Counties Fail to Update Cases in Texas’ Crime Database

Jason Morris

We have written about the Texas DPS (Department of Public Safety) database before, things have not improved.  Long considered “one of the best…of the worst”, the Texas Statewide Criminal Database is full of holes.  These holes are critical because many industries are required by Texas law to use this system.  What does this mean to residents in Texas?  Teachers, Politicians, Nurses, Doctors etc. are checked through an inadequate system of obtaining criminal records. You have to see the percentages in this article, it will blow your mind.

the Department of Public Safety says counties in the most recent assessment submitted outcomes on just 69 percent of criminal charges

69 Percent, are you kidding me? I realize that in Baseball, failing seven out of ten times means you are an All-Star.  In the world of criminal records even 99 Percent is not good enough.  Fortunately there are some companies in Texas that utilize best practices and do more than just a DPS search.  We have hundreds of clients in Texas and most use a countywide criminal search in addition to the DPS.  If you are relying solely on this system, you must read on!

Counties Fail to Update Cases in Texas’ Crime Database

11:28 PM CDT on Thursday, August 21, 2008

By ROBERT T. GARRETT / The Dallas Morning News

AUSTIN – The state’s criminal database, riddled with holes four years ago, has just as many gaps today.

Although officials in Dallas and other poorly reporting counties promised in 2004 to do better, the Department of Public Safety says counties in the most recent assessment submitted outcomes on just 69 percent of criminal charges – the same percentage as before.

“That’s astonishing. That’s leaving a substantial total number of criminals unreported in the system,” said John Bradley, Williamson County district attorney. “That’s the biggest threat to public safety that you can imagine, particularly in a post-9/11 time when we rely on databases to protect the public.”

Angie Klein, manager of the DPS criminal history records bureau, attributed the counties’ lack of progress to slow resolution of many felony cases, and glitches in big urban counties, which can bring down statewide compliance rates.

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Jason Morris

President & Chief Operating Officer at EmployeeScreenIQ
A veteran screening and risk management professional, Jason Morris founded EmployeeScreenIQ in 1999 and acts as the company’s chief operating officer and president. Morris is a frequent speaker delivering captivating, interactive discussions on background checks, global screening, recruitment and staffing. He educates audiences in best practice initiatives as they relate to organizational employment screening programs. Morris has been quoted in numerous business and industry publications including The Wall Street Journal, MSNBC.com, USA Today, New York Times, among others. He is also a licensed private investigator in the states of Ohio, Illinois, New Jersey, Texas, Arizona and Nevada.
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