Monday, October 10, 2011

Texas adds 15 new law-enforcement agencies per year

The number of law enforcement agencies continues to grow. Back in 2004, Texas has 2,540 separate agencies. Since then, the state has added around 15 new law-enforcement agencies per year to reach 2,644 today, according to the website of the state licensing agency. At those agencies, reports TCLEOSE:

74,762    Peace Officers
261    Reserve Licensees
23,781     Jailers
2,273     Temporary Jailers
8,821     Telecommunicators
948     Temporary Telecommunicators

An early, lengthy post on this blog argued that, for a variety of reasons, "The proliferation of small, specialized police forces threatens to undermine the credibility of law enforcement, especially at smaller agencies, and has caused accountability for police officers generally to decline." The arguments made back then only grows stronger as more and more penny ante agencies are added to the rolls. The public would be better served - and law-enforcement more efficient, less redundant, and better supervised - if the trend were toward consolidation of police agencies instead of expanding their number. Why this state needs 15 new law-enforcement agencies per year is beyond me.


MidCoast Kid said...

You know what we always used to say, follow the money. Wonder if it's easier for separate agencies to get more funding -- homeland security grants, for example.

Anonymous said...

There are more police officers than security officers. Yet you see security officers more. The private security industry is stifled by the law enforcement community taking all the jobs. I'm surprised there's been no legislation passed requiring police to get a license to work private security just like a private citizen does.

Anonymous said...

Why do the State Dental Investigators needs a badge and a gun?

A Texas PO said...

I've seen it posted several times on this blog about Constable's Offices conducting investigations and traffic patrols. I was spooked the other night driving down a rural road when I saw an idling constable's cruiser sitting in the tall grass on the shoulder with the radar gun hanging out the window. I thought to myself, "Isn't there someone in this precinct who needs to be served with a child support summons?" I've lived all over the world and I've never been anywhere that has so many police agencies as Texas does. It gets so confusing when you need help and don't know who you can call. Occasionally there's a push for consolidation of school districts in this state, but consolidation of LE agencies seems to be more logical. For example, why is there still a Travis County Sheriff's Office? Jail function aside, there's not much else for the TCSO to do these days, right? Why not put all of Travis County under the Austin PD? Same with all of the other major counties in this state.

pontifex2 said...

Something is afoot. The proliferation of police agencies goes hand in hand with the proliferation of criminal laws of which TX now has over 2000---get it? Look into the future my friends. I'd say in 15-20 years, our grandchildern will be under a police state right here in TX. Still don't get it? Try this example, when the County projects population growth in a certain area of town like out in the rural area, the County gets pro-active and allocates resources to that area in the form of new road construction, power lines, water lines, etc., Same thing here with the growth of police agencies and the increase in crimianl laws. PEOPLE! They would not be allocating resources to these areas (police agencies & criminal laws) unless they were planning something for the future! Use your head!

Anonymous said...

I imagine that most of the new agencies are due to the rapid growth of the DFW and other areas (finge areas incorperating).

There maybe a ray of hope. Faced with insane pension costs, many California cities are consolidating police and fire services.

Thoiugh Texas does not face California pension pressure, fiscal common sense may still lead to consolidations.