2004 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Little, Gordon, Robertson, Burton, Hewes, Kirby, Michel, Flowers, Chamberlin, Nunnelee, Brown, Clarke, Carmichael, Mettetal, Morgan, White
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 41-29-107, 41-29-108, 41-29-111 AND 45-1-2, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO ASSIGN THE COMMISSIONER OF PUBLIC SAFETY SUCH POWERS AND DUTIES DEEMED NECESSARY TO CARRY OUT THE LAWFUL FUNCTIONS OF THE MISSISSIPPI BUREAU OF NARCOTICS, TO PROVIDE FOR THE APPOINTMENT OF THE DIRECTOR OF THE BUREAU, TO PROVIDE THAT FUNDS APPROPRIATED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY FOR THE USE OF THE BUREAU SHALL BE BUDGETED AND MAINTAINED BY THE DEPARTMENT; TO AMEND SECTION 1, CHAPTER 520, LAWS OF 1972, IN CONFORMITY THERETO; 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. (1) From and after July 1, 2004, the Commissioner of Public Safety may assign to the appropriate offices such powers and duties deemed appropriate to carry out the lawful functions of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics.
(2) There is hereby created within the Mississippi Department of Public Safety an office to be known as the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics * * *. The said office shall have * * * a director who shall be appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate.
(3) Any funds, property or PINS that are appropriated to or otherwise received by the bureau, or appropriated to, transferred to or otherwise received by the Department of Public Safety for the use of the bureau, shall be budgeted and maintained by the department as funds of the department. Personnel occupying PINS transferred from the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics to the Mississippi Department of Public Safety shall serve on a probationary basis for the twelve (12) months following transfer.
(4) The Commissioner of Public Safety is empowered to employ or appoint necessary agents. The Commissioner of Public Safety 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.
(5) 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) nor shall have attained the age of thirty-six (36) 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 Drug Enforcement Administration or the 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 Drug Enforcement Administration or the United States Justice Department.
* * *
(6) The Commissioner of Public Safety may assign members of the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol, regardless of age, to 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 office or department within the Mississippi Department of Public Safety except by the Commissioner of Public Safety. 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 compensation and 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 Commissioner of Public Safety may assign employees of the Highway Safety Patrol to the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics and also assign agents of the bureau to the Highway Patrol; provided, however, that employees so assigned meet all established requirements for duty.
(7) The Commissioner of Public Safety may enter into contracts or agreements with the State Board of Health for purposes of recruitment and screening of applicants through the merit system.
(8) The Commissioner of Public Safety 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.
(9) The Commissioner of Public Safety 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.
(10) In transferring the responsibilities of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics to the Department of Public Safety, the commissioner and the director shall develop and implement written security precautions which shall be observed by all affected employees. The commissioner and the director of the bureau shall review, modify and approve the plan prior to the effective date of the merger of responsibilities required herein.
SECTION 2. Section 41-29-108, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
41-29-108. (1) The * * * Commissioner of Public Safety is hereby authorized to accept vehicles which may be available from the federal government for use in enforcement of this article. The commissioner is further authorized to expend reasonable funds from any funds appropriated for the bureau for the delivery, repair and maintenance of such automobiles.
(2) The commissioner is further authorized to rent or lease motor vehicles for undercover missions. Such vehicles shall be used only on specified missions and not as additions to the regularly authorized and budgeted vehicles of the bureau.
SECTION 3. Section 41-29-111, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
41-29-111. The Commissioner of Public Safety shall administer this article and shall work in conjunction and cooperation with the State Board of Pharmacy, county and municipal law enforcement agencies, the district and county attorneys, the Office of the Attorney General and the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol. The State Board of Health shall work with the bureau in an advisory capacity and shall be responsible for recommending to the Legislature the appropriate schedule for all substances to be scheduled or rescheduled in Sections 41-29-113 through 41-29-121. In making a recommendation regarding a substance, the board shall consider the following:
(a) (1) The actual or relative potential for abuse;
(2) The scientific evidence of its pharmacological effect, if known;
(3) The state of current scientific knowledge regarding the substance;
(4) The history and current pattern of abuse;
(5) The scope, duration and significance of abuse;
(6) The risk to the public health;
(7) The potential of the substance to produce psychic or physiological dependence liability; and
(8) Whether the substance is an immediate precursor of a substance already controlled under this article.
