CHAPTER 139

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 202

AS AMENDED BY HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 1

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 92, TITLE 11, DELAWARE CODE, RELATING TO THE RIGHTS OF LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS.

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

Section 1. Amend Chapter 92, Title 11 of the Delaware Code by striking in its entirety subsection (b) of Section 9200 and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

"(b) For purposes of this chapter a 'law enforcement officer' is defined as a police officer who is a sworn member of the Delaware State Police, of the Wilmington City Police Department, of the New Castle County Police, of the University of Delaware Police Division, or of the police department, bureau of police or police force of any incorporated municipality, city or town within this State; provided, however, that the provisions of this chapter shall not apply to the Superintendent or Deputy Superintendent of the Delaware State Police, or to any officer above the rank of Captain in the Delaware State Police, or to the chief of police of any police force in this State, or to any other officer who is the highest ranking officer in his or her law enforcement agency. Furthermore, no law enforcement officer not a member of one of the above agencies shall be covered by the provisions of this chapter."

Section 2. Further amend Chapter 92, Title 11 of the Delaware Code by striking in its entirety the last sentence of paragraph 3 of subsection (c) of Section 9200 and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

"No formal complaint against a law enforcement officer seeking dismissal or suspension or other formal disciplinary action shall be prosecuted under departmental rule or regulation unless the complaint is supported by substantial evidence derived from an investigation by an authorized member of the department."

Section 3. Further amend Chapter 92, Title 11 of the Delaware Code by striking in its entirety Section 9203 and substitute in lieu thereof the following:

"Section 9203. Hearing Required on Suspension or other Disciplinary Action.

If a law enforcement officer is (a) suspended for any reason, or (b) charged with conduct alleged to violate the rules or regulations or general orders of the agency that employs him or her, or is charged with a breach of discipline of any kind, which charge could lead to any form of disciplinary action (other than a reprimand) which may become part of the officer's permanent personnel record, then that officer shall be entitled to a hearing which shall be conducted in accordance with this chapter unless a contractual disciplinary grievance procedure executed by and between the agency and the bargaining unit of that officer is in effect, in which case the terms of that disciplinary grievance procedure shall take precedence and govern the conduct of the hearing."

Section 4. Further amend Chapter 92, Title 11 of the Delaware Code by striking from subsection (b) of Section 9205 and word "Commission" where it appears and substituting in lieu thereof the word "Council".

Section 5. Further amend Chapter 92, Title 11 of the Delaware Code by striking from Section 9209 the period ending that section and substituting in lieu thereof a comma and the following words and phrase; "conducted by the law enforcement agencies specified in Section 9200 (b) of this chapter."

Section 6. Further amend Chapter 92, Title 11 of the Delaware Code by adding a new Section 9210 to read as follows:

"Section 9210. Severability.

If any provision of this chapter or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, in whole or in part, then such invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of this chapter which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to that end the provisions of this chapter are declared severable."

Approved July 4, 1985.