Every year Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc, a 40-year old nonprofit dedicated to improving investigative reporting gives away a dubious distinction, The Golden Padlock.
The Golden Padlock is given to the least accessible, most secretive and impressively impervious individuals and agencies working in government.
Texas' own Department of Public Safety made the finalists for 2015. They lost to the Massachusetts State Police, but were one of the final 5 and Mark Horvit executive director of Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE)--also a professor at the Missouri School of Journalism--tells us DPS was nominated by numerous media organizations, both state and national, for their handling of the details of their border security plan.
In many cases, media complaints dealt with the run of the mill stonewalling law enforcement agencies across the country are known for, but DPS also was known for aggressively protesting media coverage directly to lawmakers, sometimes before the articles were even published.
We invited DPS to come on our program, but they declined sending the following statement from spokesperson Tom Vinger:
We are proud of the men and women of the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) – including those involved in border operations – who willingly risk their lives every day protecting the people of this state.