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The Texas Department of Public Safety Takes You on a Pictorial Visit Through the Bureau of Identification and Records

Texas Department of Public Safety Historical Museum and Research Center


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  •  "The Morning Mail" 
  •  "Classifying Fingerprints" 
  •  "Recording Fingerprints" 
  •  "Searching Fingerprints Making Identification" 
  •  "Criminal Record Duplicating Machine" 
  •  "Criminal Record Sheet Files" 
  •  "Compiling Fugitive Section of Weekly Bulletin"  
  •  "Stolen Property Section is Mimeographed"  
  •  "Preparing Envelopes for Bulletin" 
  •  "Assembling the Weekly Bulletin of Criminal Information" 
  •  "Patrolman Arrests Hold-Up Suspect" 
  •  "Fingerprints Rushed to Headquarters Bureau"  
  •  "The National Guard Calvary is Fingerprinted for Personal Identification" 
  •  "Indians Fingerprinted for Personal Identification" 
  •  "Unknown Man Killed by Hit-Run Driver"  
  •  "His Fingerprints Identified in Personal Files" 
  •  "Scene of Crime Investigation"  
  •  "Moulage Reproductions" 
  •  "Silver Nitrate Processing of Latent Fingerprints" 
  •  "Prints Magnified for Further Comparison" 
  •  "Obtaining Fingerprints from Cadavers" 
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This silent film takes the viewer on a tour of the Texas Department of Public Safety's Bureau of Identification and Records. A wide range of the department's activities is shown, from crime scene investigation to the minutiae of filing index cards, with particular emphasis on the various techniques for obtaining fingerprints.

Established by the Texas Legislature on August 10, 1935, the Texas Department of Public Safety was created by the consolidation of the Texas Highway Motor Patrol with the Texas Rangers. Since that time, its duties have grown to include such activities as the state licensing of drivers, vehicle inspection, narcotics enforcement, and the State Civil Defense Office, (now the Division of Emergency Management,) which aids local governments during times of natural disaster or social upheaval. While its duties have evolved over time, the mission of the DPS has remained constant - to provide public safety services to those people in the state of Texas by enforcing laws, administering regulatory programs, managing records, educating the public, and managing emergencies, both directly and through interaction with other agencies.