SB 0451 Revises training and certification of officers
LR Number:L1218.04C Fiscal Note:1218-04
Committee:Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence
Last Action:05/14/99 - H Calendar S Bills for Third Reading w/HCS(In Fiscal) Journal page:
Title:HCS SB 451
Effective Date:August 28, 1999
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Current Bill Summary

HCS/SB 451 - This act revises laws concerning the training and certification requirements for peace officers, certified reserve officers and reserve officers. New definitions have been added to distinguish between peace officers, certified reserve officers and non-certified reserve officers. The act removes the exemption for all counties of the third classification from the 470 hour basic training requirement for peace officers and certified reserve officers, and requires 470 hours of training, and includes a sunset provision for the exemption of January 1, 2001.

The act clarifies the authority of non-certified reserve officers. All academy applicants are required to be finger- printed, in order to conduct a criminal history check, both state and federal. Reciprocity for officers from other jurisdictions is allowed.

The act requires certification of employed county deputies, consistent with other peace officers. The reasons for any type of termination, resignation or retirement are required to be filed with POST (Police Officers Standards and Training), stating whether it was due to a violation of law or written and distributed regulations, or whether the officer was the subject of a pending investigation.

An applicant may be denied for the same reasons as listed for revocation or suspension, and allows the Director to warn, censure, probate, refuse to issue, or to suspend or revoke, a certificate. Certificate holders may seek review by the Administrative Hearing Commission. The act allows the immediate suspension of certificates when the holder has endangered the public, and provides due process for the officer, when it appears to be in the public interest and safety. The Department of Public Safety may obtain an injunction when a certificate holder is engaging in activities which create a serious danger to the health, safety or welfare of others. Any out-of-state disciplinary action may be cause for discipline in this state, if it was related to unprofessional conduct.

The act grants the Department the power to issue and enforce subpoenas, and allows discovery and admission into evidence of any records relating to a peace officer or certified reserve officer during a hearing on the officer's fitness to serve. Records concerning the officer's fitness may not be withheld on the basis of privilege. Individuals involved in the proceeding, who act in good faith and without negligence or malice are immune from liability.

Surplus training funds may be used for additional training of law enforcement officers and personnel. The act eliminates the provision allowing municipalities with a population of less than 2,000 to hire untrained and uncertified peace officers, so that a person who cannot be certified due to a criminal history is prohibited from being hired in a small city. Any violation of the chapter is a Class B misdemeanor.

The act requires that a sheriff must complete at least 120 hours towards training requirements by the time of taking office.

The St. Louis Board of Commissioners may compensate the chief of police for accumulated vacation leave in lieu of time off with pay, upon agreement of both parties.

The Department of Public Safety shall provide burial and death benefits to a surviving spouse, eligible child or executor of a public safety officer killed in the line of duty.

The act establishes the Policemen and Sheriff's Deputies Trust Fund, to fulfill minimum salary requirements for certain political subdivisions beginning fiscal year 2001, and sunsetting July 1, 2004.