So, it appears after all that the police force of a private entity is not an arm of the state. I mis-read the Texas Supreme Court’s 2017 decision. I wrote about that 2017 decision here. The Texas Supreme Court has now resolved the issue in University of the Incarnate Word v. Redus, No. 18-0351 (Tex. 5/22/20202), and found that UIW’s small police force is not entitled to sovereign immunity. The Super Court found there were some factors which suggest the small police force compared to other police force. But, in the end, the court noted that its small police force is governed by the UIW Board of Trustees. It is not accountable to the taxpayers or to any state official.
This matter has been on appeal since 2016. See the most recent decision here. It was a silly argument. Yet, it took years to resolve. The 2017 decision suggested that since charter schools have been found to be an arm of the state, perhaps the UIW police force should also be considered an arm of the state. That such a flimsy argument was considered reflects on the very conservative nature of the Texas Supreme Court.