H.B. No. 1588
relating to the qualifications and removal of and continuing
education requirements for a constable.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
SECTION 1. Section 86.0021(a), Local Government Code, is
amended to read as follows:
(a) A person is not eligible to serve as constable unless:
(1) the person is eligible to be licensed under
Sections 1701.309 and 1701.312, Occupations Code, and:
(1)] has at least an associate's degree
conferred by an institution of higher education accredited by an
accrediting organization recognized by the Texas Higher Education
Coordinating Board [ a high school diploma or a high school
equivalency certificate]; [ and]
(B) is a special investigator under Article
2.122(a), Code of Criminal Procedure; or
(C) is an honorably retired peace officer or
honorably retired federal criminal investigator who holds a
certificate of proficiency issued under Section 1701.357,
Occupations Code; or
(2) the person is an active or inactive licensed peace
officer under Chapter 1701 [ eligible to be licensed under Sections
1701.309 and 1701.312], Occupations Code.
SECTION 2. Subchapter H, Chapter 1701, Occupations Code, is
amended by adding Section 1701.3545 to read as follows:
Sec. 1701.3545. INITIAL TRAINING AND CONTINUING EDUCATION
FOR CONSTABLES. (a) A public institution of higher education
selected by the commission shall establish and offer a program of
initial training and a program of continuing education for
constables. The curriculum for each program must relate to law
enforcement management and civil process issues. The institution
selected under this subsection shall develop the curriculum for the
programs. The curriculum must be approved by the commission.
(b) Each constable must complete at least 40 hours of
continuing education provided by the selected institution under
this section each 48-month period.
(c) An individual appointed or elected to that individual's
first position as constable must complete at least 40 hours of
initial training for new constables in accordance with Subsections
(d) and (e).
(d) A newly appointed or elected constable shall complete
the initial training program for new constables not later than the
second anniversary of that individual's appointment or election as
constable. The initial training program for new constables is in
addition to the initial training required by this chapter. The
first 48-month period under Subsection (b) begins, for an
individual who completes the initial training program for new
constables under this section, on the first anniversary of the date
the individual completed the initial training program.
(e) The institution selected under Subsection (a) by rule
may provide for the waiver of:
(1) all or part of the required 40 hours of initial
training for new constables to the extent the new constable has
satisfactorily completed equivalent training during the 24 months
preceding the individual's appointment or election; or
(2) the continuing education requirements of
Subsection (b) for an individual who has satisfactorily completed
equivalent continuing education during the preceding 24 months.
(f) An individual who is subject to the continuing education
requirements of Subsection (b) is exempt from other continuing
education requirements under this subchapter.
(g) The commission shall establish procedures to annually
determine the status of the peace officer license of each elected
constable and to ensure that constables comply with this section.
The commission shall forward to the attorney general's office
documentation for each constable who does not comply with this
section. A constable who does not comply with this section forfeits
the office and the attorney general shall institute a quo warranto
proceeding under Chapter 66, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, to
remove the constable from office.
(h) To the extent of a conflict between this section and any
other law, this section controls.
SECTION 3. Section 1701.354, Occupations Code, is amended
to read as follows:
Sec. 1701.354. CONTINUING EDUCATION FOR [ CONSTABLES AND]
DEPUTY CONSTABLES. (a) If the commission requires a state, county,
special district, or municipal agency that employs a [ constable or]
deputy constable to provide the [ constable or] deputy constable
with a training program under Section 1701.352, the commission
shall require the [ constable or] deputy constable to attend at
least 20 hours of instruction in civil process.
(b) The commission shall adopt rules and procedures
concerning a civil process course, including rules providing for:
(1) approval of course content and standards; and
(2) issuance of course credit.
(c) [ For the purposes of removal of a constable under
Subchapter B, Chapter 87, Local Government Code, a constable is
considered to be incompetent if the constable fails to complete the
hours of instruction required by this section.
[ (d)] The commission may waive the requirement that a
[ constable or] deputy constable complete the instruction required
by this section if:
(1) the [ constable or] deputy constable requests a
waiver because of hardship; and
(2) the commission determines that a hardship exists.
SECTION 4. (a) Not later than January 1, 2006, the public
institution of higher education selected by the Commission on Law
Enforcement Officer Standards and Education under Section
1701.3545, Occupations Code, as added by this Act, shall establish
the initial training and education programs required by that
(b) Section 1701.3545(c), Occupations Code, as added by
this Act, requiring newly appointed or elected constables to
complete at least 40 hours of initial training, applies only to an
individual newly appointed or elected as constable who takes office
on or after January 1, 2006.
SECTION 5. The changes in law made by this Act to Section
86.0021, Local Government Code, do not apply to a constable serving
a term that began before the effective date of this Act. A
constable serving a term that began before the effective date of
this Act is governed for the remainder of that term by the
applicable law that existed immediately before the effective date
of this Act, and the prior law is continued in effect for that
SECTION 6. This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution. If this
Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
Act takes effect September 1, 2005.
President of the Senate Speaker of the House
I certify that H.B. No. 1588 was passed by the House on April
27, 2005, by the following vote: Yeas 141, Nays 0, 2 present, not
voting; and that the House concurred in Senate amendments to H.B.
No. 1588 on May 26, 2005, by the following vote: Yeas 138, Nays 0,
2 present, not voting.
Chief Clerk of the House
I certify that H.B. No. 1588 was passed by the Senate, with
amendments, on May 24, 2005, by the following vote: Yeas 31, Nays
Secretary of the Senate