office proof of
  completion of each requirement described by Paragraph (A), (B), or
  (C), within 90 days of completing the requirement; and
               (2)  is eligible to attend any course offered in this
  state that satisfies a requirement described by Subdivision (1).
         (e)  Notwithstanding Subsection (d), a special Texas
  constable appointed under Article 2.128, Code of Criminal
  Procedure, may be exempt from a requirement described by Subsection
  (d)(1)(A), (B), or (C) if a physician licensed under Subtitle B,
  Title 3, recommends in writing against the constable's
  participation in that requirement.  An exemption under this
  subsection lasts for not more than 11 months from the date of the
         SECTION 3.  Section 1702.322, Occupations Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         Sec. 1702.322.  LAW ENFORCEMENT PERSONNEL. This chapter
  does not apply to:
               (1)  a person who has full-time employment as a peace
  officer and who receives compensation for private employment on an
  individual or an independent contractor basis as a patrolman,
  guard, extra job coordinator, or watchman if the officer:
                     (A)  is employed in an employee-employer
  relationship or employed on an individual contractual basis:
                           (i)  directly by the recipient of the
  services; or
                           (ii)  by a company licensed under this
                     (B)  is not in the employ of another peace
                     (C)  is not a reserve peace officer; and
                     (D)  works as a peace officer on the average of at
  least 32 hours a week, is compensated by the state or a political
  subdivision of the state at least at the minimum wage, and is
  entitled to all employee benefits offered to a peace officer by the
  state or political subdivision;
               (2)  a reserve peace officer while the reserve officer
  is performing guard, patrolman, or watchman duties for a county and
  is being compensated solely by that county;
               (3)  a peace officer acting in an official capacity in
  responding to a burglar alarm or detection device; [or]
               (4)  a person engaged in the business of electronic
  monitoring of an individual as a condition of that individual's
  community supervision, parole, mandatory supervision, or release
  on bail, if the person does not perform any other service that
  requires a license under this chapter; or
               (5)  a special Texas constable appointed under Article
  2.128, Code of Criminal Procedure.
         SECTION 4.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2019.