Austin (Tex.). Boards and Commissions. Firefighters' and Police Officers' Civil Service Commission Records
An Inventory of the Collection
The 50th Legislature of the State of Texas, in Regular Session in 1947 passed House Bill No. 34 that allowed for the adoption of the civil service law by cities by popular vote. The civil service law would establish standards for hiring, promoting and disciplining police officers and firefighters. The City of Austin held a special election on April 27, 1948 to decide whether the City of Austin should adopt the provisions of House Bill 34 with the results being 2626 votes for adoption and 130 votes against adoption. During the May 6, 1948 Austin City Council meeting three Austin citizens, Leo Kuhn, David T. Lamme Jr., Edward Robinson, were appointed members of the Firemen's and Policemen's Civil Service Commission (as it was called then) and the first meeting of the Commission was held on May 20, 1948.
Currently the Commission is tasked with ensuring general compliance with applicable provisions of Chapter 143 of the Texas Local Government Code, local Civil Service rules established by the Commission, and any current agreements between the City of Austin and associations representing firefighters, police officers and emergency medical personnel; to regulate the promotion, suspension and termination of firefighters, police officers and emergency medical personnel in accordance with the above-mentioned statutes, rules, and agreements; and to administer written entry-level and promotional examinations.
On November 6, 2012, City of Austin residents voted for the adoption of the Chapter 143 civil service law for emergency medical services personnel (EMS). Subsequently the Firefighters’ and Police Officers’ Civil Service Commission became the commission for the EMS civil service as well and the name of the Commission changed to Firefighters', Police Officers' and Emergency Medical Services Personnel's Civil Service Commission. A new set of rules and regulations for the Commission went into effect on November 27, 2013.
The Firefighters’ and Police Officers’ Civil Service Commission Records contain meeting agendas, meeting minutes and supporting "backup" materials dating from the first Commission meeting in 1948 to 2009. Much of the materials concerns staffing levels, job classifications, pay scales, changes in rules and regulations, requests for permission to hold entrance and promotional exams and the results of these tests. The Commission also hears appeals from fire fighters and police officers about disciplinary action taken against them; reviews and considers fitness for duty reports; and settles protests of examination questions by those who took the entrance and promotional exams. Starting in the 1970s there are discussions about the lack of African American and Mexican Americans applying to take, and passing, the entrance exams and possible solutions. Protests of exam questions start to increase in the 1990s.
Also included are annual reports and work plans dating from 2000-2006, that were filed with the City of Austin of the City Clerk as required by Austin City Code 2-1-46.
Meeting agendas, minutes and some backup materials for the years 2010 to present are available on the City of Austin Office of the City Clerk's Board and Commissions Information Center website.
Restrictions on Access
Open to all users.
Restrictions on Use
Transferred by the City of Austin Civil Service Department in 2013. COA Record Series Number GAR25-30A. Records are considered permanent.
Austin (Tex.). Boards and Commissions. Fire Fighters' and Police Officers' Civil Service Commission Records (AR.2013.009). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.
Donor #: COA Records Management transfer
Donation Date: 2013
Finding aid created and encoded by Molly Hults in 2013.
Detailed Description of the Collection