Texas Sheriffs Today
Jun. 13, 2014

San Antonio police conducts sting operation on
ride-share drivers

San Antonio Express-News
San Antonio police have impounded two cars belonging to drivers who authorities say violated the city's vehicles-for-hire ordinance. The impoundments of the Lyft cars came about a month after Police Chief William McManus announced that such enforcement could occur if Lyft and Uber, two ride-sharing companies that recently began operating in San Antonio, didn't cease operations.More

Dallas police chief: Locking up marijuana users a priority
Dallas Observer
In a handful of places in Texas — Austin, Midland and San Marcos, for example — getting caught carrying a small amount of marijuana will get you a ticket and a court date but, barring more serious infractions, won't involve handcuffs. Dallas has a different approach. "We take you to jail," Chief David Brown said in a recent interview.More

Harrison County sheriff discusses partial autopsy service
The Marshall News Messenger
Since the May proposal to approve a nonexclusive autopsy services contract with LSUS Health Sciences Center failed, Harrison County Sheriff Tom McCool has been working on other agreements to not only provide additional choices for officials but also save the county money.More

Lubbock County sheriff: Escaped inmate back in custody
Lubbock County Sheriff Kelly Rowe said escaped inmate Randy Allen Williams is now back in custody. The sheriff's office says Williams was taken into custody on June 12 by the Curry County Sheriff's Office in Clovis, New Mexico. Rowe says Williams escaped the morning of June 10 by creating a diversion, lighting a fire on the back side of the garage and escaping out the front with a fleet vehicle when everyone went to investigate.More

What can law enforcement ask at a traffic stop?
Sheriffs recently testified at the Texas State Capitol that state troopers in border counties are often too aggressive against citizens pulled over for routine traffic stops, but the allegations are hardly confined to state troopers.More

Punch defense: Defensive tactics technique
VideoBriefThe techniques learned to defend against the punch in the police academy days of old may or may not be as effective in a modern-day routine. Richard Nance examines techniques for punch defense that can help officers defend themselves during an attack.More

Feds tell local police to keep quiet about data surveillance technology
The Associated Press via TribLIVE.com
The Obama administration has been advising local police not to disclose details about surveillance technology they are using to sweep up basic cellphone data from entire neighborhoods.More

Sergeant creates website to solve nonviolent crimes
For a little more than a year, a website created by an Austin-area law enforcement officer has helped to solve more than a dozen nonviolent crimes. The idea was born out of frustration, according to Sgt. Kevin Covington, who has handled up to 150 petty crimes a month.More

Parker County sheriff: Woman set on fire
An Azle man was arrested for allegedly setting his girlfriend on fire, according to a release from the Parker County Sheriff's Office. Sheriff Larry Fowler said a neighbor brought the 37-year-old victim to the local hospital with peeling skin and burns on more than 30 percent of her body.More

Texas county raises jail employees' pay
Abilene Reporter-News via CorrectionsOne
Taylor County Commissioners voted to increase salaries for employees in the jail and a handful of sheriff's office employees. The increase is effective June 9. Those in the county's "public safety" matrix whose current salary is less than $30,000 will be brought up to that amount.More

Police officers and low testosterone
By the nature of police work, officers are frequently under both physical and mental stress. Studies have found free testosterone values were significantly lower in policemen than in control groups. Additional risks for low testosterone to law enforcement officers include poor sleep hygiene and nutritional habits secondary to shift work. While low testosterone can be dangerous to an officer's health, there is certainly associated risks with high levels. Do you have low testosterone? How do you find out? If you do, what are your treatment options?More

Dallas Police Department evolution: More officers on streets, more technology and more contact with community advocates
The Dallas Morning News
The Dallas Police Department's latest crime-fighting arsenal has a high-tech sheen: GPS-equipped bait cars, license plate readers, utility-pole mounted surveillance cameras and, coming soon, uniform-worn cameras. Chief David Brown says he wants his department "on the leading edge" of using modern-day options to fight crime. The electronic weaponry is part of a broader strategy, rooted over the years as Dallas has put more officers on the streets. It's a far different operation from a decade ago, when the city was lagging behind its peers statistically. It was losing officers and reeling from inner turmoil and worrisome crime rates.More

In-state cops seize millions by 'policing for profit'
Texas law enforcement are continuing to enrich themselves using a little-known legal doctrine known as civil forfeiture, according to a new series of investigative reports. Under civil forfeiture, property can be forfeited even if its owner has never been charged with a crime. In these proceedings, accused criminals have more rights than innocent owners, and the government sues the property, not its owner.

These cases can be so baffling, one Texas Supreme Court Justice recently compared civil forfeiture to "Alice in Wonderland" and the works of Franz Kafka. But civil forfeiture isn't just a quirky curiosity; it's a powerful incentive for law enforcement to take millions. More