Austin History Center

Austin (Tex.). Boards and Commissions. Firefighters' and Police Officers' Civil Service Commission Records

An Inventory of the Collection

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Firefighters’ and Police Officers’ Civil Service Commission
Title: Austin (Tex.). Boards and Commissions. Firefighters’ and Police Officers’ Civil Service Commission Records
Inclusive Dates: 1948-2009
Abstract: The Austin City Council voted to adopt a Civil Service law in 1948 and created the first Firemen's and Policemen's Civil Service Commission (as it was called then) on May 6, 1948 for the purpose of administering standardized tests for hiring and promotion and enabling police officers and firefighters to appeal disciplinary action to an independent commission. The collection contains meeting agendas, meeting minutes and support "backup" materials that document the Commission's activities from the first Commission meeting in 1948 to 2009.
Identification: AR.2013.009
Quantity: 5 linear feet (13 boxes)
Location: Archives stacks
Language: The records are in English.
Repository: Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, 810 Guadalupe, PO BOX 2287, Austin, TX 78768

Administrative History

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.

Scope and Contents

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.


Arranged in chronological order.


Restrictions on Access

Open to all users.

Restrictions on Use


Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Albrecht, Frank.
Ortiz, Alba A.
Canales, Joe.
Clay, James M.
Daughtry, Fred.
Downing, Diane.
Dyson, Frank.
Edwards, Ruth Ann.
Flakes, Jimmie L.
Glass, Taylor.
Goodnight, Charles M.
Green, Charles E.
Henderson, Gerald.
Hood, R. Maurice.
King, John T.
Kuhn, Leo.
Kunschick, Vernon.
Lamme, David T., Jr.
Loredo, Judith.
Miller, John D.
Monroe, Goldie.
Moreno, Jim.
Morgette, P. E.
Pool, Thomas B.
Reyes, Lonnie.
Robinson, Edward.
Shapiro, Jeffery M.
Smith, Robert.
Weeks, H. Curtis.
Wolfe, William G.
Woody, John.
Austin (Tex.). Fire Department.
Austin (Tex.). Firefighters' and Police Officers' Civil Service Commission.
Austin (Tex.). Police Department.
Austin (Tex.)
Law enforcement--Texas--Austin.
Civil service--Texas--Austin--Law and legislation.
Fire departments--Texas--Austin.
Firemen--Legal status, laws, etc.--Texas--Austin.
Police departments--Texas--Austin.
Police--Legal status, laws, etc.--Texas--Austin.

Related Material

General Collection

  • A 363.209764 AU Emergency Meeting of City Council, Civil Service Commission and Human Relations Commission to Hear Citizens' Groups Discuss Police Activities: October 15, 1974, 6:00 P.M.
  • A 352.3 AUF Austin (Tex.). Fire Dept. Annual Report. 1939-1968.
  • A 352.3 AU Austin (Tex.). Fire Dept. Rules and Regulations. 1972, 1981, 1985
  • A 353.36 AUP758G Austin (Tex.). Police Dept. General Orders, Policies and Procedures, 2000.
  • A 352.2 AUP758D n (Tex.). Police Dept. Department Manual, 1993.

ATXN/Channel 6 (Government Access Recordings) - Civil Service Commission Appeal Hearings 2008 to present.

Administrative Information

Custodial History

Transferred by the City of Austin Civil Service Department in 2013. COA Record Series Number GAR25-30A. Records are considered permanent.

Preferred Citation

Austin (Tex.). Boards and Commissions. Fire Fighters' and Police Officers' Civil Service Commission Records (AR.2013.009). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.

Acquisition Information

Donor #: COA Records Management transfer

Donation Date: 2013

Processing Information

Finding aid created and encoded by Molly Hults in 2013.

Detailed Description of the Collection

I. Meeting Agendas, Minutes, and Backup Materials, 1948-2009

Box Folder
1 1-20 1948-1967
Box Folder
2 1-10 1968-1977
Box Folder
3 1-6 1978-1982
Box Folder
4 1-7 1983-1987
Box Folder
5 1-7 1988-1989
Box Folder
6 1-5 1990-1991
Box Folder
7 1-5 1991-1993
Box Folder
8 1-6 1994-1996
Box Folder
9 1-7 1997-1999
Box Folder
10 1-7 2000-2004
Box Folder
11 1-7 2004-2006
Box Folder
12 1-6 2006-2009
Box Folder
13 1-10 2009

II. Annual Reports and Work Plans, 2000-2006

Box Folder
13 11 2000-2006