Prop 10 deals with transfer of law enforcement animals

 

Editor’s note: As a service to area voters, the Bay City Tribune will take each of the upcoming propositions on the Nov. 5 ballot. This is the first of a series of articles that will preview the upcoming propositions on the ballot.

Proposition 10

Texas Proposition 10, the Transfer of Law Enforcement Animals Amendment, is on the ballot in Texas as a legislatively referred constitutional amendment.

• A “yes” vote supports this amendment to allow for the transfer of a law enforcement animal, such as a dog or horse, to the animal’s handler or another qualified caretaker if the transfer is in the animal’s best interest.

• A “no” vote opposes this amendment to allow for the transfer of a law enforcement animal, such as a dog or horse, to the animal’s handler or another qualified caretaker if the transfer is in the animal’s best interest.

Under the state’s Local Government Code, a retiring police dog or working animal is classified as salvage or surplus property and, according to code, surplus or salvage property can be auctioned, donated to a civic or charitable organization, or destroyed. According to the Texas Senate Research Center, the existing Local Government Code makes transferring a retiring animal to its handler difficult. Proposition 10 would allow agencies to transfer a dog, horse, or another animal to the animal›s handler or another qualified person if the transfer is in the animal’s best interest.

The Texas State Legislature passed Senate Bill 2100 (SB 2100) as legislation to further implement Proposition 10. SB 2100 would allow a law enforcement agency’s highest-ranking officer, such as a sheriff, constable, or chief, to determine who receives the animal. SB 2100 would require the officer to consider people in the following order: (a) a former handler who retired due to injuries sustained in the line of duty; (b) the family of a former handler who was killed in the line of duty; (c) any other former handler; (d) any other police officer, county jailer, or dispatcher; and (e) any other person. SB 2100 would also require the officer to consider whether a person is capable of humanely caring for the animal.

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