Texas Department of Public Safety

Texas Department of Public Safety
Texas Department of Public Safety
Abbreviation TX DPS
Texas Department of Public Safety.jpg
Patch of the Texas Department of Public Safety.
TX - DPS Seal.png
Logo of the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Motto Courtesy, Service, Protection
Agency overview
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction* State of Texas, USA
Size 261,797 square miles (678,050 km2)
Population 23,904,380 (2007 est.)[1]
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters Austin, Texas
Agency executives
  • Colonel Steve McCraw, Director
  • Lieutenant Colonel David Baker, Deputy Director of Law Enforcement
  • Cheryl MacBride, Deputy Director of Services
  • David Baker, Assistant Director Texas Highway Patrol
  • Tony Leal, Assistant Director Texas Rangers
  • Thomas Ruocco, Assistant Director Criminal Investigations
Texas DPS website
* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.

The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is a department of the government of the state of Texas. The DPS is responsible for statewide law enforcement and vehicle regulation. The Public Safety Commission oversees the DPS. Its five members are appointed by the Governor of Texas and confirmed by the Texas Senate, to serve without pay for staggered, six-year terms. The commission formulates plans and policies for enforcing criminal, traffic and safety laws, for preventing and detecting crime, for apprehending law violators and for educating citizens about laws and public safety. The DPS Director and Assistant Director report to the Commission. The Director's staff includes the Director, Steve McCraw, who holds the rank of Colonel, and Deputy Director David Baker, who holds the rank of Lt. Colonel.

The agency is headquartered at 5805 North Lamar Boulevard in Austin.[2]



DPS is divided into twelve Divisions:

  • Administration
  • Criminal Investigations
  • Driver License Division
  • Emergency Management
  • Finance
  • General Counsel
  • Texas Highway Patrol
  • Information Technology
  • Intelligence and Counterterrorism Division
  • Law Enforcement Support
  • Regulatory Licensing
  • Texas Rangers Division

Administrative Services Division

The Administrative Services Division serves as the indirect staff to the Director of the Department and provides Information Technology, Law Enforcement Support, Finance, Administration, and Regulatory Licensing for the entire Department.

The Administration section maintains DPS property, provides training to other divisions, and operates the Crime Records Service. The Crime Records Service maintains criminal justice information and issues concealed handgun licenses.

Criminal Investigations Division

In 2009, the Department of Public Safety created the Criminal Investigations Division (CID) as part of a major restructuring of the Department. The CID consists of 700 members, including 573 commissioned officers and 129 civilian support personnel. The CID Assistant Director's Office consists of the assistant director, deputy assistant director, an administrative major, and four civilian support personnel.

The CID is divided into four different sections, which are specialized by function:

  • Gang Section
  • Drug Section
  • Special Investigative Section
  • Investigative Support Section

The CID sections work together to prevent, suppress, and solve crime in cooperation with city, county, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. Multi-jurisdictional violations typically investigated by CID include terrorism, gang-related organized crime, illegal drug trafficking, motor vehicle theft, gambling, public corruption, fraud, theft, and counterfeit documents."

Driver License Division

The Driver License Division is responsible for the issuing and revocation of Texas driver's licenses and Identification Certificates.

Emergency Management Division

The Emergency Management Division is responsible for coordinating statewide emergency planning and response. Typical emergencies are weather-related (hurricanes, floods, tornadoes), but the DEM also has responsibility for containing outbreaks of infectious disease and containment of hazardous materials. The DEM is also responsible for administering Texas' AMBER Alert network.

Texas Highway Patrol

The Texas Highway Patrol Division is the unit of the Department most frequently seen by citizens. Uniformed Troopers of the highway patrol are responsible for enforcing traffic and criminal law, usually in unincorporated areas, and serve as the Texas state police.

Intelligence and Counterterrorism Division

The Intelligence and Counterterrorism Division (ICT) plays a leading role in the Department's goal of combating terrorism and organized crime.

ICT manages and operates the Texas Fusion Center, which serves as the centerpiece in establishing and maintaining a statewide information sharing network. Through the development, acquisition, analysis and dissemination of criminal intelligence information, the Texas Fusion Center supports criminal investigations across the state on a 24/7 basis. Texas Fusion Center personnel include non-commissioned analytical experts and a small number of commissioned officers. Also participating in the Texas Fusion Center are personnel from various other law enforcement and public safety agencies, such as Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, Department of Homeland Security, Department of the Treasury, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and Air and Army National Guard. ICT analysts also work at other regional fusion and intelligence centers located throughout Texas.

ICT also oversees security at DPS headquarters and the Texas Capitol Complex, a 46 square block area in downtown Austin. The Capitol Complex includes the State Capitol, state office buildings, parking lots and garages, and private office buildings. Security at the Capitol Complex is the responsibility of ICT's Capitol District, which is charged with protecting State property and buildings, and providing a safe environment for State officials, employees, and the general public. The Capitol District provides total police service within the Capitol Complex, including traffic enforcement, parking enforcement, and criminal investigations.

Texas Rangers

Arguably the most well-known division of the DPS is the Texas Rangers. Rangers are responsible for state-level criminal investigation, among other duties. Texas Rangers consists of over 140 rangers.


The governing body of the Department of Public Safety is a five member Public Safety Commission, with all members being appointed by the Governor of Texas. The Commission is responsible for appointing the Director of the Department. The Director is assisted in managing the Department by two Deputy Directors and several Division Directors. Most Division report to the Director through one of the two Deputy Directors, however, the Texas Rangers Division, the Emergency Management Division and the Legal Affairs Division all report directly to the Director.

The Commission also appoints an Inspector General, who is independent of the Director, to act as a general auditor and inspector for the Department.

  • Texas Public Safety Commission
    • Director
      • Deputy Director - Law Enforcement Operations
        • Intelligence and Counterterrorism Division
        • Texas Highway Patrol Division
        • Criminal Investigations Division
      • Deputy Director - Services
        • Law Enforcement Support Division
        • Administration Division
        • Regulatory Services Division
        • Driver License Division
        • Finance Division
        • Information Technology Division
      • Texas Rangers Division
      • Emergency Management Division
      • Legal Affairs Division
    • Inspector General


See also

Portal icon Texas portal
Portal icon Law enforcement/Law enforcement topics portal


  1. ^ "2007 Population Estimates" (xls). US Census. http://www.census.gov/popest/states/NST-ann-est.html. Retrieved 2008-10-14. 
  2. ^ "Contact Information." Texas Department of Public Safety. Accessed October 26, 2008.

External links

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