HBA-CMT H.B. 3320 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 3320 By: Moreno, Joe E. County Affairs 4/22/2001 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Currently, it is not uncommon for a county law enforcement officer (officer) to be interrogated for alleged misconduct at the conclusion of a shift. In such cases, the officer is able to invoke the 48-hour rule, which allows the officer to delay the interrogation for up to 48 hours after the request and return accompanied by legal counsel, although the officer must return on the officer's own time. House Bill 3320 defines the parameters for the investigation of a officer in counties with a population of 2.8 million or more. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution. ANALYSIS House Bill 3320 amends the Local Government Code to authorize an investigator to interrogate a county law enforcement officer (officer) who is the subject of an investigation only during the officer's normally assigned working hours unless the seriousness of the investigation as determined by the sheriff or sheriff's designee requires interrogation at another time, and the officer is compensated for the interrogation time on an overtime basis. The sheriff is prohibited from considering work time missed from regular duties by an officer due to participation in the conduct of an investigation in determining whether to impose a punitive action or in determining the severity of a punitive action. The bill sets forth provisions regarding where an investigator is prohibited from interrogating an officer and who may not serve as an investigator. The bill grants the subject of an investigation the right to be informed of the investigators participating in the investigation and sets forth provisions regarding the notice and conduct of an interrogation. The bill prohibits an interrogation session of an officer who is the subject of an investigation from being unreasonably long. The bill prohibits an investigator from threatening an officer with punitive action during an interrogation. However, an investigator is authorized to inform an officer that failure to truthfully answer reasonable questions directly related to the investigation or to fully cooperate in the conduct of the investigation may result in punitive action. The bill authorizes either the investigator or the officer to record the interrogation if prior notification of intent to record is given to the other party. The bill provides that if an investigation does not result in punitive action against an officer other than a reprimand recorded in writing or an adverse finding or determination regarding that person, the reprimand, finding, or determination is prohibited from being placed in that person's personnel file unless the officer is first given an opportunity to read and sign or refuses to sign the document. The bill sets forth procedures for an officer to respond to a reprimand, finding, or determination that is placed in the person's personnel file. The bill authorizes an officer who receives a punitive action to appeal the action, and sets forth procedures for responding to a punitive action. If the sheriff or any investigator violates any provision of the bill while conducting an investigation, the bill requires the county to reverse any punitive action taken based on the investigation and any information obtained during the investigation is prohibited from being entered into evidence in any proceeding against the officer. The provisions of the bill apply only to a county with a population of 2.8 million or more. EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001.