Texas’s Disturbing Rise of Special Police Forces

A FrontBurnervian alerts me to an excellent report by Eric Dexheimer in the Austin American-Statesman.  The nut paragraph:

In recent years, the peace officer designation has spread far beyond its original constitutional definition of constables, sheriffs, marshals and police officers. Since 1965, legislators have amended the state’s Code of Criminal Procedure, which sets out who can designate their own police department, nearly 50 times.

The result: Today there are three dozen types of agencies, institutions, boards, commissions and political subdivisions that can appoint their own law enforcement agents. The Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education, which licenses police officers, keeps tabs on 2,615 separate law enforcement agencies.

These are not just hobby cops.

Read the whole thing.

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