CHAPTER 261

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE II, DELAWARE CODE, TO ADD A NEW CHAPTER 84 TO PROVIDE MANDATORY TRAINING AND EDUCATION FOR POLICE OFFICERS OF MUNICIPALITIES AND OTHER GOVERNMENTAL UNITS OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE AND ESTABLISHING THE DELAWARE POLICE TRAINING COMMISSION.

WHEREAS, it is vital and necessary to public safety and security in these modern times to improve the administration of local and county law enforcement in order to better protect the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of this State, and, to that end, it is necessary and feasible to bring about such improvement through compulsory and uniform education and training for persons who seek to become permanent law enforcement officers; and

WHEREAS, facilities are under construction in this State for the purpose of providing a training academy for the Delaware State Police, which said facility, properly staffed and administered, by the Delaware State Police, could also provide much needed training for police officers and prospective police officers of municipalities, counties and other governmental units and agencies of the State of Delaware;

NOW, THEREFORE,

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware:

Section 1. Title II of the Delaware Code of 1953, is hereby amended by adding thereto a new Chapter 84 to be entitled, "Delaware Police Training Commission and Program" and to read as follows:

§ 8401. Definitions

As used in this chapter—

"Approved school" shall mean a school authorized by the Commission to provide a mandatory training and education for police officers as prescribed in this chapter.

"Commission" shall mean the Delaware Police Training Commission.

"Permanent appointment" shall mean appointment by the authority of any municipality or governmental unit in or of the State of Delaware to permanent status as a police officer.

"Police Officer" shall mean a member of a police force or other law enforcement agency of the state or of any county or municipality who is responsible for the prevention and the detection of crime and the enforcement of laws of the state or other governmental units within the state; provided, however, for purposes of this Chapter this term shall not include the following: (a) a Sheriff, regular Deputy Sheriff or Constable; (b) Game Warden or Inspector for a State Agency whose responsibility is limited to the enforcement of the laws and regulations pertaining to such agency; or (c) a person holding police power by virtue of occupying any other position or office.

§ 8402.

There is hereby created the Delaware Police Training Commission. For administrative purposes only, this Commission and its staff shall be within the State Highway Department, Division of State Police.

§ 8403.

(a) The Commission shall be composed of six members.

(b) The Commission shall be as follows, a Chairman to be appointed by and to serve at the pleasure of the Governor, the Attorney General, the Superintendent of the Delaware State Police, the Chief of the City of Wilmington Police, the Superintendent of the Department of Public Instruction, the President of the Delaware League of Local Governments. The Chairman shall be a person with substantial practical experience in the field of law enforcement.

(c) No formal action on any matter of policy, appointment or certification shall be valid unless it shall be by unanimous vote of members personally.

§ 8404. Organization of the Commission

(a) A Vice-Chairman and a Secretary shall be elected from among the members of the Commission at its first meeting. The Commission shall hold no less than two regular meetings each year and may meet at such other times as it may determine. The Chairman shall fix the time and place of such meetings in his discretion, but upon written request of any three members, the Chairman shall call a meeting pursuant to the terms of such request. The Commission shall report annually to the Governor and the General Assembly concerning its activities. Four members shall constitute a quorum. The Governor shall summon the Commission to its initial meeting.

(b) Notwithstanding any provision of law, Commission membership shall not disqualify any member from holding any other public or employment or constitute a forfeit of such office.

(c) Commission members shall receive no compensation for their services but shall be allowed their actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.

§ 8405. Powers and duties

The Commission shall have the following powers and duties:

(a) To establish minimum educational and training qualifications requisite to permanent appointment as a police officer.

(b) To establish minimum educational and training qualifications for temporary, seasonal or probationary, employment as a police officer.

(c) To prescribe standards for schools at which police training courses shall be conducted, including but not limited to existing county or municipal schools.

(d) To establish minimum training requirements, attendance requirements, and standards of operations for such police training schools.

(e) To prescribe minimum qualifications for instructors at such schools and certify, as qualified, such instructors to their particular courses of study.

(f) To approve and issue certificates of approval to such police training schools, to inspect such schools from time to time, and to revoke for cause any approval or certificate issued to such schools.

(g) The Director of the Delaware State Police, Training Division, shall be responsible for administering the mandatory training and education for police officers program with responsibility and authority to obtain professional assistance from other police and professional organizations to accomplish the purposes and objectives of the program.

(h) To consult and cooperate with all agencies of government, state and local, concerning the development and administration of the training and standard program and to contract with such agencies as it deems necessary to the performance of its powers and duties.

() To accept or receive grants or donations from any source, public or private, for the purposes of this chapter.

(a) To make such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out purposes and objectives of this chapter.

(b) To provide a modification of or exemption from the application of any provision of this chapter or the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder, for any police officer of a municipality if (1) the police officer is employed on a part-time basis, which for this purpose shall be defined to mean a police officer employed for at least ten months per year for less than an average of 30 hours per week, or a police officer employed for less than twelve weeks each year; and (2) the municipality makes application for such modification or exemption and establishes that it will suffer a hardship if the modification or exemption is not granted.

§ 8406. Mandatory training of police officers

(a) Every municipality or other governmental unit of this State employing or intending to employ on a permanent basis police officers as defined in this chapter shall authorized attendance at an approved school by persons holding a probationary appointment as a police officer, and, upon the expiration of one year after the effective date of this chapter, every such municipality or other governmental unit shall require that no person shall thereafter be given or accept a permanent appointment as a police officer unless such person has successfully completed a police training and education course at an approved school.

(b) Police officers already serving under permanent appointment on the effective date of this chapter shall not be compelled to meet this requirement as a condition of tenure or continuing employment; nor shall failure of any such police officer to fulfill such requirements as the Commission may hereafter establish by regulation make him ineligible for promotion to which he might otherwise be eligible.

§ 8407. Probationary or temporary appointment

Notwithstanding the provision of Section 8406 herein, upon the expiration of one year from the effective date of this chapter, a probationary or temporary appointment as a police officer may be made for a total period not exceeding one year for the purpose of enabling a person seeking permanent appointment to take a police training course of program as prescribed under this chapter. No person shall be permitted to take a police training course unless he holds such probationary or temporary appointment, except in the discretion of the Commission, and such appointee shall be entitled to a leave of absence with pay during the period of attendance at such police training course or program.

§ 8408. Compensation and expenses

During any training program, the compensation or wages of any trainee police officer shall be the responsibility of the employing authority. The responsibility for providing all other costs, including but not limited to tuition, living expenses, books and equipment shall be that of the Commission.

§ 8409. Reservation of local powers

Except as expressly provided herein, nothing contained in this chapter shall be deemed to limit the powers, rights and duties of any State, county, municipal or other governmental unit.

§ 8410.

The General Assembly shall appropriate each year to the Delaware Police Training Commission such funds as are necessary for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this Act.

Approved July 11, 1969.