1997 Regular Session
To: Judiciary B
By: Representative Holland
House Bill 1552
AN ACT TO BRING FORWARD FOR PURPOSES OF AMENDMENT SECTIONS 45-6-1 THROUGH 45-6-19, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, WHICH PROVIDE FOR THE LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS TRAINING PROGRAM; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 45-6-1, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:
45-6-1. The Legislature finds that the administration of criminal justice is of statewide concern, and that the activities of law enforcement officers are important to the health, safety and welfare of the people of this state and are of such nature as to require selection, education and training of a professional nature upon entrance and during the careers of law enforcement officers. It is the intent of the Legislature to provide for the coordination of training programs for law enforcement officers and to set standards therefor, and to declare that the Mississippi Law Enforcement Officers' Training Academy is the principal facility for such purposes.
SECTION 2. Section 45-6-3, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:
45-6-3. For the purposes of this chapter, the following words shall have the meanings ascribed herein, unless the context shall otherwise require:
(a) "Commission" means the Criminal Justice Planning Commission.
(b) "Board" means the Board on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Training.
(c) "Law enforcement officer" means any person appointed or employed full time by the state or any political subdivision thereof, who is duly sworn and vested with authority to bear arms and make arrests, and whose primary responsibility is the prevention and detection of crime, the apprehension of criminals and the enforcement of the criminal and traffic laws of this state and/or the ordinances of any political subdivision thereof. The term "law enforcement officer" also includes employees of the Department of Corrections who are designated as law enforcement officers by the Commissioner of Corrections pursuant to Section 47-5-54. However, the term "law enforcement officer" shall not mean or include any elected official or any person employed as an assistant to or investigator for a district attorney in this state, or compliance agents of the State Board of Pharmacy. As used in this paragraph "appointed or employed full time" means any person who is receiving gross compensation for his duties as a law enforcement officer of One Hundred Twenty-five Dollars ($125.00) or more per week or Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) or more per month.
SECTION 3. Section 45-6-5, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:
45-6-5. (1) There is hereby created the Board on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Training, which shall consist of eleven (11) members.
(2) The Governor shall appoint five (5) members of the board from the following specified categories:
(a) Two (2) members, each to be a chief of police of a municipality in this state, with one (1) of such municipalities having a population of less than one thousand two hundred (1,200) according to the latest federal decennial census.
(b) One (1) member shall be a sheriff in this state.
(c) One (1) member shall be a district attorney in this state.
(d) One (1) member shall be a representative of higher education.
The initial appointments to the board shall be made by the Governor no later than twenty (20) days after the effective date of this chapter, as follows: the chief of police and the representative of higher education each shall be appointed for a term of two (2) years; and the sheriff and the district attorney each shall be appointed for a term of three (3) years. Upon the expiration of the terms of the initial appointees to the board, each subsequent appointment shall be made for a term of three (3) years, beginning on the date of the expiration of the previous term. A vacancy in any appointed position on the board prior to the expiration of a term shall be filled by appointment of the Governor only for the balance of the unexpired term.
(3) The remaining six (6) members of the board shall be the following:
(a) The Attorney General.
(b) The Director of the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol.
(c) The President of the Mississippi Municipal Association or his designee.
(d) The President of the Mississippi Association of Supervisors or his designee.
(e) The President of the Mississippi Constable Association or his designee.
(f) The President of the Mississippi Campus Law Enforcement Officers Association or his designee.
The Attorney General, the Director of the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol and the respective presidents of the foregoing associations shall serve only for their respective terms of office.
(4) Members of the board shall serve without compensation, but shall be entitled to receive reimbursement for any actual and reasonable expenses incurred as a necessary incident to such service, including mileage, as provided in Section 25-3-41.
(5) There shall be a chairman and a vice chairman of the board, elected by and from the membership of the board. The board shall adopt rules and regulations governing times and places for meetings and governing the manner of conducting its business, but the board shall meet at least every three (3) months.
(6) The Governor shall call an organizational meeting of the board not later than thirty (30) days after the effective date of this chapter.
(7) The board shall report annually to the Governor and the Legislature on its activities, and may make such other reports as it deems desirable.
(8) The training officers of all police academies in the state whose curricula are approved by the board shall be advisors to the board. They shall be entitled to all privileges of the board members, including travel expenses and subsistence, but shall not be eligible to vote at board meetings.
SECTION 4. Section 45-6-7, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward 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) Revoke certification for cause and in the manner provided in this chapter.
(e) 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.
(f) 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.
(g) Make recommendations concerning any matter within its purview pursuant to this chapter.
(h) Make such inspection and evaluation as may be necessary to determine if governmental units are complying with the provisions of this chapter.
(i) 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.
(j) 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.
(k) 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.
(l) Adopt and amend regulations consistent with law, for its internal management and control of board programs.
(m) Enter into contracts or do such things as may be necessary and incidental to the administration of this chapter.
SECTION 5. Section 45-6-9, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:
45-6-9. The Criminal Justice Planning Commission shall provide administrative and fiscal support for the Board on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Training, and the Executive Director of the Commission shall serve as the director of the board.
SECTION 6. Section 45-6-11, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward 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.
SECTION 7. Section 45-6-13, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward 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.
(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 8. Section 45-6-15, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:
45-6-15. (1) Such assessments as are collected under Section 99-19-73 and contributions, grants, and other monies received by the board under the provisions of this chapter shall be deposited in a special fund hereby created in the State Treasury and designated the "Law Enforcement Officers Training Fund," which shall be expended by the board to defray the expenses of the program as authorized and appropriated by the Legislature.
(2) The board may accept for any of its purposes and functions under this chapter any and all donations, both real and personal property, and grants of money from any governmental unit or public agency, or from any institution, person, firm or corporation.
(3) Money authorized and appropriated by the Legislature shall be paid by the State Treasurer upon warrants issued by the Department of Finance and Administration, which shall issue its warrants upon requisitions signed by the proper person, officer or officers of the commission, in the manner provided by law.
SECTION 9. Section 45-6-17, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:
45-6-17. (1) Any law enforcement officer who does not comply with the provisions of this chapter, or whose certificate has been suspended or revoked under provisions of this chapter, shall not be authorized to exercise the powers of law enforcement officers generally, and particularly shall not be authorized to exercise the power of arrest.
(2) Any state agency or political subdivision that employs a person as a law enforcement officer who does not meet the requirements of this chapter, or who employs a person whose certificate has been suspended or revoked under provisions of this chapter, is prohibited from paying the salary of such person, and any person violating this subsection shall be personally liable for making such payment.
SECTION 10. Section 45-6-19, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:
45-6-19. (1) The chief of police of any municipality in the State of Mississippi is required to annually complete ten (10) hours of executive level continuing education courses which are approved by the Mississippi Board on Law Enforcement Officers Standards and Training. Such education courses may be provided by an accredited law enforcement academy or by the Mississippi Chiefs of Police Association.
(2) Any chief of police who fails to comply with the provisions of this section shall be subject to having his certification as a chief of police revoked by the Mississippi Board on Law Enforcement Officers Standards and Training, in accordance with Section 45-6-11.
(3) The Mississippi Board on Law Enforcement Officers Standards and Training is authorized to institute and promulgate all rules necessary for considering the revocation of any municipal chief of police who does not comply with the provisions of this section, and may grant, for sufficient cause shown, an extension of time in which compliance with the provisions of this section may be made.
(4) Any chief of police who is aggrieved by any order or ruling made under the provisions of this section has the same rights and procedure of appeal as from any other order or ruling of the Mississippi Board on Law Enforcement Officers Standards and Training.
SECTION 11. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1997.