1997 Regular Session
To: Judiciary A
By: Representative Stringer
House Bill 1112
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 41-29-107 AND 45-3-9, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REMOVE THE MAXIMUM AGE RESTRICTION FOR AGENTS OF THE MISSISSIPPI BUREAU OF NARCOTICS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 41-29-107, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
41-29-107. There is hereby created the Bureau of Narcotics within, and under the supervision of, the Mississippi Department of Public Safety. The said bureau shall have as chief administrative officer a director who shall be appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate. The director is empowered to employ or appoint necessary agents. The said director may also employ such secretarial, clerical and administrative personnel, including a duly licensed attorney, as necessary for the operation of the bureau, and shall have such quarters, equipment and facilities as needed. The salary and qualifications of the attorney authorized by this section shall be fixed by the director, but the salary shall not exceed the salary authorized for an Assistant Attorney General who performs similar duties.
The director and agents so appointed shall be citizens of the United States and of the State of Mississippi, and of good moral character. The agents shall be not less than twenty-one (21) years of age at the time of such appointment. In addition thereto, those appointed shall have satisfactorily completed at least two (2) years of college studies. However, two (2) years of satisfactory service as a law enforcement officer and the completion of the prescribed course of study at a school operated by the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, United States Justice Department, shall satisfy one (1) year of such college studies, and four (4) years of satisfactory service as a law enforcement officer and the completion of the prescribed course of study at such federal bureau school as stated heretofore shall fully satisfy the two (2) years of college requirement. The director shall also be required to complete a prescribed course of study at a school operated by the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, United States Justice Department.
During the period of the first twelve (12) months after appointment, any employee of the bureau shall be subject to dismissal at the will of the director. After twelve (12) months' service, no employee of the bureau shall be subject to dismissal unless charges have been filed with the director, showing cause for dismissal of said employee of the bureau. A date shall be set for hearing before the director and the employee notified in writing of the date of such hearing and of the charges filed. Said hearing shall be held not less than ten (10) days after notification to the employee. After said hearing, at which the employee shall be entitled to legal counsel, a written order of the director shall be necessary for dismissal and the decision shall be final. Any such order of the director shall be a public record and subject to inspection as such.
The Commissioner of Public Safety may assign members of the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol, regardless of age, to the bureau at the request of the director of the bureau; however, when any highway patrolman or other employee, agent or official of the Mississippi Department of Public Safety is assigned to duty with, or is employed by, the bureau, he shall not be subject to assignment or transfer to any other bureau or department within the Mississippi Department of Public Safety except by the director. Any highway patrolman assigned to duty with the bureau shall retain his status as a highway patrolman, but shall be under the supervision of the director. For purposes of seniority within the highway safety patrol and for purposes of retirement under the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol Retirement System, highway patrolmen assigned to the bureau will be credited as if performing duty with the highway safety patrol.
The director may enter into contracts or agreements with the State Board of Health for purposes of recruitment and screening of applicants through the merit system.
The director may enter into agreements with bureaus or departments of other states or of the United States for the exchange or temporary assignment of agents for special undercover assignments and for performance of specific duties.
The director is hereby authorized to assign agents of the bureau to such duty and to request and accept agents from such other bureaus or departments for such duty.
SECTION 2. Section 45-3-9, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
45-3-9. The chief of patrol, directors, inspectors, assistant inspectors, patrol officers and investigators of the department shall be selected after an examination as to physical and mental fitness, knowledge of traffic laws, rules and regulations of this state, the laws of the state pertaining to arrest, and the rules and regulations of the State Highway Commission and Public Service Commission, such examination to be prescribed by the commissioner. At the time of appointment they shall be citizens of the United States and the State of Mississippi, of good moral character, and shall be not less than twenty-three (23) years of age; however, they may be less than twenty-three (23) years of age provided they hold a degree from an accredited four-year senior college or university. * * * Sworn agents of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics who are employed as enforcement troopers shall retain all compensatory, personal and sick leave accrued pursuant to Sections 25-3-92, 25-3-93 and 25-3-95, Mississippi Code of 1972.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1997.