JWW H.B. 1546 75(R)BILL ANALYSIS PUBLIC SAFETY H.B. 1546 By: Chavez 4-7-97 Committee Report (Unamended) BACKGROUND The El Paso County Hospital District and its operating hospital, Thomason General Hospital, currently use a private security company to provide security to the hospital. The hospital district has expressed interest in staffing Thomason with peace officers. Often, the El Paso Sheriff's Department or El Paso Police Department take an inmate or person under arrest to the hospital for medical treatment. Those officers must then stay with that individual until the prisoner is released from care by a physician, returned to jail, or until replacement officers arrive to take over custody. This creates a staffing problem for law enforcement agencies and detracts from the officer's primary function. If allowed to employ its own peace officers, the hospital could take custody of prisoners needing medical treatment and release them back into police or sheriff custody once that treatment is completed PURPOSE This bill will add the El Paso County Hospital District to Section 281.057, Health and Safety Code, and add officers commissioned by the hospital district to the definition of peace officers under Article 2.12, Code of Criminal Procedure. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the committee's opinion that this bill does not expressly grant any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency or institution. SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS SECTION 1 Section 281.057, Health and Safety Code, is amended as follows: (a) adds the El Paso County Hospital District to the list of hospital districts authorized to employ peace officers. SECTION 2 Article 2.12, Code of Criminal Procedure is amended as follows: (18) adds the El Paso County Hospital District to the list of hospital districts listed in Section 281.057, Health and Safety Code. (22) replaces "Section 13, Chapter 141, Acts of the 63rd Legislature, Regular Session, 1973 (article 1118x, Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes)" with "Section 451.108", and replaces "Section 10, Chapter 683, Acts of the 66th Legislature, Regular Session, 1979 (Article 1118y, Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes)" with "Section 452.110, Transportation Code." (23) deletes "officers commissioned under the Texas High Speed Rail Act (Article 6674v.2, Revised Statutes) and replaces it with the previous (24). (24-28) subsection numbers changed to reflect wording deleted in (23). SECTION 3 Emergency Clause.