Law:Title 4. Executive Branch. Subtitle B. Law Enforcement And Public Protection from Chapter 414. Texas Crime Stoppers Council (Texas)

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Subtitle B. Law Enforcement And Public Protection

Contents

Chapter 414. Texas Crime Stoppers Council

Section  414.001.  Definitions.

In this chapter:

(1)  "Council" means the Texas Crime Stoppers Council.

(2)  "Crime stoppers organization" means:

(A)  a private, nonprofit organization that is operated on a local or statewide level, that accepts and expends donations for rewards to persons who report to the organization information about criminal activity and that forwards the information to the appropriate law enforcement agency; or

(B)  a public organization that is operated on a local or statewide level, that pays rewards to persons who report to the organization information about criminal activity, and that forwards the information to the appropriate law enforcement agency.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 147, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 700, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1560, Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 168, Sec. 2, eff. May 27, 2009.



Section  414.002.  Organization Of Council.

(a) The Texas Crime Stoppers Council is within the criminal justice division of the governor's office.

(b)  The council consists of five members appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate. At least three members must be persons who have participated in a crime stoppers organization in any of the following capacities:

(1)  as a law enforcement coordinator;

(2)  as a member of the board of directors;

(3)  as a media representative; or

(4)  as an administrative officer.

(c)  The term of office of a member is four years.

(d)  At its first meeting after the beginning of each fiscal year the council shall elect from among its members a chairman and other officers that the council considers necessary.

(e)  Repealed by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., 1st C.S., ch. 17, Sec. 7.01(9), eff. Nov. 12, 1991.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 147, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., 1st C.S., ch. 17, Sec. 7.01(9), eff. Nov. 12, 1991; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 700, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 940, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1999; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1560, Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 168, Sec. 3, eff. May 27, 2009.



Section  414.003.  Per Diem And Expenses.

A member of the council is entitled to:

(1)  a per diem as determined by appropriation; and

(2)  reimbursement for actual and necessary expenses incurred in performing duties as a member.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 147, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1560, Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 1999.



Section  414.004.  Director.

The council and the executive director of the criminal justice division of the governor's office shall designate a person to serve as director. The director must be approved by the governor. The council shall define the director's authority and responsibilities.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 147, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1560, Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 1999.



Section 414.005.  Duties.

The council shall:

(1)  encourage, advise, and assist in the creation of crime stoppers organizations;

(2)  foster the detection of crime and encourage persons to report information about criminal acts;

(3)  encourage news and other media to broadcast reenactments and to inform the public of the functions of crime stoppers organizations' operations and programs;

(4)  promote the process of crime stoppers organizations to forward information about criminal acts to the appropriate law enforcement agencies;

(5)  help law enforcement agencies detect and combat crime by increasing the flow of information to and between law enforcement agencies;

(6)  create specialized programs targeted at detecting specific crimes or types of crimes, including at least one program that:

(A)  encourages individuals to report sex offenders who have failed to register under Chapter 62, Code of Criminal Procedure; and

(B)  financially rewards each individual who makes a report described by Paragraph (A) that leads or substantially contributes to the arrest or apprehension of a sex offender who has failed to register under Chapter 62, Code of Criminal Procedure; and

(7)  encourage, advise, and assist crime stoppers organizations in implementing any programs created under Subdivision (6), including a program specifically described by Subdivision (6).

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 147, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 700, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1560, Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1291, Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section  414.006.  Rules.

The council may adopt rules to carry out its functions under this chapter. The rules adopted by the council shall not conflict with rules relating to grants adopted by the criminal justice division of the governor's office.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 147, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1560, Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 1999.



Section  414.007.  Confidentiality Of Council Records.

Council records relating to reports of criminal acts are confidential.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 147, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1560, Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 1999.



Section  414.008.  Privileged Information.

(a) Except as otherwise provided by this section, evidence of a communication between a person submitting a report of a criminal act to the council or a crime stoppers organization and the person who accepted the report on behalf of the council or organization is not admissible in a court or an administrative proceeding.

(b)  Records of the council or a crime stoppers organization concerning a report of criminal activity may not be compelled to be produced before a court or other tribunal except on a motion:

(1)  filed in a criminal trial court by a defendant who alleges that the records or report contains evidence that is exculpatory to the defendant in the trial of that offense; or

(2)  filed in a civil case by a plaintiff who alleges that denial of access to the records concerning the report of criminal activity abrogates any part of a cognizable common law cause of action, if the plaintiff alleging abrogation:

(A)  was charged with or convicted of a criminal offense based at least partially on the report and the charges were dismissed, the plaintiff was acquitted, or the conviction was overturned, as applicable; and

(B)  in the motion establishes a prima facie case that the plaintiff's abrogated claim is based on injuries from the criminal charge or conviction caused by the wrongful acts of another performed in connection with the report.

(c)  On motion of a movant under Subsection (b), the court may subpoena the records or report. The court shall conduct an in camera inspection of materials produced under subpoena to determine whether the materials contain:

(1)  evidence that is exculpatory to the defendant; or

(2)  information necessary to a plaintiff as described by Subsection (b)(2).

(d)  If the court determines that the materials produced contain evidence that is exculpatory to the defendant or information necessary to a plaintiff as described by Subsection (b)(2), the court shall present the evidence to the movant in a form that does not disclose the identity of the person who was the source of the evidence, unless the state or federal constitution requires the disclosure of that person's identity. The court shall execute an affidavit accompanying the disclosed materials swearing that, in the opinion of the court, the materials disclosed represent the evidence the movant is entitled to receive under this section.

