Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "Department of Public Safety" ...

  • Austin American-Statesman: Is Texas DPS skewing its border security stats - again?

    Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw went before Congress in April and touted nearly 40,000 arrests stemming from the department’s border surge of troopers in the Rio Grande Valley. The American-Statesman has long held DPS accountable when it comes to its border activities, and especially in how it has described the success of those efforts to lawmakers. With this story, we sought to continue in that watchdog role.
  • Flood-related spills ignored by TX officials

    The El Paso Times exposed the fact that even though they had civil-air patrol photos of them, Texas officials have mostly ignored scores of spills of oil and fracking fluid during severe floods in recent years. When they reported on the photos, which were posted on an obscure government website, the Texas Department of Public Safety ended public access to them. After subsequent reporting and editorializing, officials returned them to public view. They obtained and analyzed scores of regulatory reports to rebut regulators' claims that they respond to every spill. The problematic responses to the spills, however, continue.
  • State Police Secrets and Surveillance

    The Texas Department of Public Safety and politicians for years worked behind the scenes to create a system of surveillance, casting a net that included potential criminals and everyday innocent citizens. DPS, the state police, began covering up secrets and limiting media access when The Dallas Morning News Watchdog Desk began investigating. That led to the agency sending private memos to state legislators and staff in an attempt to stop or discredit The News', and other media outlets, story publications.
  • Racial Profiling Whitewash

    This KXAN investigation uncovered state and local law enforcement agencies wrongly reporting the race of minority drivers during traffic stops. KXAN analyzed more than 16 million Texas Department of Public Safety traffic stop records and revealed the state law enforcement agency systematically under-reported the number of minorities, mostly Hispanics, stopped on Texas roads by state troopers. The investigation questioned the validity of DPS racial profiling reports and led to immediate statewide changes in the way Texas troopers conduct traffic stops and record racial profiling data. KXAN found the same problem in the Austin Police Department which prompted an immediate audit of APD's traffic stop data and race recording practices which found APD in violation of the Texas racial profiling law. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kEG0q7WR1U
  • Border surge began as crime fell

    Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and other top state officials sold a massive border state police and Texas National Guard buildup on tales of violent transnational crime spilling across the Rio Grande River. In a void of federal border security, only Texas could stem the tide, the narrative went. But after a months-long open records battle with the Texas Department of Public Safety, a finalist for the 2015 IRE Golden Padlock Award, and an unprecedented data analysis, the Houston Chronicle proved violent crime rates had been declining for years before the surge and were not significantly affected by the extra manpower.
  • "Under the Influence"

    Dallas County has the "third-highest rate" of alcohol-related driving deaths. Reporters for the Dallas Morning News revealed that about "40 percent" of those who are sentenced for "intoxication manslaughter" are given probation instead of serving jail time to ensure treatment. The people of Dallas do not always agree.
  • Scandal inside Texas power grid operator

    This story looks at the Department of Public Safety's investigation into ERCOT, the state's power grid operator for "questionable contracting practices" and possible security vulnerabilities.
  • Minority motorists searched more often; controversy dates to early 1990's; State examines how drivers of different races are treated

    The Star reviews more than a quarter million traffic stops in order to evaluate racial disparities in treatment of drivers. The investigation reveals that Hispanics and blacks are searched more often than whites by officers from the Department of Public Safety. Ironically though, they found something to seize more often from the whites than from black or Hispanic drivers.
  • Big Dig Drinking

    "The Big Dig/Central Artery project is the largest construction project in the country. The federally funded project will cost taxpayers an estimated 14 billion dollars. More than four thousand workers are building bridges and tunnels that millions of commuters will travel on. We watched as Big Dig workers left job sites, walked into bars, and drank at lunch. Many of the construction workers didn't have anything to eat, and then went back to work and operated heavy equipment. We wondered about the quality of work being done if some of these people were 'working under the influence'. Some workers walked right past the Big Dig's main office to get to the bars. If we could see what was happening, why couldn't state officials? After our story aired, the Big Dig launched its own investigation and two workers were fired."
  • DPS Computer

    KTVT-TV "found many convicted sexual offenders had no criminal record on the state's crime computer. We exposed a huge hole in the system. Schools, day care centers, state licensing agencies all rely on the state's crime computer for criminal background checks. We found a school crossing guard was a convicted felon (indecency with a child)..."