dps

Politics
12:13 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

After Rallies, 3 Signs of Ramped Up Security on Capitol Grounds

Abortion-rights supporters gather in the morning of the first day of the second special session of the 2013 Texas Legislative Session.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

In the wake of last week and yesterday's rallies at the Capitol, the security detail under the dome has made some distinct changes to deal with large scale protests as the second special session begins.

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Texas
11:30 am
Tue June 4, 2013

Roadcheck Program Looks to Get Unsafe Rigs Off the Road

Over the next three days more than 10,000 DPS troopers will ramp up their inspections of commercial vehicles like trucks and buses.
flickr.com/kasiaflickr

The Texas Department of Public Safety is part of a nationwide commercial vehicle inspection program going on this week.

The overall Roadcheck initiative will have specially trained troopers and investigators inspecting commercial vehicles for serious equipment violations involving brakes, tires, lights and drivers that aren’t in compliance with state and federal requirements.

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Austin
5:19 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Another DWI Case: DPS Official Held

Austin is seeing a run of high-profile drunken-driving arrests.
Nathan Bernier, KUT News

Austin has had another high-profile DWI arrest.

Texas Department of Public Safety official Richard Hooks was arrested early this morning and booked into the Travis County Jail.

Hooks is the Capital-area regional coordinator for the Texas Division of Emergency Management.

Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg is serving a 45-day sentence after pleading guilty to a DWI charge last month.

In March, state Rep. Naomi Gonzalez was arrested for DWI after a collision.

Criminal Justice
6:21 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Cartels a Concern for DPS, But Not the Only One

Pink wooden crosses are placed where the corpses of eight murdered women were found in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico
Alfredo Estrella / AFP/Getty Images

The Texas Department of Public Safety calls Mexican cartels the most significant organized crime threat in the state. In its 2013 report, the agency said six cartels are operating in Texas by moving drugs, people, cash and weapons across the border.

"It is a top DPS priority to severely obstruct the range and power of Mexican drug organizations to affect the public safety of Texas citizens," said DPS Director Steven McCraw at the Texas Emergency Management Conference in San Antonio this week.

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2013 Legislative Sesssion
4:35 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Should Pols Running for Higher Office Pay Their Own Security?

A Michigan crowd watches Gov. Rick Perry during his presidential campaign. Perry had the state pay for his security as he traveled the country campaigning.
Ben Philpott, KUT News

Future presidential candidates from Texas may have to foot the bill for their own security on the campaign trail.

Gov. Rick Perry’s unsuccessful run at the White House last year cost taxpayers $3.7 million. And state Rep. Lyle Larson, R-San Antonio, said at a House committee meeting today that the cost of non-state-related security is a burden to Texans.

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Texas
1:55 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

DPS Changes Security Policy at Governor's Mansion

DPS chief Steve McCraw (R), Ken Armbrister (L), and Brandy Marty of the Governor's Office announce the access policy change to the Governor's Mansion on March 5, 2013.
Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune

Federal and state elected officials are now exempted from the background checks required of visitors to the Governor’s Mansion, the Department of Public Safety said Tuesday.

Several members of the Texas Legislature had complained last week after learning they were required to undergo background checks before being allowed to enter the Governor’s Mansion for a reception hosted by the Texas Legislative Black Caucus. Angry legislators had asked DPS officials why the vetting they go through by Capitol security wasn’t sufficient for access to the Governor’s residence.

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Transportation
6:42 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

DPS Stepping Up Patrols for Spring Break

Daniel Reese

The Texas Department of Public Safety is increasing patrols March 8-17 for Spring Break.

More DPS troopers will be on the roads watching for speeders, seat belt violations and especially drunk drivers.

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The Lead
9:35 am
Thu February 7, 2013

The Lead: Former CPRIT Heads Skip House Hearing; UT to Offer Incentives to Four-Year Grads

Former CPRIT executives did not testify before a House committee yesterday.
facebook.com/cprittexas

Good morning. Austin’s in for temperatures approaching 80 degrees, according to the National Weather Service. A cold front is expected to blow into the region this weekend, bringing with it chances for showers and thunderstorms.  

Lead Story: Leaders of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas testified before a Texas house committee yesterday – but a couple of former leaders were noticeably absent.

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Texas
11:34 am
Mon December 24, 2012

Listen: DPS Wants Lawmakers to Approve Higher Trooper Salaries

State troopers make less money than many local law enforcement officers.
Daniel Reese for KUT News

Texas lawmakers will return to Austin Jan. 8 for the 2013 Legislative Session.

Officials with the Department of Public Safety hope lawmakers will approve salary increases for state troopers. A recent report by the State Auditor’s office found troopers are making less money than many police and sheriff’s officers across the state.

Trooper Robbie Barrera says she didn’t join the Department of Public Safety for the money.

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The Lead
9:03 am
Tue October 16, 2012

The Lead: Aerial Surveillance, Cyber Warfare, Cuts Coming at AMD?

Good morning. Austin can expect cloud coverage for most of the day, and the occasional shower. The National Weather Service says we can a 40 percent chance of rain today. Here's some of KUT’s top stories this morning:

Here's  more stories of interest from Central Texas: 

  • Cyber Warfare Here To Stay; Austin Could Play Key Role (KVUE)

"It's a spy versus spy kind of world," said Ken Phillips, business development manager at Overwatch Textron Systems. The Austin-based business is developing the latest line of defense against cyber threats, which focuses on security at the file level in order to overcome internal leaks or systems that have been compromised.

