Texas Sheriffs Today
Jun. 21, 2013

New Texas law changes chain of command for school officers
The Dallas Morning News
Gov. Rick Perry has signed legislation that elevates the position of the school district police chief, who will now report directly to the school superintendent. The law also prohibits ticketing students for disrupting class or causing commotion on a school bus.More

Funeral services held for Texarkana officer
KTBS-TV
Hundreds of law enforcement officers attended the services of William Jason Sprague, who died from injuries sustained from a hit-and-run. At the service, Texarkana Mayor Bob Bruggeman said, "Caden, his son, should look upon his father as being a hero because all of us in the community realize he is a hero."More

Hidalgo sheriff opens up to citizens over coffee
KNVO-TV
The Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office is launching a new campaign to reconnect with the community they are sworn to protect. "Coffee with the sheriff" will feature Sheriff Lupe Treviño sitting down with local residents and giving them their full attention. And when Treviño sat down at Keno's Cafe for the first session, he began by saying began by stating that no question would be off-limits.More

Washington County sheriff: 3,500 pot plants seized in drug bust
The Associated Press via KTVT-TV
A 150-acre plot of land between Chappell Hill and Washington has once again been the scene of a large bust. Authorities in the area have confirmed they took possession of approximately $5.25 million in live marijuana. No arrests have been made.More

Crisis management: Boston shows benefits, challenges of social media
By Liz Murphy
It's becoming more apparent that Twitter and other new media channels such as Facebook are no longer just for personal users sharing what they're eating for dinner or their relationship status. With millions of users utilizing social media across multiple platforms including smartphones, tablets and personal computers, it's a powerful communications tool for law enforcement, when leveraged correctly. The chatter, however, can be overwhelming — sometimes even hindering law enforcement investigations with the sheer volume of information and factual inaccuracy.More

Debate: Privacy at stake as state identification systems advance
The Washington Post
The facial databases have grown in recent years and generally operate with few legal safeguards beyond the requirement that searches are conducted for "law enforcement purposes." Amid rising concern about the National Security Agency's high-tech surveillance aimed at foreigners, it is these state-level facial-recognition programs that more typically involve American citizens.More

New Jersey law would allow police to immediately seize cellphones, records
The Huffington Post
Lawmakers in New Jersey want police to be able to search a driver's cellphone immediately after a crash to see if the phone contributed to the accident. But the proposed legislation is not without its critics. "This bill is problematic because it infringes on the privacy rights of citizens," Alexander Shalom, the ACLU's state policy counsel, said in a media statement. "Our State and Federal Constitutions generally require probable cause before authorizing a search, particularly when it comes to areas that contain highly personal information such as cellphones."More

Crisis management: Boston shows benefits, challenges of social media
By Liz Murphy
Social media powerful communications tool for law enforcement, when leveraged correctly. The chatter, however, can be overwhelming — even hindering law enforcement investigations with the sheer volume of information and factual inaccuracy. More

Early officer receives state award for valor
Brownwood Bulletin
Early police Sgt. Steven Means received the State of Texas Law Enforcement Achievement Award for Valor in a ceremony in Austin. Means was the first officer to arrive at an RV park after Charles Conner, a resident of the park, fatally shot a man and a woman in a dispute over dogs in 2012. More

Commentary: DNA match does not always mean you have the right suspect
Slate
The U.S. Supreme Court has narrowly upheld a Maryland law allowing the state to collect DNA samples from people arrested for violent crimes and burglary. The decision vastly expands law enforcement's power to collect Americans' genetic data, to the openly expressed horror of Antonin Scalia and the other dissenters. More

Mobile fingerprint scanner paying off for Georgia sheriff
The Augusta Chronicle
In Georgia, a handheld piece of technology adopted by the Richmond County Sheriff's Office has dropped the identification of suspects to minutes, according to authorities. "They're a valuable tool," Capt. Scott Gay said of the mobile fingerprint scanners. "They help us ID folks who try to be misleading." More