by Lenny Leatherman –
While reading Senate Bill 538, I remember thinking of the TV show “What could possibly go wrong” on the Science Channel.
Almost immediately my mind took me back to the long ago TV character, Barney Fife. Younger folks may not remember Barney, the likable bungling Deputy Sheriff on The Andy Griffith Show. If anything went wrong it usually involved Barney.
Could anything possibly go wrong if Senate Bill 538 becomes law in Texas? I believe the simple answer to that question is yes.
By using Barney as an example, I certainly do not mean to impugn the reputation of the many fine law enforcement officers in Texas. By passing this bill however, we may be placing officers and others in situations where they are expected to make decisions on matters about which they are unqualified due to no fault of their own.
As you read Section 4. Section 81.083, try to imagine yourself facing that situation. You will likely discover other problematic issues with this bill.
I believe there is no question as to the honorable intent in the drafting of this bill. However, I’m not convinced this bill is ready to become law.