HBA-CMT H.B. 3408 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 3408 By: King, Tracy Public Safety 3/28/2001 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Currently, a juvenile probation officer is not authorized to carry a firearm while performing official duties. In recent years, the number of juveniles placed on probation has increased. Each juvenile who is placed on probation is assigned a certified probation officer who often travels to a juvenile's home to ensure the juvenile is in compliance with a set curfew. There is a concern for the safety of these juvenile probation officers because they are sometimes required to travel alone and at night to various locations, some of which are in dangerous or isolated areas. House Bill 3408 authorizes a juvenile probation officer to carry a firearm while discharging the officer's official duties if certain proficiency and safety requirements are met. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that rulemaking authority is expressly delegated to the Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education and to the Juvenile Probation Commission in SECTION 3 (Section 1701.258, Occupations Code) of this bill. ANALYSIS House Bill 3408 amends the Human Resources, Penal, and Occupations codes relating to the authorization of certain juvenile probation officers to carry firearms. The bill authorizes a probation officer to carry a firearm in the course of the probation officer's official duties if the probation officer is employed by and authorized to carry a firearm by the executive director of the Juvenile Probation Commission (commission) or the county juvenile board and possesses a certificate of firearms proficiency issued by the Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education (TCLEOSE). The bill requires TCLEOSE and the commission to adopt a memorandum of understanding that establishes their respective responsibilities in developing a basic training program in the use of firearms by juvenile probation officers. The bill sets forth the provisions that are required to be included in the memorandum of understanding. The bill requires the TCLEOSE and the commission by rule to adopt the memorandum of understanding establishing the basic training program, and requires TCLEOSE to administer the training program and issue a certificate of firearms proficiency to each juvenile probation officer who has successfully completed the program. TCLEOSE may establish reasonable and necessary fees for the administration of firearms training. TCLEOSE and the commission shall adopt the memorandum of understanding no later than January 1, 2002. EFFECTIVE DATE On passage, or if the Act does not receive the necessary vote, the Act takes effect September 1, 2001.