2002 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Turner
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 45-3-21, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO ELIMINATE THE SUNSET PROVISION ON THE POLICE POWERS OF THE MISSISSIPPI HIGHWAY SAFETY PATROL; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 45-3-21, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
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45-3-21. (1) * * * The powers and duties of the Highway Safety Patrol shall be, in addition to all others prescribed by law, as follows:
(a) To enforce all of the traffic laws, rules and regulations of the State of Mississippi upon all highways of the state highway system and the rights-of-way of such highways; provided, however, that if any person commits an offense upon the state highway system and be pursued by a member of the Highway Safety Patrol, such patrol officer may pursue and apprehend such offender upon any of the highways or public roads of this state, or to any other place to which such offender may flee.
(b) To enforce all rules and regulations of the commissioner promulgated pursuant to legal authority.
(c) When so directed by the Governor, to enforce any of the laws of this state upon any of the highways or public roads thereof.
(d) Upon the request of the State Tax Commission, and with the approval of the Governor, to enforce all of the provisions of law with reference to the registration, license and taxation of vehicles using the highways of this state, and relative to the sizes, weights and load limits of such vehicles, and to enforce the provisions of all other laws administered by the State Tax Commission upon any of the highways or public roads of this state; and for such purpose the Highway Safety Patrol shall have the authority to collect and receive all taxes which may be due under any of such laws, and to report and remit same to the State Tax Commission in the manner required by law, or the rules and regulations of the commission.
(e) Upon request of the State Highway Commission or Public Service Commission, and when so instructed by the commissioner, to aid and assist in the enforcement of all laws which such agencies are authorized or required to enforce, and in the enforcement of the rules and regulations of such agencies.
(f) To arrest without warrant any person or persons committing or attempting to commit any misdemeanor, felony or breach of the peace within their presence or view, and to pursue and so arrest any person committing such an offense to and at any place in the State of Mississippi where he may go or be. Nothing herein shall be construed as granting the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol general police powers.
(g) To aid and assist any law enforcement officer whose life or safety is in jeopardy. Additionally, officers of the Highway Safety Patrol may arrest without warrant any fugitive from justice who has escaped or who is using the highways of the state in an attempt to flee. With the approval of the commissioner or his designee, officers of the Highway Safety Patrol may assist other law enforcement agencies in manhunts for convicted felons who have escaped and/or for alleged felons where there is probable cause to believe that the person being sought committed the felony and a felony had actually been committed.
(h) To cooperate with the State Forest Service by reporting all forest fires.
(i) Upon request of the sheriff or his designee, or board of supervisors of any county or the chief of police or mayor of any municipality, and when so instructed by the commissioner or his designee, to respond to calls for assistance in a law enforcement incident; such request and action shall be noted and clearly reflected on the radio logs of both the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol district substation and that of the requesting agency, entered on the local NCIC terminal, if available, and a request in writing shall follow within forty-eight (48) hours. Additionally, the time of commencement and termination of the specific law enforcement incident shall be clearly noted on the radio logs of both law enforcement agencies.
(2) The Legislature declares that the primary law enforcement officer in any county in the State of Mississippi is the duly qualified and elected sheriff thereof, but for the purposes of this paragraph there is hereby vested in the Department of Public Safety, in addition to the powers hereinabove mentioned and the other paragraphs of this subsection under the terms and limitations hereinafter mentioned and for the purpose of insuring domestic tranquility and for the purpose of preventing or suppressing, or both, crimes of violence, acts and conduct calculated to, or which may, provoke or lead to violence and/or incite riots, mobs, mob violence, a breach of the peace, and acts of intimidation or terror, the powers and duties to include the enforcement of all the laws of the State of Mississippi relating to such purposes, to investigate any violation of the laws of the State of Mississippi and to aid in the arrest and prosecution of persons charged with violating the laws of the State of Mississippi which relate to such purposes. Investigators of the Mississippi Criminal Investigation Bureau of the Department of Public Safety shall have general police powers to enforce all the laws of the State of Mississippi. All officers of the Department of Public Safety charged with the enforcement of the laws administered by that agency, for the purposes herein set forth, shall have full power to investigate, prevent, apprehend and arrest law violators anywhere in the state, and shall be vested with the power of general police officers in the performance of their duties. The officers of the Department of Public Safety are authorized and empowered to carry and use firearms and other weapons deemed necessary in the discharge of their duties as such and are also empowered to serve warrants and subpoenas issued under the authority of the State of Mississippi. The Governor shall be authorized to offer and pay suitable rewards to persons aiding in the investigation, apprehension and conviction of persons charged with acts of violence, or threats of violence or intimidation or acts of terrorism. The additional powers herein granted to or vested in the Department of Public Safety or any of its officers or employees by this subsection, excepting investigating powers, and those powers of investigators who shall have general police power, being the investigators in the Mississippi Criminal Investigation Bureau of the Department of Public Safety, shall not be exercised by the Department of Public Safety, or any of its officers or employees, except upon authority and direction of the Governor or Acting Governor, by proclamation duly signed, in the following instances, to wit:
(a) When requested by the sheriff or board of supervisors of any county or the mayor of any municipality on the grounds that mob violence, crimes of violence, acts and conduct of terrorism, riots or acts of intimidation, or either, calculated to or which may provoke violence or incite riots, mobs, mob violence, violence, or lead to any breach of the peace, or either, and acts of intimidation or terror are anticipated, and when such acts or conduct in the opinion of the Governor or Acting Governor would provoke violence or any of the foregoing acts or conduct set out in this subsection, and the sheriff or mayor, as the case may be, lacks adequate police force to prevent or suppress the same.
(b) Acting upon evidence submitted to him by the Department of Public Safety, or other investigating agency authorized by the Governor or Acting Governor to make such investigations, because of the failure or refusal of the sheriff of any county or mayor of any municipality to take action or employ such means at his disposal, to prevent or suppress the acts, conduct or offenses provided for in * * * this subsection, the Governor or Acting Governor deems it necessary to invoke the powers and authority vested in the Department of Public Safety.
(c) The Governor or Acting Governor is hereby authorized and empowered to issue his proclamation invoking the powers and authority vested by this paragraph, as provided in * * * this paragraph, and when the Governor or Acting Governor issues said proclamation in accordance herewith, said proclamation shall become effective upon the signing thereof and shall continue in full force and effect for a period of ninety (90) days, or for a shorter period if otherwise ordered by the Governor or Acting Governor. At the signing of the proclamation by the Governor or Acting Governor, the Department of Public Safety and its officers and employees shall thereupon be authorized to exercise the additional power and authority vested in them by this paragraph. The Governor and Acting Governor may issue additional proclamations for periods of ninety (90) days each under the authority of * * * this paragraph.
(d) All proclamations issued by the Governor or Acting Governor shall be filed in the Office of the Secretary of State on the next succeeding business day.
(3) It is not the intention of this section to vest the wide powers and authority herein provided for, as general powers of the Department of Public Safety, and the same are not hereby so vested, but to limit these general powers to cases and incidents wherein it is deemed necessary to prevent or suppress the offenses and conditions herein mentioned in this * * * section, and under the terms and conditions hereinabove enumerated, it being the sense of the Legislature that the prime duties of the Department of Public Safety are to patrol the highways of this state and enforce the highway safety laws.
(4) Patrol officers shall have no interest in any costs in the prosecution of any case through any court; nor shall any patrol officer receive any fee as a witness in any court held in this state, whether a state or federal court.
(5) * * * The general police power vested by virtue of the terms of * * * this section is solely for the purposes set out * * *.
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SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2002.