Texas Gang

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Background
Chapter 67, Texas Code of Criminal Procedure sets out the statutory guidelines for law enforcement agencies to gather information regarding criminal combinations and criminal street gangs. The statute authorizes (and in some instances requires) local law enforcement agencies to gather such information, but also states that the agencies must follow the guidelines of Title 28, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 23 when they do so. Those federal regulations establish very specific requirements for gathering, storing, disseminating, and using intelligence information by law enforcement agencies. The Texas statute also states that if a local law enforcement agency collects information on criminal gangs into a local database, they must forward that information to the DPS for storage in a statewide database.

TxGANG is the database created by DPS to fulfill that function. Many agencies are collecting their gang information in PC spreadsheets or small database programs. Even though they are simple lists, they still fall under the requirements of state law and 28CFR Part 23. The TxGANG system is designed to help law enforcement agencies identify and track gang members in Texas. The Texas Department of Public Safety oversees the policies and procedures for this system to govern the submission, query, dissemination, and retention of records in an electronic gang and gang member index. The index is designed to provide for timely sharing of criminal intelligence information among criminal justice personnel through rapid access and response to state-wide gang-related queries. While protecting the privacy and constitutional rights of each named individual, the index contains, within a statewide repository, a record summary of certain criminal intelligence information relating to an individual gang member and that individual's gang. As for the local law enforcement systems discussed above, TxGANG must comply with Title 28, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 23 for intelligence databases.

CFR Training
During the 81st Texas Legislative Session, Texas law was updated as related to criminal intelligence data related to Gangs and Gang Members. Article 67.12 requires training in Title 28, US Code of Federal Regulations, Part 23. In order to meet this requirement, TxDPS refers criminal justice employees requiring such CFR training to "attend" computer based training provided at https://28cfr.ncirc.gov/. Please note use of this URL for training requires the individual to have either a FBI LEO account, a RISS account, or a HISN account for credential verification.

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Texas Department of Public Safety
PO Box 4143 Austin, Texas 78765-4143
txgang@dps.texas.gov
© 2014 Texas Department of Public Safety