NAMI Texas strongly supports HB 3692, by Rep. Gallego, which was heard on April 5 in the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee.
The bill would amend the Code of Criminal Procedure to modify a peace officer’s interaction with persons with mental illness and authorize an officer to issue a citation in lieu of arresting the person for misdemeanor offenses; the officer has the option to take the person to the hospital instead of the jail. The bill also would establish a suggestion of incompetency as the minimum threshold required for an informal inquiry in a trial.
The bill would also amend the Occupations Code to require a law enforcement officer to undergo training in mental illness. (Note: The Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education currently requires peace officers to undergo 40 hours of training on mental illness; HB3692 would modify the training for all police.)
If you wish to express your opinion on this, or any other legislation, contact your legislator or the members of the committee.
Below are the members of the committee:
Will Hartnett: 512-463-0576
Bill Zedler: 512-463-0374
Jose Aliseda: 512-463-0645
Wayne Christian: 512-463-0556