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1976 South Carolina Code of Laws
Unannotated
Updated through the end of the 2005 Regular Session


Disclaimer

This statutory database is current through the 2005 Regular Session of the South Carolina General Assembly. Changes to the statutes enacted by the 2006 General Assembly, which will convene in January 2006, will be incorporated as soon as possible. Some changes enacted by the 2006 General Assembly may take immediate effect. The State of South Carolina and the South Carolina Legislative Council make no warranty as to the accuracy of the data, or changes which may have been enacted since the 2005 Regular Session or which took effect after this database was prepared and users rely on the data entirely at their own risk.



Title 23 - Law Enforcement and Public Safety
CHAPTER 6.

DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY

ARTICLE 1.

GENERAL PROVISIONS

SECTION 23-6-10. Definitions.

For the purposes of this title, the following words, phrases, and terms are defined as follows:

(1) "Department" means the Department of Public Safety.

(2) "Director" means the chief administrative officer of the Department of Public Safety.

SECTION 23-6-20. Department of Public Safety established; divisions comprising Department; transfer of functions, powers, duties, responsibilities and authority; rules, standards, etc., of former entities remain in effect.

(A) The Department of Public Safety is established as an administrative agency of state government which is comprised of a South Carolina Highway Patrol Division, a South Carolina State Police Division, and a Division of Training and Continuing Education.

(B) The functions, powers, duties, responsibilities, and authority statutorily exercised by the following offices, sections, departments, or divisions of the following state agencies as existing on the effective date of this act are transferred to and devolved on the department to include the South Carolina Highway Patrol and the Safety Office Section of the Division of Finance and Administration of the South Carolina Department of Highways and Public Transportation; the Safety Enforcement Officers of the Office of Enforcement within the Transportation Division of the South Carolina Public Service Commission and the Governor's Office of Public Safety, together with all assets, liabilities, records, property, personnel, unexpended appropriations, and other funds shall be transferred to the control of the department. All rules, regulations, standards, orders, or other actions of these entities shall remain in effect unless specifically changed or voided by the department in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act, or otherwise provided.

SECTION 23-6-30. Duties and powers of department.

The department shall have the following duties and powers:

(1) carry out highway and other related safety programs;

(2) engage in driver training and safety activities;

(3) enforce the traffic, motor vehicle, commercial vehicle, and related laws;

(4) enforce size, weight, and safety enforcement statutes relating to commercial motor vehicles;

(5) operate a comprehensive law enforcement personnel training program;

(6) promulgate such rules and regulations in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act and Article 7 of this chapter for the administration and enforcement of the powers delegated to the department by law, which shall have the full force and effect of law;

(7) operate such programs and disseminate information and material so as to continually improve highway safety;

(8) receive and disburse funds and grants, including any donations, contributions, funds, grants, or gifts from private individuals, foundations, agencies, corporations, or the state or federal governments, for the purpose of carrying out the programs and objectives of this chapter; and

(9) do all other functions and responsibilities as required or provided for by law.

SECTION 23-6-35. Repealed by 2003 Act No. 51, Section 17, eff June 5, 2003.

SECTION 23-6-40. Director; appointment; duties; deputy directors.

(A) The Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint the director of the department who shall serve a term of four years. The director may only be removed pursuant to the provisions of Section 1-3-240(C). He shall receive such compensation as may be established under the provisions of Section 8-11-160 and for which funds have been authorized in the annual general appropriation act. The term of office for the first appointment under the provisions of this section shall be February 1, 1994 for a term of two years. The Governor shall submit the name of his appointee to the Senate by December first of the year prior to the date on which the term begins. A person appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate to fill a vacancy shall serve for the unexpired term only. This shall not prohibit the Governor from reappointing a person who is appointed to fill a vacancy as director of the department. All subsequent appointments shall be made in the manner of the original appointment for a term of four years.

(B) The director must administer the affairs of the department and must represent the department in its dealings with other state agencies, local governments, special purpose districts, and the federal government. The director must appoint a deputy director for each division and employ such other personnel for each division and prescribe their duties, powers, and functions as he considers necessary and as may be authorized by statute and for which funds have been authorized in the annual general appropriation act.

