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Texas Politics - The Executive Branch
4.3    Military and Police Powers

The Texas Constitution names the Governor the commander-in-chief of the Texas National Guard when the state's units have not been placed under the command of the U.S. President. (Article II of the U.S. Constitution names the President commander-in-chief of the state national guards when they are mobilized for national service.) The Adjutant General, whom the Governor appoints, heads Texas Guard units. Though Texas Guard units can be dispatched to respond to situations such as civil unrest, they are more commonly used to aid in natural disasters or other forms of emergency relief in which local emergency services need additional resources.

Though most law enforcement and police investigation responsibilities rest in the hands of city and county governments, the Governor also has limited police powers. The Governor (with Senate approval) appoints the members of the Public Safety Commission, which directs the Department of Public Safety (DPS). The Governor can also assume command of the Texas Rangers (a division of the DPS) under some circumstances, although this is a rare event.

Texas Politics:
© 2009, Liberal Arts Instructional Technology Services
University of Texas at Austin
3rd Edition - Revision 115
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