Police in Texas


In the absence of substantiated wrongdoings, debate often centers upon semantics. In the case of the Rainbow Lounge, questions have been raised over the role of different enforcement agencies.

The Fort Worth Police Department was established through the Charter of the City of Fort Worth, Part I, Chapter XI. In Part II, Chapter 27, the duties of the police department are defined:

The department shall provide continuous patrol services, response to citizens' calls for assistance, investigate criminal offenses, apprehend offenders, provide traffic enforcement and enforce all municipal ordinances and laws, state and federal, the enforcement of which it is charged with.
Of particular interest to the disambiguation of the terms police officer versus peace officer is the following, found in Section 27-27:

The officers constituting the department of police of the city shall be and they are hereby invested with all the power and authority given to them as peace officers under the laws of the state in taking cognizance of, and in enforcing the criminal laws of the state and the ordinances and regulations of the city within the limits of the city, and it shall be the duty of each such officer to use his best endeavors to prevent the commission within the city of offenses against the laws of the state, and against the ordinances and regulations of the city; to observe and enforce all such laws, ordinances and regulations; to detect and arrest offenders against the same; to preserve the good order of the city, and to secure the inhabitants thereof from violence, and the property therein from injury.
The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission was established through the Alcoholic Beverage Code. Title II, Chapter 5, Subchapter A Section 5.01 provides the following:

Sec. 5.01. TEXAS ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE COMMISSION. (a) The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission is an agency of the state.
Enforcement agents employed by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission are established as peace officers through Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. Title I, Chapter 2, Article 2.12 provides the following (excerpted; follow link to read entire list):

Art. 2.12. WHO ARE PEACE OFFICERS. The following are peace officers:

(1) sheriffs, their deputies, and those reserve deputies who hold a permanent peace officer license issued under Chapter 1701, Occupations Code;

(2) constables, deputy constables, and those reserve deputy constables who hold a permanent peace officer license issued under Chapter 1701, Occupations Code;

(3) marshals or police officers of an incorporated city, town, or village, and those reserve municipal police officers who hold a permanent peace officer license issued under Chapter 1701, Occupations Code;

(4) rangers and officers commissioned by the Public Safety Commission and the
Director of the Department of Public Safety;

(5) investigators of the district attorneys', criminal district attorneys', and county attorneys' offices;

(6) law enforcement agents of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission;
In addition, the Alcoholic Beverage Code also defines the role of an agency employee, in Title II, Chapter 5, Subchapter A Section 5.14:

Sec. 5.14. INSPECTORS AND REPRESENTATIVES. The commission or administrator may commission as many inspectors and representatives as are necessary to enforce
this code and other laws administered by the commission. Each inspector and representative shall take the constitutional oath of office, which shall be filed in the office of the commission. Each commissioned inspector and representative has all the powers of a peace officer coextensive with the boundaries of the state.
Although even a Texas state legislator has remarked that there are no state police officers in Texas, that is disinformation. Because of the interchangeability between the terms "peace officer" and "police officer," and because of the creation of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission as an agency of the state of Texas, TABC enforcement agents are state police officers, can be referred to as such, and can wear uniforms designating them as such.

Disclaimer: The information posted on this site has not been prepared or approved by any police agency, police association, or legal or law enforcement professional. It has been compiled through research of already available information and should not be relied upon as legal advice or as findings of an investigation.

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