Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education

Rule Review Plan - Revised

The Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education ("Commission") was created in 1965 to establish standards for the training and certification of peace officers, reserve law enforcement officers, and county jailers; to provide for proper training of peace officers and county jailers; and to conduct research and consultation aimed at improving law enforcement management. The training and certification standards adopted by the Commission were voluntary until 1969, when the legislature made them mandatory.

Today, the Commission develops and enforces minimum qualifications for the selection, training, and licensing/certification for peace officers, reserve law enforcement officers, county jailers, armed public security guards employed by political subdivisions and by the state, certain homeowner insurance inspectors, crime prevention inspectors, telecommunications personnel; and peace officers who incorporate investigative hypnosis in the investigation of criminal cases. The Commission regulates its licensees by developing training and continuing education programs, licensing and evaluating training academies and their instructors, administering licensing examinations, and investigating possible violations of the Commission's authorizing statute. Operations are funded by a fee charged to all persons convicted of a criminal offense in Texas.

Chapter 1701 of the Occupation Code gives the Commission its authority. Section 1701.151 General Powers of Commission; Rulemaking Authority, states that the Commission may adopt rules for the administration of this chapter.

The Commission on Law Enforcement initiated this plan September 28, 1999.

This description of the rules process is intended to identify the Commission's application of its rulemaking authority and to satisfy statutory requirements relating to review and revision of rules. A comprehensive rules review is conducted in the months following every legislative session and reported to the Commission at its regularly scheduled meeting in December. Rules, which do not require revision, are presented at the December meeting for reinstatement. Rules which require revision, or new rules, are developed and presented as proposals at the March Commission meeting. Rules, which require revision, or new rules coming to the attention of the Commission at any other time, are considered and developed as necessary.

Steps in the Rulemaking Process

1. Identification is made that a need for a rule revision or for the creation of a new rule exists. This identification may be a result of legislative changes, court decisions, feedback from law enforcement administrators or incumbents, results of trends analyses or other current research.

2. Prior to writing a draft, legal counsel is consulted to determine whether the creation of a new rule, or the anticipated revision, falls within the legal authority granted to the Commission.

3. Research and analysis is conducted. The reasoned justification, cost benefit analysis and the Commission's legal authority is included in the draft. The draft is accomplished through the assistance of law enforcement administrators, law enforcement incumbents, citizen advisors, and industry-related interest groups as necessary.

4. Proposed drafts of rules are sent to all known statewide law enforcement associations and 100 randomly selected agencies as well as in-house staff members for comment prior to formal presentation to the Commission.

5. Comments received are reviewed, analyzed, and incorporated where appropriate.

6. All preceding activities are completed six weeks prior to the Commission meeting, at which time the rules are formally presented.

7. A Commission Meeting Agenda is filed with the Texas Register in accordance with the Open Meetings Act listing all proposed rules.

8. Proposed rules are presented at the Commission meeting in the form of Prospective Orders.

9. Each prospective order is thoroughly reviewed and discussed by Commissioners and staff with the public present during the workshop session of the Commission meeting.

10. Provided no substantive revisions are necessary, the Commissioners take formal action to adopt the prospective order(s) and approve the proposed rule(s).

11. Failure of the Commissioners to adopt the rule(s) as proposed require the rule to be pulled down, reviewed, rewritten, and re-submitted at a subsequent meeting as a new proposal or it is abandoned.

12. Following adoption of the proposed rule(s), they are submitted to the Texas Register for publication within ten working days after the Commission meeting and published in the next Commission's Close Up newsletter.

13. The Commission receives comments for 30 days following publication in the Texas Register.

14. Based on the feedback from the Texas Register publication, the Commission's Close Up or any other source, non-substantive revisions are made as necessary.

15. When information is received that would require substantive revisions to the rule, the rulemaking process starts over, which means that the rule is pulled down, rewritten, and brought back to the Commission as a new proposed rule.

16. When no substantive changes are required, final orders are drafted. Notice to legislative, law enforcement and other officials are given 30 days prior to the next Commission meeting.

17. The drafts are presented, along with all comments received during the 30-day period described above, to the Commissioners at the next Commission meeting.

18. Each final order is thoroughly reviewed and discussed by Commissioners and staff with the public present during the workshop and business sessions of the Commission meeting.

19. Provided that no substantive revisions are necessary, Commissioners take formal action to adopt the final order(s) and the rule(s) become effective on the date agreed and adopted by the Commission at this meeting. (In the event Commissioners are unable to adopt as presented, the rule is pulled down, reviewed, rewritten, and brought back as a new proposal at another Commission meeting or it is abandoned.)

20. Following adoption of the final order(s) they are submitted to the Texas Register for publication within ten working days after the Commission meeting at which they are adopted and published in the next Close Up newsletter.