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H.236

Introduced by   Representatives Myers of Essex, Jerman of Essex, Evans of Essex, Atkins of Winooski, Baker of West Rutland, Donaghy of Poultney and Pillsbury of Brattleboro

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject:  Public safety; Vermont criminal justice training council; appointments; law enforcement officers; certifications; revocations and suspensions

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to:  (1) authorize the Vermont criminal justice training council to suspend or revoke a law enforcement officer’s certification; (2) recognize the council as a law enforcement agency; and (3) grant law enforcement authority to council employees at the discretion of the council.

AN ACT RELATING TO AUTHORIZING THE VERMONT CRIMINAL JUSTICE TRAINING COUNCIL TO SUSPEND OR REVOKE A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER’S CERTIFICATION

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  20 V.S.A. § 2355(a) is amended to read:

(a)  The council shall adopt rules with respect to:

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(11)  Decertification of Revocation of certification for persons who have been convicted of a felony subsequent to their certification as law enforcement officers violated rules of the council pertaining to determination of full-time or part-time status and basic training standards for law enforcement officers, and for failure to meet annual mandatory in-service training requirements for full‑time or part-time law enforcement officers.  Rules adopted pursuant to this subdivision shall include requirements that prior to revocation of certification, the law enforcement agency at which the law enforcement officer is employed be notified of the council’s intent to revoke certification, and the law enforcement officer be given a reasonable opportunity to comply with the annual mandatory training requirements;

(12)  Decertification of persons who have not complied with in-service training requirements, provided that the council, through its executive director, may grant a 60-day waiver to a police officer who has failed to meet his or her annual in-service training requirements but who is able to complete those training requirements within that 60-day period.  

(A)  Suspension of a law enforcement officer’s certification for a period of time not to exceed one year:

(i)  on a determination of probable cause by a judge in a court of law that the officer has committed a felony; or

(ii)  after a conviction in a court of law of a crime of moral turpitude as identified by rule of the council.

(B)  Suspensions issued under subdivision (A)(i) of this       subdivision (12) may be extended until the reason for the suspension has been removed.

(13)  Revocation of a law enforcement officer’s certification:

(A)  after a conviction of a felony;

(B)  if certification was obtained by fraudulent or improper means;

(C)  if certification was issued through administrative error; or

(D)  after a conviction in a court of law for a misdemeanor which was committed while in the performance of law enforcement duties.

(14)  The right of a person who has had his or her certification revoked to reapply for certification within a period of five years or earlier from the date of revocation.  No time restriction may be imposed if the certification was issued through administrative error.

(15)  The recognition of the council as a law enforcement agency with law enforcement powers granted to designated employees and applicable policies and procedures.

Sec. 2.  20 V.S.A. § 2357(12) is added to read:

(12)  Appoint a five‑member committee for the purpose of determining grounds for revocation or suspension of certification.  The committee shall be comprised of current full-time certified law enforcement officers and shall include a municipal police officer, a deputy sheriff, a member of the Vermont state police, a member of the Vermont department of fish and wildlife, and a member of the Vermont department of motor vehicles.  Three of the five appointees shall be at or below the rank of corporal.  The committee shall hold hearings to determine the basis for revocation or suspension of certification pursuant to rules adopted by the council.  The council shall consider recommendations of the committee at a special meeting called for this purpose.

Sec. 3.  20 V.S.A. § 2358 is amended to read:

§ 2358.  MINIMUM TRAINING STANDARDS

(a)  Unless waived by the council under standards adopted by rule, and notwithstanding Notwithstanding any statute or charter to the contrary, no person shall exercise law enforcement authority unless he or she is certified by the council.  Certification shall be granted to:

(1)  as a part-time law enforcement officer without completing who satisfactorily completes a basic training course within a time prescribed by rule of the council; or

(2)  as a full-time law enforcement officer without who either:

(A)  completing satisfactorily completes a basic training course in the time and manner prescribed by the council; or

(B)  having received, before July 1, 1968, permanent full-time appointment as a law enforcement officer, and completing satisfactorily completes a basic training course before July 1, 1982.

(3)  as a full or part-time law enforcement officer without completing annual in-service training requirements as prescribed by the council.

(b)  The council may waive the training requirements of this section pursuant to standards adopted by the council by rule.

(c)  A full-time or part-time law enforcement officer certified by the council shall complete in-service training requirements as prescribed by the council.

(d)  All programs required by this section shall be approved by the council. Completion of a program shall be established by a certificate to that effect signed by the executive director of the council.  A certificate to that effect signed by the executive director of the council shall establish completion of a program.

(c)(e)  For the purposes of this section:

(1)  “Law enforcement officer” means a member of the department of public safety who exercises law enforcement powers, a member of the state police, a municipal police officer, a constable who exercises law enforcement powers, a motor vehicle inspector, an employee of the department of liquor control who exercises law enforcement powers, an investigator employed by the secretary of state, board of medical practice investigators employed by the department of health, an attorney general or a state’s attorney, a fish and game warden, a sheriff, or a deputy sheriff who exercises law enforcement powers, or a railroad police officer commissioned pursuant to 30 V.S.A. chapter 45, subchapter 8; or the executive director of the council and employees of the council who have law enforcement authority.

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(d)(f)  The council may determine whether a particular position is full time or part time.  Any requirements Requirements in this section shall be optional for any elected official.

Sec. 4.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect upon passage.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us