1997 Regular Session
By: Representatives Wallace, Green (72nd), Bozeman
House Bill 647
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 63-3-519, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO ALLOW THE SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT IN ANY COUNTY HAVING A POPULATION IN EXCESS OF 200,000 TO OPERATE RADAR ON ANY STREET, ROAD OR HIGHWAY WITHIN THE COUNTY AND TO REQUIRE ALL RADAR OPERATORS TO POSSESS CERTIFICATION; TO AMEND SECTION 45-6-7, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO AUTHORIZE THE MINIMUM STANDARDS BOARD TO PROMULGATE RULES AND REGULATIONS REGARDING CERTIFICATION OF RADAR OPERATORS AND RADAR EQUIPMENT, CERTIFY OFFICERS TO BE OPERATORS AND CERTIFY CALIBRATION OF INSTRUMENTS; TO AMEND SECTION 45-6-11, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROHIBIT OPERATION OF RADAR BY OFFICERS NOT POSSESSING PROPER CERTIFICATION THEREFOR; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 63-3-519, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
63-3-519. (1) It is unlawful for any person or peace officer or law enforcement agency, except the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol, to purchase or use or allow to be used any type of radar speed detection equipment upon any public street, road or highway of this state. However, such equipment may be used:
(a) By municipal law enforcement officers within a municipality having a population of two thousand (2,000) or more upon the public streets of the municipality;
(b) By any college or university campus police force within the confines of any campus wherein more than two thousand (2,000) students are enrolled;
(c) By municipal law enforcement officers in any municipality having a population in excess of fifteen thousand (15,000) according to the latest federal census on federally designated highways lying within the corporate limits; and
(d) By any sheriff or deputy sheriff within a county having a population in excess of two hundred thousand (200,000) according to the latest federal census on streets, highways, or federally designated highways lying within the county.
(2) The Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol shall not set up radar on highways within municipalities with a population in excess of fifteen thousand (15,000) but less than one hundred fifty thousand (150,000) according to the latest federal census.
(3) Equipment acquired by the Department of Public Safety, by the governing authorities of by any municipality or the board of supervisors of any county for use by law enforcement officers within their respective jurisdiction as authorized by this section may be used only by full-time, state-certified law enforcement officers who possess a separate radar speed detection equipment operator certificate issued by the Board on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Training.
SECTION 2. Section 45-6-7, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
45-6-7. In addition to the powers conferred upon the board elsewhere in this chapter, the board shall have power to:
(a) Promulgate rules and regulations for the administration of this chapter, including the authority to require the submission of reports and information by law enforcement agencies of the state and its political subdivisions.
(b) Establish minimum educational and training standards for admission to employment as a law enforcement officer (i) in a permanent position, and (ii) in a probationary status.
(c) Certify persons as being qualified under the provisions of this chapter to be law enforcement officers.
(d) Certify persons as being qualified to operate radar speed detection equipment under rules and regulations to be promulgated by the board.
(e) Compile a list of speed detection equipment that the board determines will accurately measure the speed of motor vehicles, promulgate rules and regulations regarding the accurate calibration of such equipment, and maintain records of equipment calibration pursuant to such rules and regulations.
(f) Revoke certification for cause and in the manner provided in this chapter.
(g) Establish minimum curriculum requirements for basic and advanced courses and programs for schools operated by or for the state or any political subdivision thereof for the specific purpose of training police and other law enforcement officers.
(h) Consult and cooperate with counties, municipalities, state agencies, other governmental agencies, and with universities, colleges, junior colleges and other institutions concerning the development of training schools, programs or courses of instruction for personnel defined in this chapter.
(i) Make recommendations concerning any matter within its purview pursuant to this chapter.
(j) Make such inspection and evaluation as may be necessary to determine if governmental units are complying with the provisions of this chapter.
(k) Approve law enforcement officer training schools for operation by or for the state or any political subdivision thereof for the specific purpose of training personnel defined in this chapter.
(l) Upon the request of agencies employing personnel defined in this chapter, conduct surveys or aid municipalities and counties to conduct surveys through qualified public or private agencies and assist in the implementation of any recommendations resulting from such surveys.
(m) Upon request of agencies within the purview of this chapter, conduct general and specific management surveys and studies of the operations of the requesting agencies at no cost to those agencies. The role of the board under this subsection shall be that of management consultant.
(n) Adopt and amend regulations consistent with law, for its internal management and control of board programs.
(o) Enter into contracts or do such things as may be necessary and incidental to the administration of this chapter.
SECTION 3. 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; or
(e) 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.
(11) No person shall operate radar speed detection equipment who is not a full-time state-certified law enforcement officer who also possesses a separate radar speed detection equipment operator certificate issued by the board.
SECTION 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after January 1, 1998.