CHAPTER 433

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 19, TITLE 11, DELAWARE CODE, RELATING TO THE AUTHORIZATION OF LOCAL GOVERNMENTS TO ENTER INTO AND RENEW POLICE MUTUAL AID AGREEMENTS.

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

Section 1. Chapter 19, Title 11, Delaware Code, is hereby amended by adding thereto a new subchapter as follows:

SUBCHAPTER III. Police Mutual Aid Agreements

§ 1941. Short Title

This subchapter may be cited as the Police Mutual Aid Agreement Act.

§ 1912. Definitions

As used in this subchapter —

"Mutual Aid Agreement" means a covenant between local governments enabling the police of one jurisdiction to enter into another jurisdiction for the purpose of giving assistance in emergencies.

"Emergency" means the existence of internal disorder, fire, flood, epidemic, state of war, other public disaster, or any other circumstance which, in the judgment of the principal law enforcement officer of the requesting jurisdiction, requires additional police assistance.

"Jurisdiction" means a recognized geographical area, such as a county, city, or town, in which a local government and its police have the authority, capacity, power and right to enforce laws.

"Police" includes all authorized law enforcement officers and agents of a jurisdiction.

§ 1943. Basic provisions

Whenever the necessity arises during an emergency, the police of one jurisdiction may, pursuant to a valid mutual aid agreement, lawfully enter into another jurisdiction for the purpose of assisting in meeting such emergency.

§ 1944. Mutual aid agreement

(a) The governing body of a county, city, or town, may in its discretion enter into mutual aid agreements for such periods as it deems advisable with any other county, city or town, within or without the State, including the District of Columbia, in order to establish and carry into effect a plan to provide mutual assistance through the furnishing of police and all necessary equipment in the event of an emergency.

(b) No governing body of a county, city or town shall enter into a mutual aid agreement unless the agreement provides that each of the parties shall:

(i) waive any and all claims against all other parties to the agreement which may arise out of authorized activities outside their respective jurisdictions pursuant to the agreement;

(ii) indemnify the other parties to the agreement from all claims by third parties for property damage or personal injury which may arise out of authorized activities of the other parties while acting outside their respective jurisdictions pursuant to the agreement.

§ 1945. Liability insurance

The governing body of any city, county or town in this State is authorized to procure or extend the necessary public liability insurance to cover claims arising out of mutual aid agreements executed with other jurisdictions.

§ 1946. Direction and authorization of activities

(a) The principal law enforcement officer of a jurisdiction shall be responsible for directing the activities of all police coming into his jurisdiction pursuant to the mutual aid agreement.

(b) The principal law enforcement officer shall be empowered to authorize all police from a foreign jurisdiction to enforce the laws of his jurisdiction to the same extent as if they were duly authorized law enforcement officers of the jurisdiction.

§ 1947. Immunities; benefits

Police when acting outside their respective jurisdictions pursuant to a mutual aid agreement, shall have all the immunities from liability and exemptions from laws, ordinances and regulations, and shall have all the pension, relief, disability, workmen's compensation, and other benefits enjoyed by them while performing their respective duties within their own jurisdiction.

Approved May 18, 1970.