(C) The deputy director for each division shall serve at the pleasure of the director and the director shall recommend the salary for each deputy director as allowed by statute or applicable law.

SECTION 23-6-50. Annual audit; carrying forward funds from one fiscal year to the next.

The director shall annually cause the department to be audited. The audit must be conducted by a certified public accountant or firm of certified public accountants to be selected by the State Auditor. The designated accountant or firm of accountants shall issue audited financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, and such financial statements shall be made available annually by October fifteenth to the General Assembly. The costs and expenses of the audit must be paid by the department out of its funds.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, all revenue generated by the department from the sale of vehicles, various equipment, less the cost of disposition incurred by the Budget and Control Board Division of Operations, gasoline and insurance claims, during the prior fiscal year may be retained and carried forward into the current fiscal year and expended for the purpose of purchasing like items. Any unexpended balance on June 30 of the prior fiscal year authorized to be expended or used for any federal grant program may be retained and carried forward to the current fiscal year and used for matching committed or unanticipated grant funds, or both. The Department of Motor Vehicles is authorized to carry forward and expend all motor carrier registration fees collected pursuant to Chapter 23 of Title 58 for fiscal years 1996-1997, 1997-1998, 1998-1999 into fiscal year 1999-2000.

SECTION 23-6-90. Security of government facilities; employment, equipment, and provision of officers.

The department may employ, equip, and provide such officers as may be necessary to maintain the security of the Governor's Mansion Compound, and other governmental facilities, including the State Capitol Building, the facilities of the Capitol Complex, and other state buildings. The director must determine the most efficient and effective method of placing these officers within a law enforcement division in the department.

ARTICLE 3.

HIGHWAY PATROL DIVISION

SECTION 23-6-100. Highway Patrol Division, State Police Division created; distinctive uniforms, emblems, etc.

(A) There is created a South Carolina Highway Patrol Division and a South Carolina State Police Division within the Department of Public Safety. The South Carolina Highway Patrol Division shall have such troopers, officers, agents and employees as the department may deem necessary and proper for the enforcement of the traffic and other related laws, and the South Carolina State Police Division shall have such troopers, officers, agents and employees as the department may deem necessary and proper for the enforcement of the commercial motor carrier related laws, the enforcement of which is devolved upon the department. Such officers and troopers shall be commissioned by the Governor upon the recommendation of the Director of the Department of Public Safety. Such commissions may be terminated at the pleasure of the director.

(B) The department must provide the officers of the Highway Patrol and of the State Police with distinctive uniforms and suitable arms and equipment for use in the performance of their duties. Such officers and troopers shall at all times, when in the performance of their duties, wear complete uniforms with badges conspicuously displayed on the outside of their uniforms.

(C) The commanding officers of the South Carolina Highway Patrol and the South Carolina State Police respectively, with the approval of the director of the department, shall prescribe a unique and distinctive official uniform, with appropriate insignia to be worn by all officers when on duty and at such other times as the director shall order, and a distinctive color or colors and appropriate emblems for all motor vehicles used by the Highway Patrol and the State Police except those designated by the director. No other law enforcement agency, private security agency, or any person shall wear a similar uniform and insignia which may be confused with the uniform and insignia of the Highway Patrol or State Police. An emblem must not be used on a nondepartment motor vehicle, nor may such vehicle be painted in a color or in any manner which would cause the vehicle to be similar to a Highway Patrol or State Police vehicle or readily confused with it.

(D) The director shall file with the Legislative Council for publication in the State Register a description and illustration of the official highway patrol uniform with insignia and the emblems of the official highway patrol and motor vehicles including a description of the color of such uniforms and vehicles and a description and illustration of the official state police uniform with insignia and the emblems of the official state police and motor vehicles including a description of the color of such uniforms and vehicles.

(E) The South Carolina Highway Patrol Division shall transfer the service sidearm of an active duty trooper killed in the line of duty to the trooper's surviving spouse upon request at no charge once the sidearm has been rendered permanently inoperable.

