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A retired Police Officer still holds state license (former chief of police in small suburb).

A family member of the officer tells him of an [alleged] assault against her

What is the oath or sworn obligation of the retired officer to report the crime and how long do they have to report it (if they are legally required too)?

Please link to any state licensing site / page where it shows their obligation.

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  • You may be obligated to report as simply a citizen; misdemeanor or felony assault? May 29 at 22:41
  • There are very few mandatory reporters - mostly people who take care of children. May 30 at 0:07
  • misdemeanor assault (class A)..no one really hurt...groping law. someone in passing mentioned that as a licensed peace officer, that he is obligated to report any crimes that he hears about. trying to find that in the texas statutes
    – Mickey
    May 30 at 0:46
  • From the question I infer that the RPO is willing to report the crime only if he is required to. So he could ask the PD; if he is required then he does and if he is not required he just says "well, then I will not tell anything" and walks away. OTOH, if he does not want to report it even if he is required to do so, it really does not matter what the law says.
    – SJuan76
    May 30 at 20:33
  • In any case I would think (IANAL) that the information the RPO would count as hearsay (he was not acting in his official position) and little could be made of any report unless the victim confirmed it.
    – SJuan76
    May 30 at 20:35
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What is the oath or sworn obligation of the retired officer to report the crime?

Short answer Any legal obligation to report a crime depends on whether or not his license is a permanent peace officer license.

Long answer Article 2.13 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure states that:

(a) It is the duty of every peace officer to preserve the peace within the officer's jurisdiction. To effect this purpose, the officer shall use all lawful means.

(b) The officer shall*:

  • (1) in every case authorized by the provisions of this Code, interfere without warrant to prevent or suppress crime;

  • (2) execute all lawful process issued to the officer by any magistrate or court;

  • (3) give notice to some magistrate of all offenses committed within the officer's jurisdiction, where the officer has good reason to believe there has been a violation of the penal law; and

  • (4) arrest offenders without warrant in every case where the officer is authorized by law, in order that they may be taken before the proper magistrate or court and be tried.

*NOTE the use of shall which IMO imposes a specific duty for a positive act, whereas in England and Wales the comparable legislation uses may which allows for some discretion and flexibility.

Article 2.12 of that Code defines a peace officer to include:

(1) sheriffs, their deputies, and those reserve deputies who hold a permanent peace officer license issued under Chapter 1701, Occupations Code;

(2) constables, deputy constables, and those reserve deputy constables who hold a permanent peace officer license issued under Chapter 1701, Occupations Code;

(3) marshals or police officers of an incorporated city, town, or village, and those reserve municipal police officers who hold a permanent peace officer license issued under Chapter 1701, Occupations Code...

Section 1701.307 of the Occupations Code does not expressly exclude the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement from issuing a permanent peace officer license to retired officers (but it does require the recipient to satisfy certain requirements such as minimum training standards, health checks etc). Unless he has such a license he does not appear to be under any legal obligation to report a misdemeanor.

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As an aside, there are three mandatory reporting laws in Texas: when someone observes a felony resulting in serious injury or death; and when the victim of abuse or neglect is a child or vulnerable adult - but none appear relevant to the OP without confirmation.

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