Missouri State Senate

Senate Committee Substitute

SCS/SB 235 - This act modifies certain provisions relating to the Missouri State Water Patrol.

Sections 36.030, 36.031, 306.161, 306.228, & 650.005

This act requires the commissioner of the Missouri State Water Patrol to establish a pay plan that is equitable to the Highway Patrol's pay plan. The commissioner shall establish the plan with the advice of the director of the division of personnel and it shall consider rank and length of service. The Missouri State Water patrol is exempted from the merit system under Chapter 36, RSMo.

Section 306.163

Under this section, the lieutenant colonel of the water patrol shall assume the duties of the commissioner in his or her absence or when designated by the commissioner. If the commissioner and lieutenant colonel are disabled, the Governor may designate a major as acting commissioner.

Section 306.226

This section establishes certain requirements for patrolmen and radio personnel of the water patrol including a minimum age requirement, U.S. and Missouri citizenship, no criminal record with felonies, and certain educational and physical strength requirements

Sections 306.161 & 306.228 - See above

Section 306.230

The commissioner shall prescribe rules for instruction and discipline and make administrative rules to fix the hours of duty for patrol members. The commissioner shall divide the state into district and assign members to such districts.

By general order, the commissioner may establish the circumstances under which members are promoted. The commissioner shall classify, and by promotion, increase the rank of members after not less than one year of service. If the commissioner finds the candidate pool for a promotion too small, he or she may promote from the next lower rank.

After a probationary period of one year, members of the patrol shall be subject to disciplinary action only for cause after a petition with a formal charge has been filed in writing before or by the commissioner and upon a vote by a majority of a board consisting of six unbiased members of the patrol taken after a hearing. A hearing shall be held within 30 days after the petition is filed and the board shall report to the commissioner their finding and vote of the board, whether the charges are true, and what discipline, if any, should be imposed. The commissioner shall decide the disciplinary action for the patrol member.

If a complaint is filed against a member, he or she shall be provided a copy of such complaint unless the commissioner postpones notification because such disclosure will seriously interfere with an investigation of the complaint.

Unless the patrol member consents in writing to an earlier time, the member shall not be interrogated or ordered to respond in writing until 48 hours after receiving the complaint. The member shall have a reasonable opportunity to have counsel present during any questioning. The member shall be entitled to a copy of the investigation reports and other information and present a written response prior to an initial recommendation of discipline. The commissioner may also withhold investigation reports and other information if disclosure would interfere with the investigation or may jeopardize the health or safety of any person.