SECTION 23-6-110. Existing uniforms and emblems continued in use during transition.

In order to carry out the provisions of Section 23-6-100 in an orderly and economical manner it is intended that all serviceable uniforms be continued in use until such time as the director considers it necessary for them to be replaced. These provisions shall also apply to the emblems for motor vehicles.

SECTION 23-6-120. Troopers and officers to file, or be covered by, bond.

Every officer and trooper commissioned pursuant to this chapter shall file a bond, or be covered by a surety bond, with the department in the amount of not less than two thousand dollars, subscribed by a duly licensed surety company, which shall be conditioned on the faithful performance of his duties. The duties include but are not limited to the prompt and proper accounting of all funds coming into his hands, the payment of any judgment recovered against him in any court of competent jurisdiction upon a cause of action arising out of breach or abuse of official duty or power, or the payment of damages sustained by any member of the public from any unlawful act of such officer or trooper. Coverage under such bond shall not include damage to persons or property arising out of the negligent operation of a motor vehicle. Such bond may be individual, schedule or blanket and on a form approved by the Attorney General. The premiums on such bonds shall be paid by the department.

SECTION 23-6-130. Violations of Section 23-6-100 may be enjoined; notice, petition, hearing.

Any violation of Section 23-6-100 may be enjoined by the court of common pleas upon petition of the director after due notice to the person violating the provisions of Section 23-6-100 and after a hearing on the petition.

SECTION 23-6-140. Powers, duties and responsibilities of officers and troopers.

The patrol of the highways of the State and the enforcement of the laws of the State relative to highway traffic, traffic safety, and motor vehicles shall be the primary responsibility of the troopers and officers of the South Carolina Highway Patrol. The troopers and officers of the State Police shall have the primary responsibility for the enforcement of laws relating to commercial motor carriers relating to size, weight, permits, licensing, and inspections for size and weight tolerance and safety. All officers and troopers shall have the same power to serve criminal processes against offenders as sheriffs of the various counties and also the same power as such sheriffs to arrest without warrants and to detain persons found violating or attempting to violate any laws of the State relative to highway traffic, motor vehicles or commercial motor carriers. These officers and troopers shall also have the same power and authority held by deputy sheriffs for the enforcement of the criminal laws of the State.

SECTION 23-6-145. Traffic stop by commissioned officer or uniformed officer; requirement of reasonable belief of violation of law.

A commissioned officer or a uniformed officer of the department may, upon reasonable belief that any vehicle is being operated in violation of any provision of statutory law, require the driver thereof to stop and exhibit the registration card issued for the vehicle, the individual's driver's license, and submit to an inspection of such vehicle and license.

SECTION 23-6-150. Summons; bail.

When any person is apprehended by a officer upon a charge of violating any laws of the State relative to highway traffic, motor vehicles or commercial motor carriers such person shall immediately be served with an official summons. The person charged may deposit bail with the arresting officer in lieu of being immediately brought before the proper magistrate, recorder, or other judicial officer to enter into a formal recognizance or make direct the deposit of a proper sum of money in lieu of a recognizance or incarceration. The apprehending officer may accept a sum of money as bail, not less than the minimum nor more than the maximum fine, but in no case to exceed two hundred dollars, to be in due course turned over to the judicial officer as money for bail. The bail deposited shall be in lieu of entering into a recognizance for his appearance for trial as set in the aforesaid summons or being incarcerated by the arresting officer and held for further action by the appropriate judicial officer. A receipt for the sum so deposited shall be given to such person by the arresting officer. The summons duly served as herein provided shall give the judicial officer jurisdiction to dispose of the matter. Upon receipt of the fixed sum of money the officer may release the person so charged as above provided for his further appearance before the proper judicial officer as provided for and required by the summons.

SECTION 23-6-170. No promotion of officer or trooper until council adopts promotion policy.

No officer or trooper may be promoted to a higher rank until such time as the council adopts a promotion policy for commissioned personnel and officers as provided for in Section 23-6-520.

SECTION 23-6-180. Retention of Patrolmen's permanent records after death or retirement.