(e)  The court shall return to the council or crime stoppers organization the materials that are produced under this section but not disclosed to the movant. The council or crime stoppers organization shall store the materials at least until the first anniversary of the following appropriate date:

(1)  the date of expiration of the time for all direct appeals in a criminal case; or

(2)  the date a plaintiff's right to appeal in a civil case is exhausted.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 147, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 711, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 700, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1560, Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 1999; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 233, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  414.009.  Misuse Of Information.

(a) A person who is a member or employee of the council or who accepts a report of criminal activity on behalf of a crime stoppers organization commits an offense if the person intentionally or knowingly divulges to a person not employed by a law enforcement agency the content of a report of a criminal act or the identity of the person who made the report without the consent of the person who made the report.

(b)  An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor, except that an offense under this section is a third degree felony if the offense is committed with intent to obtain monetary gain or other benefit.

(c)  A person convicted of an offense under this section is not eligible for state employment during the five-year period following the date that the conviction becomes final.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 147, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 700, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1560, Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 1999.



Section  414.010.  Payments From Defendants On Community Supervision; Reward Repayments.

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (d), a crime stoppers organization certified by the council to receive money in the form of payments from defendants placed on community supervision under Article 42.12, Code of Criminal Procedure, or money in the form of repayments of rewards under Articles 37.073 and 42.152, Code of Criminal Procedure, may use not more than 20 percent of the money annually received to pay costs incurred in administering the organization and shall use the remainder of the money, including any interest earned on the money, only to reward persons who report information concerning criminal activity. Not later than January 31 of each year, a crime stoppers organization that receives or expends money under this section shall file a detailed report with the council.

(b)  A crime stoppers organization shall establish a separate reward account for money received under this section.

(c)  Not later than the 60th day after the date of dissolution or decertification of a crime stoppers organization, a dissolved or decertified organization shall forward all unexpended money received under this section to the comptroller. The comptroller shall deposit the money in the crime stoppers assistance account in the general revenue fund.

(d)  If the amount of funds received by a crime stoppers organization under this section exceeds three times the amount of funds that the organization uses to pay rewards during a fiscal year based on the average amount of funds used to pay rewards during each of the preceding three fiscal years, the organization may deposit the excess amount of funds in a separate interest-bearing account to be used by the organization for law enforcement purposes relating to crime stoppers or juvenile justice, including intervention, apprehension, and adjudication. An organization that deposits excess funds in an account as provided by this subsection may use any interest earned on the funds to pay costs incurred in administering the organization.

Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 86, Sec. 2, eff. Aug. 28, 1989. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 321, Sec. 3.019, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 756, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 700, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1466, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1560, Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 390, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  414.011.  Certification Of Organizations To Receive Payments And Reward Repayments.

(a) The council shall, on application by a crime stoppers organization, determine whether the organization is qualified to receive repayments of rewards under Articles 37.073 and 42.152, Code of Criminal Procedure, or payments from a defendant under Article 42.12, Code of Criminal Procedure. The council shall certify a crime stoppers organization to receive those repayments or payments if, considering the organization, continuity, leadership, community support, and general conduct of the crime stoppers organization, the council determines that the repayments or payments will be spent to further the crime prevention purposes of the organization.

(b)  Each crime stoppers organization certified by the council to receive repayments under Articles 37.073 and 42.152, Code of Criminal Procedure, or payments from a defendant under Article 42.12, Code of Criminal Procedure, is subject to a review or audit, including financial and programmatic reviews or audits, of finances or programs at the direction of the criminal justice division of the governor's office or its designee. A copy of the review or audit report shall be submitted to the criminal justice division.

(c)  The criminal justice division of the governor's office or its designee shall draft rules for adoption by the council relating to a review or audit requested pursuant to Subsection (b).

(d)  A certification issued by the council is valid for a period of two years. During this two-year period, the council shall decertify a crime stoppers organization if it determines that the organization no longer meets the certification requirements.

(e)  The council shall approve a crime stoppers organization for purposes of Subsection (a) of this section even if a judge has not requested a determination for that organization and shall maintain a current list of organizations approved for that purpose.

Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 611, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Renumbered from Sec. 414.010 by Acts 1990, 71st Leg., 6th C.S., ch. 12, Sec. 2(4), eff. Sept. 6, 1990. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 711, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 756, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 700, Sec. 8, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1560, Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 1999.



Section  414.012.  Toll-free Telephone Service.

The council shall establish and operate a toll-free telephone service and make the service accessible to persons residing in areas of the state not served by a crime stoppers organization for reporting to the council information about criminal acts. The toll-free service must be available between the hours of 5 p.m. and 8 a.m. Monday through Thursday and from 5 p.m. Friday until 8 a.m. Monday. The council shall forward the information received to appropriate law enforcement agencies or crime stoppers organization.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 807, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1993. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 700, Sec. 9, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1560, Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 1999.



Section  414.013.  Immunity From Civil Liability.

(a) A person who communicates to the council or a crime stoppers organization a report of criminal activity that leads to the arrest of, the filing of charges against, or the conviction of a person for a criminal offense is immune from civil liability for damages resulting from the communication unless the communication was intentionally, wilfully, or wantonly negligent or done with conscious indifference or reckless disregard for the safety of others.

(b)  A person who in the course and scope of the person's duties or functions receives, forwards, or acts on a report of criminal activity communicated to the council or a crime stoppers organization is immune from civil liability for damages resulting from an act or omission in the performance of the person's duties or functions unless the act or omission was intentional, wilfully or wantonly negligent, or done with conscious indifference or reckless disregard for the safety of others.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 233, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.


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