This esteemed agency has been compared to the FBI, Scotland Yard and Royal Canadian Mounted Police. They are the oldest state law enforcement agency in North America. The Colt Walker single action revolver was named for one of its leaders who developed it with Samuel Colt. A popular U.S. television series featuring a man in a black mask riding a horse named Silver was inspired by this agency. Members of this agency along with Dallas County deputies and Sheriffs from Louisiana were part of a posse that captured and killed Bonnie and Clyde. An assassination of President William Taft in 1909 was also prevented through the actions of this group. It all started in 1823 when Stephen Austin called for men to “Range” the frontier and protect its inhabitants against marauders and raids.
Yes folks, we are talking about the famous Texas Rangers, now a major division of the Texas Department of Public Safety.
The stated mission of the Texas Ranger Division is to conduct criminal and public integrity investigations, arrest criminals for violations of state and federal laws, suppress major disturbances, protect life and property, and render assistance to local law enforcement officials in suppressing crime and violence. The Texas Ranger Division also assists federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies in the investigation of acts of terrorism. The Division is comprised of 208 full time employees of which about 150 are commissioned Rangers, 58 Support Personnel. The Rangers maintain a Border Security Operations Center headquartered in Austin, Joint Operations and Intelligence Centers and a SWAT teams across the State of Texas.
The iconic white cowboy hat is not an official part of the Ranger uniform. There is no official uniform. The State of Texas does give guidelines as to appropriate Ranger attire including the requirement that they wear clothing that is western in nature. The typical ensemble is white shirt and tie, light trousers, a light colored western hat, ‘ranger’ belt and cowboy boots. Rangers are expected to pay for their own clothing, receiving a small stipend to offset the cost of boots, gun belts and hats.
Rangers take care of their own. Via the Texas Ranger Association Foundation, they help active and retired Rangers, and the spouses and children of deceased Rangers, in need of emergency relief and assistance. They also provide academic scholarships. And they preserve and protect the heritage of the Rangers by maintaining the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum in Waco, Texas.
The Texas Ranger Classic is an annual charity event which Chameleon Associates is proud to help sponsor.