Sunset Commission Proposal that DPS Eliminate Guard Dog and Telematics Programs

This is the fifth part of an ongoing series reviewing proposed changes to the Department of Public Safety (DPS) rules and law by the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission (Sunset Commission). As we discussed previously, DPS is being reviewed by the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission, which has prepared its report for the Texas Legislature in the 2019 legislative session.

In this post, we look at the proposal to eliminate private security programs for guard dog companies, guard dog trainers, and telematics companies. With regards to guard dog companies and trainers, the Sunset Commission noted that few complaints arose underneath these programs, and most of those issues could be addressed by animal cruelty laws. Further, neither guard dog owners nor guard dogs themselves are regulated by DPS, which the Sunset Commission believes indicates that there is not a public safety need for guard dog regulation.

Likewise, the Sunset Commission noted that only three telematics companies were licensed in Texas to facilitate services such as emergency roadside assistance, collision notification, or stolen vehicle recovery. The Sunset Commission stated that no meaningful enforcement activities were taken against these companies; thus, regulation of these companies was not in the public interest.

We will follow the legislative session to see how these proposed changes are received by the Legislature and what changes are made. If you would like to read about the Sunset process, you can do so at the Sunset website.