Texas Sheriffs Today
Dec. 20, 2013

Study: Attitudes toward crime punishment changing in Texas
Texans appear to be prepared to abandon their iconic "tough on crime" position for the first time in decades, if rehabilitation and other nonprison alternatives are available. The results appear in a new study by the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a conservative-leaning think tank.More

With pension shortfall looming, Texas considers options
The Associated Press via The Galveston County Daily News
Government officials overseeing Texas' pensions system say they will soon need to make tough decisions to stave-off a multibillion-dollar shortfall in the Employees Retirement System — even though Texas' issues are not nearly to the scale of some states. More

Daughter of hero Texas officer who killed UT sniper joins Austin police
Daily Mail
The daughter of the Austin police officer who fatally shot University of Texas Tower sniper Charles Whitman has now joined the Austin Police Department herself. Monika McCoy is the 42-year-old daughter of Houston McCoy, who shot Whitman dead and ended the slaughter that left 17 people dead and 32 others wounded. More

Quilters help Texas officers comfort children
Often when young children are involved in crisis situations, local police officers will give them a stuffed animal to cuddle, drawn from a large supply given to the department by various individuals, organizations and retailers. Now officers have another option when these children need extra warmth, when confronted with an otherwise troubling situation.More

State law enforcement to step up DWI holiday patrols
Brownwood Bulletin
Thanks to a calendar full of festive parties and events, Texans may be tempted to drink and drive over the holidays. But law enforcement officers statewide will put in thousands of extra hours during this holiday season to crack down on drunk driving.More

Holiday lights: Using the horizontal gaze nystagmus test
By Denise A. Valenti
Bright lights abound in city and country landscapes for the holiday season. But a set of lights that may not feel so welcoming are those flashing red and blue lights that can seemingly appear out of nowhere. With the holidays come festivities that include alcohol and the potential for revelers drinking in excess. To enable law enforcement personnel to better identify drivers at risk, they often use sobriety testing that involves the assessment of the eyes. A part of a field sobriety test is the screening for horizontal gaze nystagmus.More

What administrators need to know about police social media managers
There are still chiefs and administrators out there who are reluctant to get into social media. They read the horror stories about officers' actions on social media, or negative news reports about what someone wrote or did on their personal social media page.More

Argyle police earn honor
Denton Record Chronicle
The Argyle Police Department recently became the fourth agency in Denton County to receive “recognized” status from the Texas Police Chiefs Association Best Practices Recognition Program.More

Cigarette trafficking: A big problem in a small package
By Liz Murphy
The circumvention of a state's cigarette excise tax may not seem like a criminal enterprise worthy of serious attention from law enforcement. But Corporal Detective Johnny Capocelli of Virginia's Chesterfield County Police Department strongly disagrees. "This isn't a tax issue. This is about the criminal activities associated with cigarette trafficking," Capocelli says.More

Texas officer shot twice, still catches suspects
In the middle of an early morning traffic stop in Stafford, Texas, Officer Ann Marie Carrizales was shot twice — once in the chest and once in the face — by a gunman in a car with two other suspects.More

New bill reduces, improves law enforcement interaction with mentally ill
Law Enforcement Today
Law enforcement officers know from everyday experience, that some people with serious, untreated mental illness are more violent than others. Until now, mental health advocates have convinced the politically correct members of Congress to ignore the reality of increased violence. Instead, they focus their mental health initiatives on softer issues like "reducing stigma" in the higher functioning. That’s about to change.More

Study says half of officers do not wear seat belts
The Associated Press via Los Angeles Daily News
A recent study from the California's Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training brought to light a startling find — even though 86 percent of Americans buckle up when they're behind the wheel, approximately half of surveyed officers stated they do not.More

Boston police halt license scanning program
The Boston Globe
The Boston Police Department has indefinitely suspended its use of high-tech scanners that automatically check whether drivers have outstanding parking tickets, lapsed insurance or other violations after serious privacy concerns were raised.More

Law enforcement copes with mental health issues hospitals once handled
The close, if unintended, relationship between criminal justice and the mental health system happens because serious mental illness, left untreated and unsupervised, sometimes leads to criminal behavior. It's not the norm — most mentally ill people aren't lawbreakers — but it does happen. So does victimization of the vulnerable mentally ill.More

Property crime increase linked to California prison realignment
The Associated Press via San Jose Mercury News
As inmates are released early under modified incarceration plans in the state of California, law enforcement has seen a marked uptick in auto thefts and other types of property crime. There has not been an increase in violent crime, however.More