Ranger Responsibilities

September 1, 2020

Texas Rangers talking around a table outsideThe Texas Ranger Division is the primary criminal investigative branch of the Texas Department of Public Safety.  Examples of investigations can include:

  • Murder, robbery, sexual assault, burglary, theft and fraud
  • bank fraud
  • theft by credit card and computer generated counterfeit checks
  • misuse of criminal history information
  • misconduct and corruption of public officials
  • threats against the governor and other state and federal officials  
  • missing persons, parental abductions, questionable deaths and unidentified bodies

Activities of the Texas Ranger Division consist primarily of conducting criminal and special investigations, apprehending wanted felons, suppressing major disturbances, protection of life and property, and rendering assistance to local law enforcement officials in suppressing crime and violence. 

Other programs which fall under the direction and supervision of the Texas Rangers are:

  • Border Security – Ranger Reconnaissance Teams (Riverine operations)
  • Joint Operations Intelligence Centers/Border Security Operations Center
  • Public Corruption/Public Integrity investigations
  • Major Case investigations
  • Unsolved Crimes Investigation Program (UCIP) - Cold Case investigations
  • Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI)
  • Special Operations Group – Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT), Regional Special Response Teams (SRT), Crisis Negotiation Units (CNU) and Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD)
Three Texas Rangers stand outside near cones with numbers

Texas Ranger taking a photo of objects on the ground in a forest with a man standing behind himOther duties performed by the Texas Ranger Division can include:

  • Through investigation and close personal contact with all federal, state, county, and city law enforcement agencies, be responsible for the gathering and dissemination of criminal intelligence pertaining to all facets of organized crime. The Texas Ranger Division joins with all other enforcement agencies in the suppression of the same.
  • Under orders of the Director, suppress all criminal activity in any given area, when it is apparent that the local officials are unwilling or unable to maintain law and order.
  • Upon the request or order of a judge of a court of record, serve as officers of the court and assist in the maintenance of decorum, the protection of life, and the preservation of property during any judicial proceeding.
  • When called upon, provide protection for elected officials at public functions and at any other time or place when directed to do so by a superior officer.
  • Establish direct personal contact and maintain close liaison with all agencies, or branches thereof, concerned with the investigation and suppression of criminal activities. These contacts are not to be limited to the state but shall be nationwide. Every effort will be exerted to maintain a full and free flow of information on active offenders and offenses between all interested agencies.
  • Participate in educational training programs and provide specialized instruction to local, state, and federal law enforcement representatives.
  • Assist the Office of Inspector General in conducting investigations of any alleged criminal misconduct on the part of other Department personnel.
  • Be the primary Department investigator when a Department member is killed or suffers serious bodily injury, attributable to an intentional act.
  • Provide Forensic Hypnotists for use as an investigative tool in gathering additional information.
  • Provide forensic art work for use as an investigative or procedural tool in major criminal cases.
  • Assist the Governor's Protective Detail in providing security for the Texas Governor during his official travel throughout the state, as well as other dignitaries.