1997 Regular Session
To: Judiciary B
By: Representative Ryan
House Bill 210
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 45-6-11 AND 45-6-13, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REQUIRE LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS TO REMAIN AT LEAST TWO YEARS IN THE EMPLOY OF THE POLITICAL SUBDIVISION WHICH HAS BEEN REIMBURSED OR PAID FOR SUCH OFFICER'S TRAINING UNLESS SUCH REIMBURSED OR PAID EXPENSES ARE REFUNDED; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 45-6-11, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
45-6-11. (1) Law enforcement officers already serving under permanent appointment on July 1, 1981 and personnel of the division of community services under Section 47-7-9, Mississippi Code of 1972, serving on July 1, 1994, shall not be required to meet any requirement of subsections (3) and (4) of this section as a condition of continued employment; nor shall failure of any such law enforcement officer to fulfill such requirements make that person ineligible for any promotional examination for which that person is otherwise eligible. Provided, however, if any law enforcement officer certified under the provisions of this chapter leaves his employment as such and does not become employed as a law enforcement officer within two (2) years from the date of termination of his prior employment, he shall be required to comply with board policy as to rehiring standards in order to be employed as a law enforcement officer; except, that, if any law enforcement officer certified under this chapter leaves his employment as such to serve as a sheriff, he may be employed as a law enforcement officer after he has completed his service as a sheriff without being required to comply with board policy as to rehiring standards.
(2) Any person who has twenty (20) years of law enforcement experience and who is eligible to be certified under this section shall be eligible for recertification after leaving law enforcement on the same basis as someone who has taken the basic training course. Application to the board to qualify under this subsection shall be made no later than June 30, 1993.
(3) (a) No person shall be employed as a law enforcement officer by any law enforcement unit for a period to exceed one (1) year unless that person has been certified as being qualified under the provisions of subsection (4) of this section. The prohibition against the employment of a noncertified person as a law enforcement officer for a period not to exceed one (1) year may not be nullified by terminating the employment of such a person before the expiration of the time period and then rehiring the person for another period not to exceed one (1) year. Any person, who, due to illness or other events beyond his/her control, could not attend the required school/training as scheduled, may serve with full pay and benefits in such a capacity until he/she can attend the required school/training.
(b) No person shall serve as a law enforcement officer in any full-time, part-time, reserve or auxiliary capacity during a period when that person's certification has been suspended, cancelled or recalled pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
(4) In addition to the requirements of subsections (3), (7) and (8) of this section, the board, by rules and regulations consistent with other provisions of law, shall fix other qualifications for the employment of law enforcement officers, including minimum age, education, physical and mental standards, citizenship, good moral character, experience and such other matters as relate to the competence and reliability of persons to assume and discharge the responsibilities of law enforcement officers, and the board shall prescribe the means for presenting evidence of fulfillment of these requirements.
(5) Any elected sheriff, constable, deputy or chief of police may apply for certification. Such certification shall be granted at the request of the elected official after providing evidence of satisfaction of the requirements of subsections (3) and (4) of this section. Certification granted to such elected officials shall be granted under the same standards and conditions as established by law enforcement officers and shall be subject to recall as in subsection (7) of this section.
(6) The board shall issue a certificate evidencing satisfaction of the requirements of subsections (3) and (4) of this section to any applicant who presents such evidence as may be required by its rules and regulations of satisfactory completion of a program or course of instruction in another jurisdiction equivalent in content and quality to that required by the board for approved law enforcement officer education and training programs in this state, and has satisfactorily passed any and all diagnostic testing and evaluation as required by the board to ensure competency.
(7) Professional certificates remain the property of the board, and the board reserves the right to either reprimand the holder of a certificate, suspend a certificate upon conditions imposed by the board, or cancel and recall any certificate when:
(a) The certificate was issued by administrative error; (b) The certificate was obtained through misrepresentation or fraud;
(c) The holder has been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude;
(d) The holder has been convicted of a felony;
(e) The holder does not remain with the political subdivision who was reimbursed for his training and such reimbursed expenses are refunded as provided in Section 45-6-13; or
(f) Other due cause as determined by the board.
(8) When the board believes there is a reasonable basis for either the reprimand, suspension, cancellation of, or recalling the certification of a law enforcement officer, notice and opportunity for a hearing shall be provided in accordance with law prior to such reprimand, suspension or revocation.
(9) Any law enforcement officer aggrieved by the findings and order of the board may file an appeal with the chancery court of the county in which such person is employed from the final order of the board.
(10) Any law enforcement officer whose certification has been cancelled pursuant to this chapter may reapply for certification, but not sooner than two (2) years after the date on which the order of the board cancelling such certification becomes final.
SECTION 2. Section 45-6-13, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
45-6-13. (1) The board shall establish, provide or maintain law enforcement training programs through such agencies and institutions as the board may deem appropriate.
(2) The board shall authorize, but only from such funds authorized and appropriated by the Legislature, the reimbursement to each political subdivision and to state agencies of at least fifty percent (50%) of the salary and allowable tuition, living and travel expense incurred by the officers in attendance at approved training programs, provided said political subdivisions and state agencies do in fact adhere to the selection and training standards established by the board. No law enforcement officer whose expenses have been reimbursed to or paid by the political subdivision employing such officer shall leave the employ of such political subdivisions for not less than two (2) years after the completion of such reimbursed training, unless such expenses are paid by the new employer to the political subdivision which reimbursed or paid such expenses. The amount to be paid shall be determined on a pro rata basis based upon when the law enforcement officer leaves the political subdivision within the two-year period. Defined training expenses are related to minimum standards training and include salary, tuition, travel expenses of the employee as well as personnel costs related to the training incurred during the employee's absence.
(3) The board is authorized to expend funds for the purpose of providing a professional library and training aids that will be available to state agencies and political subdivisions.
(4) If any law enforcement officer in this state who is employed by a municipality, county or other governmental entity shall, within three (3) years after the date of his employment, resign from, or be terminated from, employment by such entity and immediately become employed by another governmental entity in a law enforcement capacity, then the governmental entity by which the resigned or terminated officer is employed shall reimburse the governmental entity from which the officer resigned or was terminated a proportionate share of the officer's law enforcement training expenses which were incurred by such entity, if any.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1997.