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  84R20567 JRR-F
 
  By: Rose H.B. No. 1855
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to training, continuing education, and weapons
  proficiency standards for correctional officers employed by the
  Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Chapter 493, Government Code, is amended by
  adding Sections 493.032, 493.033, and 493.034 to read as follows:
         Sec. 493.032.  REQUIRED TRAINING FOR CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS.
  (a)  The department shall require each correctional officer
  employed by the department to complete, during the correctional
  officer's first 24 months of service, not less than 280 hours of
  training, including:
               (1)  140 hours of on-the-job training; and
               (2)  mental health crisis intervention training.
         (b)  The department, in consultation with the Texas
  Commission on Law Enforcement, shall develop mental health crisis
  intervention training to be part of the training required by
  Subsection (a)(2).
         (c)  The department by rule shall provide temporary
  exceptions to the requirements of this section for a correctional
  officer who cannot complete the training required by Subsection (a)
  due to:
               (1)  a medical emergency involving the officer or a
  member of the officer's family;
               (2)  the officer's active military service; or
               (3)  the officer's unit or facility being unable to
  provide training in a timely manner due to severe weather or a
  catastrophic event.
         (d)  An exception created by the department under Subsection
  (c) must ensure compliance with the training requirements of this
  section as soon as practicable after the period required by this
  section.
         (e)  The department shall indicate in the correctional
  officer's personnel file that the officer has completed the
  training required by this section.
         (f)  A correctional officer is not required to complete
  training under this section if the officer's personnel file
  indicates that the officer has completed the training required by
  this section during a previous period of employment as a
  correctional officer during the preceding 36 months.
         (g)  The department may suspend or otherwise discipline a
  correctional officer who fails to comply with the requirements of
  this section.
         Sec. 493.033.  CONTINUING EDUCATION REQUIRED FOR
  CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS. (a) The department shall require each
  correctional officer employed by the department to complete at
  least 80 hours of continuing education programs once every 24
  months. The department may suspend or otherwise discipline a
  correctional officer who fails to comply with this requirement.
         (b)  As part of the continuing education requirement under
  Subsection (a), a correctional officer must complete a training and
  education program that covers the core requirements designated by
  the department.
         (c)  The department shall develop specialized training for
  correctional officers that may be credited toward continuing
  education requirements.
         (d)  The department by rule shall provide temporary
  exceptions to the continuing education requirements of this section
  for a correctional officer who cannot meet the continuing education
  requirements of this section due to:
               (1)  a medical emergency involving the officer or a
  member of the officer's family;
               (2)  the officer's active military service; or
               (3)  the officer's unit or facility being unable to
  provide training in a timely manner due to severe weather or a
  catastrophic event.
         (e)  An exception created by the department under Subsection
  (d) must ensure compliance with the continuing education
  requirements of this section as soon as practicable after the
  period required by this section.
         Sec. 493.034.  CONTINUING DEMONSTRATION OF WEAPONS
  PROFICIENCY. (a) The department shall designate one or more
  firearms proficiency officers and require each correctional
  officer employed by the department to demonstrate weapons
  proficiency to a firearms proficiency officer at least annually.
  The department shall maintain records of the weapons proficiency of
  correctional officers.
         (b)  The department by rule shall define weapons proficiency
  for purposes of this section.
         SECTION 2.  Not later than January 1, 2016, the Texas
  Department of Criminal Justice shall adopt rules as required by
  Sections 493.032, 493.033, and 493.034, Government Code, as added
  by this Act.
         SECTION 3.  (a) Section 493.032, Government Code, as added
  by this Act, applies only to a correctional officer hired by the
  Texas Department of Criminal Justice on or after the effective date
  of this Act.  A correctional officer hired before the effective date
  of this Act is governed by the law in effect immediately before the
  effective date of this Act, and that law is continued in effect for
  that purpose.
         (b)  Sections 493.033 and 493.034, Government Code, as added
  by this Act, apply to a correctional officer employed by the Texas
  Department of Criminal Justice on or after the effective date of
  this Act, regardless of whether the officer is hired before, on, or
  after that date.
         SECTION 4.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2015.