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Texas
11:06 am
Mon August 20, 2012

DWI Labor Day Crackdown Already Underway

The Texas Department of Public Safety has already stepped up DWI patrols for Labor Day.

For the next few weeks, DPS troopers are focusing on high-risk locations where alcohol-related crashes happen most often.

DPS says during Labor Day enforcement last year, troopers made more than 2,000 DWI arrests.

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Transportation
1:07 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

DPS Increasing Patrols This Independence Day; APD Sets 'No Refusal' Enforcement

The Department of Public Safety will increase DWI checkpoints for nine days surrounding July 4th.
Daniel Reese, KUT News

The Texas Department of Public Safety is reminding Fourth of July revelers to plan ahead before they party.

“If you are drinking, make sure you have a designated driver or some other form of transportation,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “Otherwise, you could be making a very expensive or even fatal mistake.”

DPS has ramped up DWI patrols and will continue to increase enforcement through July 8. The department will focus their patrols on areas they consider to be high-risk during holiday weekends.

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AM Update 6/27/12
8:05 am
Wed June 27, 2012

AM Update: DPS Completes 'Roadcheck 2012,' Sewage Spill in SE Travis Co., Colorado Wildfires

DPS troopers recently completed a three day effort to crackdown on unsafe commercial vehicles.
KUT News

Texas Department of Public Safety Completes ‘Roadcheck 2012’

Earlier this month, DPS troopers and civilian inspectors joined forces to make the roads safer in Texas. Inspecting more than 8,000 commercial vehicles, over a three-day period, the department issued thousands of citations and removed 1,763 vehicles and 243 drivers from the roads, according to a statement issued yesterday.

The program checks 18-wheelers, buses, and other commercial vehicles for things like unsafe brakes and tires. Drivers’ logs, driving time limits and licenses are also inspected.

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AM Update
7:48 am
Thu May 31, 2012

AM Update: Senator Seeks to Speed Rape Kit Tests, DPS Officers Charged in Assault, Dewhurst Vs. Cruz

The sponsor of bill requiring increased reporting on rape kit testing is reminding law enforcement agencies to abide by it.
Photo courtesy flickr.com/bwjones

Senator Looks to Speed Rape Kit Testing

State Senator Wendy Davis wants Texas law enforcement agencies to get more proactive about testing rape kits, says the Texas Tribune. The Tribune writes:

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Texas
8:48 am
Mon May 7, 2012

New Driver's License Requirements in Effect

The new requirements are focused on proving residency.
Image courtesy Department of Public Safety.

Starting today, new applicants for Texas driver’s licenses and IDs will have to meet stricter residency requirements.

First-time applicants have to meet all of the previous requirements, as well as present two additional documents that prove they live in Texas — like a current mortgage or lease agreement and a vehicle registration or title. You can view a complete list of acceptable documents to prove residency here

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Austin
9:40 am
Thu February 23, 2012

AM Update: Perry's Security Costs Soar, Car Crashes Down, F1 Neighbors' Noise Complaints

Ben Philpott, KUT News

Perry’s Security Costs Soar

The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has been releasing travel-related security costs incurred by Gov. Rick Perry during his campaign for the GOP presidential nomination. However, the totals haven’t included overtime pay. The Texas Tribune requested the overtime amounts:

“In the six months in which Perry was an active presidential candidate, DPS spent $1.1 million on overtime pay for the Executive Protection Bureau – more than the total overtime pay for the security detail in all of 2010, records show. ”

In December, during Perry’s tour of Iowa, DPS spending costs came close to $300,000.

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Texas
11:44 am
Tue June 7, 2011

DPS Fires Top Official After Criminal Investigation Into Homeland Security Grants

The Texas Department of Public Safety has started a process to fire a top official who used to be in charge of administering Homeland Security Grants in the state. DPS said in a statement that the move follows a five-month investigation of Janice Bruno and alleged criminal misconduct involving a grant issued to the North Central Texas Council of Governments.

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Texas
1:51 pm
Fri January 7, 2011

DPS Makes More Than 1,100 Holiday DWI Arrests, 35 Percent Increase

Image courtesy Texas Department of Public Safety

The Texas Department of Public Safety says it arrested 1,106 impaired drivers over the holidays.  That's a 35 percent increase over last year's 818 arrests.

DPS partially credits a Texas Department of Transportation grant targeting high risk locations for the increase.  Of this year's arrests, 442 were made in areas where drunken driving accidents were statistically more likely to occur.

The $2 million grant will fund increased patrols throughout 2011, meaning more troopers will be on patrol during Spring Break, Independence Day, and Labor Day.

art
1:20 pm
Mon November 1, 2010

Photographer Says State Stole His Art for Inspection Sticker

Photographer David K. Langford says his photograph (pictured right) was inadvertently stolen by the Texas Department of Public Safety for a vehicle inspection sticker (left).
Images provided by David K. Langford and Texas DPS.

A photographer from Boerne, a town of 10,000 about 90 miles southwest of Austin, is suing the Texas Department of Public Safety over the art used on more than 4 million inspection stickers.  David K.

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