(b) After considering the factors enumerated in paragraph (a), the board shall make findings with respect thereto and issue a recommendation to control the substance if it finds the substance has a potential for abuse.
(c) If the board designates a substance as an immediate precursor, substances which are precursors of the controlled precursor shall not be recommended for control solely because they are precursors of the controlled precursor.
(d) If any substance is designated, rescheduled, or deleted as a controlled substance under federal law and notice thereof is given to the board, it shall recommend the control of the substance under this article at the next session of the Legislature.
(e) Authority to control under this article does not extend to distilled spirits, wine, malt beverages, or tobacco as those terms are defined or used in the Local Option Alcoholic Beverage Control Law, being Sections 67-1-1 through 67-1-91, and the Tobacco Tax Law of 1934, being Sections 27-69-1 through 27-69-77. It is the intent of the Legislature of the State of Mississippi that the bureau shall concentrate its efforts and resources on the enforcement of the Uniform Controlled Substances Law with respect to illicit narcotic and drug traffic in the state.
The controlled substances listed in the schedules in Sections 41-29-113 through 41-29-121 are included by whatever official, common, usual, chemical or trade name designated.
(f) The board shall recommend the exclusion of any nonnarcotic substance from a schedule if such substance may, under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and the laws of this state, be lawfully sold over the counter without a prescription.
SECTION 4. Section 45-1-2, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
45-1-2. (1) The Executive Director of the Department of Public Safety shall be the Commissioner of Public Safety.
(2) The Commissioner of Public Safety shall establish the organizational structure of the Department of Public Safety which shall include the creation of any units necessary to implement the duties assigned to the department and consistent with specific requirements of law, including, but not limited to:
(a) Office of Public Safety Planning;
(b) Office of Medical Examiner;
(c) Office of Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol;
(d) Office of Crime Laboratories;
(e) Office of Law Enforcement Officers' Training Academy;
(f) Office of Support Services;
(g) The Office of Narcotics, known as the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics * * *.
(3) The department shall be headed by a commissioner who shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the Governor. The appointment of the commissioner shall be made with the advice and consent of the Senate. The commissioner may assign to the appropriate offices such powers and duties as deemed appropriate to carry out the department's lawful functions.
(4) The commissioner of the department shall appoint heads of offices, who shall serve at the pleasure of the commissioner. The commissioner shall have the authority to organize the offices established by subsection (2) of this section as deemed appropriate to carry out the responsibilities of the department. The organization charts of the department shall be presented annually with the budget request of the Governor for review by the Legislature.
(5) The commissioner of the department shall appoint, from within the Department of Public Safety, a statewide safety training officer who shall serve at the pleasure of the commissioner and whose duty it shall be to perform public training for both law enforcement and private persons throughout the state concerning proper emergency response to the mentally ill, terroristic threats or acts, domestic conflict, other conflict resolution, and such other matters as the commissioner may direct.
SECTION 5. Section 1, Chapter 520, Laws of 1972, is amended as follows:
Section 1. (a) The Mississippi Bureau of Drug Enforcement shall henceforth be designated as an office known as the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics within the Department of Public Safety.
(b) The Mississippi Bureau of Drug Enforcement as created by Chapter 521, Section 3, Laws of 1971, being Section 6831-53, Mississippi Code of 1942, is hereby transferred from the State Board of Health to the Mississippi Department of Public Safety; all personnel, records, property, equipment and all funds allocated the Bureau of Drug Enforcement are hereby transferred to and placed under the supervision of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics of the Department of Public Safety. * * *
SECTION 6. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2004.