AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) - The Texas Senate passed a bill unanimously, 31-0, Wednesday, March 31, aimed at preventing bad law enforcement officers from going from moving around from police department to police department.
Under SB 24, police chiefs, sheriffs, and others in law enforcement who hire police officers must go through a set of steps to check the backgrounds into those who are applying for jobs.
The bill's author, Senator Joan Huffman, R-Houston said records she reviewed showed there were 2,800 law enforcement officers who were dishonorably discharged, but only nine of them had their peace officers licenses revoked.
The bill has teeth.
If chiefs, sheriffs and others who hire law enforcement officers don't do a thorough background check of applicants, Huffman told Senators they could lose their licenses.
She said, "Those who are hiring police officers, make every effort to ensure they are hiring police officers who are ethical, going to follow the law, who will respect every person's civil rights."
Senator Royce West, D-Dallas said, "We're taking steps in order to provide balance protecting citizens and law enforcement officers."
The bill now goes to the House for consideration.
The Senate also passed other bills unanimously, including SB 5, to expand broadband access to rural areas.
Senators also approved SB 30, 31-0, which removes racist language remaining on property deeds in Texas.
Those bills will also head to the House for consideration.
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