CHAPTER 140

FORMERLY

SENATE BILL, NO. 282

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 41, TITLE 11 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE CREATION OF A SPECIAL, LAW ENFORCEMENT ASSISTANCE FUND.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Section 1. Amend Chapter 41, Title 11 of the Delaware Code by designating the current Sections 4101 through 4105 as Sub-part A of said chapter and by adding the following sections to the designated as Sub-part B.

Section 4110. Declaration of Purpose.

The General Assembly hereby declares that in order to provide funds to combat organzied crime, especially with respect to the unlawful trafficking in controlled substances, unlawful gambling activities, and unlawful pornographic and prostitution-related activities, it is necessary to establish a fund for the use of law enforcement agencies in the State. This special fund is hereby created and shall be known as the "Special Law Enforcement Assistance Fund."

Section 4111. Use of Funds.

The use of money from this special fund must be for the purposes declared herein as such requires the use of United States currency in undercover operations or which requires the reimbursement for payment of overtime to investigators working on organized crime investigations; provided, however, that such overtime may be paid by their agency only to officers of state and local law enforcement agencies or to auditors from the Office of Auditor of Accounts.

Section 4112. Creation of Fund.

Upon the forfeiture of any money in a criminal case in any court of this State, the same shall be paid over to the Prothonotary or Clerk of the Court, as the case may be, who shall collect the same and transmit it to the State Treasurer to be held as special funds for the purposes referred to in §4110 and §4111. The Special Law Enforcement Assistance Fund shall not include fines, court costs, or restitution ordered by the court in any criminal case, nor shall It include bail forfeitures. It shall, however, include any money or the proceeds obtained from the sale or other disposition of any property which is forfeited to the State by determination of the court that the property was (1) used for criminal purposes or (2) was obtained as the fruits of a criminal enterprise.

Section 4113, Disbursement of Funds.

(a) The disbursement of funds from this account shall be made by the State Treasurer to a law enforcement agency only upon written application by the agency and upon authorization by the Attorney General on a form designed for such purpose by the Attorney General and the State Treasurer.

(b) This application and authorization form must include the following information; (1) The amount of funds requested;

(2) The anticipated purpose for which such funds are requested;

(3) The amount of any and all funds received by said agency from the Special Law Enforcement Assistance Fund during the previous five fiscal years; and

(4) The name of the agency requesting said funds and the name of the individual in that agency who shall be responsible for keeping accurate records as to the use of said funds.

(c) The Attorney General shall determine whether or not the expressed purpose for the expenditure requested is included within those purposes allowed under this sub-part; and further, whether the proposed expenditure of funds for the expressed purpose will be in the best interests of law enforcement. If the Attorney General determines that the proposed expenditure meets these criteria, he may authorize the expenditure in whole ar in part and only then shall the funds be paid to the appropriate law enforcement agency.

(d) The methods and procedures established for the application and expenditure of this fund are not subject to the normal accounting practices set forth in 29 Del. C., Chapter 65.

(e) All records, applications, approvals, authorizations and reports required by this sub-part shall be exempt from disclosure under the provisions of Chapter 100, Title 29 of the Delaware Code.

Section 4114. Accounting for Funds.

(a) Funds obtained by law enforcement agencies pursuant to this sub-chapter shall be used only for the purposes set out in subsection (b) of this section. Each agency receiving any such funds during any fiscal year shall render on or before June 30 of each year a full and complete accounting for the use of such funds to the Attorney General, who shall attain such accountings for inspection by the State Auditor. Any Special Law Enforcement Asistance funds which are in the hands of any agency and which arc not fully expended by the end of the fiscal year must then be returned by the agency to the Fund unless the agency has requested and has received an authorization in writing for an extension of up to 120 days by the Attorney General.

(b) Funds from the Special Law Enforcement Assistance Fund may he used for the following types of investigative activates:

(1) Payment of informant money;

(2) Payment for the purchase by undercover agents of unlawful substances, such as but not limited to counterfeit or real controlled substances, pornographic materials, stolen property or other contraband;

(3) Use as gambling front money by undercover agents;

(4) Payment of overtime to Delaware state or local law enforcement officers or auditors from the Office of Auditor of Accounts when engaged in special or extraordinary investigations of organized criminal activity.

Section 4115. Review of Records.

Any agency receiving funds from the Special Law Enforcement Assistance Fund shall on or before July 15, submit a detailed and complete accounting of the disbursement for 111 such funds from the prior fiscal year to the Auditor of Accounts and the Attorney General. The Auditor and Attorney General shall review said accounting and shall maintain them as confidential files. The Attorney General shall submit on or before October I of each year a confidential report to the chairman and vice-chairman of the Joint Finance Committee summarizing the expenditures from this fund during the preceding fiscal year.

Section 4116. Excess Funds.

If at any time the amount of funds segregated in the Special Law Enforcement Assistance Fund exceeds $250,000, the excess shall be deposited in the General Fund.

Section 2. Amend Chapter 23, Title 11 of the Delaware Code relating to vehicles as follows:

Amend §2325 by deleting the words "general funds of the State as they now appear at the end of such sentence and substituting therefore the words "Special Law Enforcement Assistance Fund."

Approved July 13, 1981.