Though the top homicide statistics in America can make anyone feel a bit down, “our guys” at the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) want to dispel the notion that their institution is facing an existential crisis.
Almost everything about the Texas Department of Public Safety, a $1.4bn (£1.1bn) military branch, seems outdated and out of step. Its bickering, body-shy commissioners, empty buildings, lacking tools like an improved drone or a new liquor laws officer, and outdated bureaucracy, the DPS was almost like a deadbeat parent that still expected money and reassurance.
Before Jared McCann, the youngest active member of the DPS, took over the reigns of the agency’s public affairs office in the summer of 2017, it was all in his head. It was too big, too impersonal, too lacking in local officers and failure to call the Texas department “partnership” just as “National Guard” was before.
“I tell the recruits all the time, ‘You’re a representative of not only DPS, but also the city, and you’re leaving not just your badge or uniform, but this city behind,’” McCann said during an interview with Austin’s Mayor Steve Adler.
And that’s the key. McCann and the other DPS agents, like his 15-year-old, who took a GPS job because it was one of the first jobs McCann offered him, are focused on being the best “reimagined” Dallas police force agent ever, not just a yet another member of the evolving, uphill battle against the country’s violence. “Our biggest challenge will continue to be making it clear that we’re here to serve and protect,” McCann added.