The Department of Public Safety is directed to keep permanent records of all Highway Patrolmen who are killed in the line of duty or die in any other manner while actively employed as well as records of those who are retired.

ARTICLE 5.

DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY SPECIAL CONSTABLE

SECTION 23-6-200. Definitions.

For purposes of this article:

(1) "Former law enforcement officer" means:

(a) an officer who was previously commissioned by the Governor and who during his law enforcement career worked for the department;

(b) an officer who was commissioned by the Governor, and whose agency, office, or unit was transferred to the department pursuant to governmental restructuring, including former retired officers;

(c) an officer who was previously commissioned by the Governor whose agency, office, or unit was transferred to the department pursuant to governmental restructuring or any subsequent restructuring, including former retired officers; or

(d) other formerly commissioned law enforcement officers or retired officers in good standing from any law enforcement agency, state constables, or volunteer state constables serving without compensation whose appointment is certified by the State Law Enforcement Division as having completed the requisite training to maintain an active commission.

(2) "Department of Public Safety Special Constable" means a commission authorized by the department for a former law enforcement officer as defined in (1).

(3) "Director" means the chief administrative officer of the Department of Public Safety.

(4) "Department" means Department of Public Safety.

SECTION 23-6-210. Commissioning of special constables; powers and duties; removal; training.

(A) The director is authorized to establish programs for the commissioning of former law enforcement officers of the department. An individual commissioned pursuant to this section shall receive a Department of Public Safety Special Constable commission.

(B) The powers and duties of these special constables shall be determined by the director and specified in writing, and individuals commissioned pursuant to this section shall be subject to removal by the director at any time. Before assuming their duties, special constables shall take the oath of office required by law and successfully complete a course of training specified by the director.

(C) A constable shall be entitled to enforce the laws of this State and exercise the duties of his office throughout the State except as may be limited in subsection (B).

(D) The course of training required in subsection (B) does not apply to former officers holding a valid commission issued by another agency or governmental entity, except that all officers shall meet any annual continuing training requirements established by the director in order to maintain their commissions.

SECTION 23-6-220. Compensation; uniforms and equipment; workers' compensation and death benefits.

(A) Constables may not receive compensation including, but not limited to, salary for services rendered absent specific statutory authorization.

(B) Any uniforms and equipment issued by the department shall remain the property of the department, but may, in the discretion of the director, be entrusted to the care and control of the constables. A constable assisting a full-time department law enforcement officer shall wear uniforms or other insignia which identify the constable as a special law enforcement officer assisting the department.

(C) Workers' compensation benefits may be provided on an as needed basis for special constables by the director in the same manner as benefits are provided for full-time officers. For purposes of compensation or benefits arising from duty-related injury or death, special constables shall be considered as employees of the department.

SECTION 23-6-230. Identification cards.

Identification cards registering a special constable must be issued by the Department of Public Safety for all individuals commissioned pursuant to this article.

SECTION 23-6-240. Authority to carry pistols.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, constables who have received the required training shall be authorized by the director to carry pistols on and about their persons unless otherwise restricted by the director in writing. However, the director, after hearing and for cause, may deny such privilege to any constable pursuant to this section who is guilty of using his pistol at any time in a manner inconsistent with accepted law enforcement procedures as determined by the director or who has been convicted of any crime for which a penalty of imprisonment for more than one year may be imposed. The term "conviction" shall include a plea of guilty, a plea of nolo contendere, or forfeiture of bail.

ARTICLE 7.

DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLE RECORDS AND VEHICLE INSPECTIONS [REPEALED]

SECTIONS 23-6-300 to 23-6-305. Repealed by 2003 Act No. 51, Section 17, eff June 5, 2003.

SECTIONS 23-6-300 to 23-6-305. Repealed by 2003 Act No. 51, Section 17, eff June 5, 2003.

ARTICLE 9.

DIVISION OF TRAINING AND CONTINUING EDUCATION

SECTION 23-6-400. Intent of article; Division of Training and Continuing Education created; minimum standards for selection and training; goal for standards to exceed minimum; definitions.

(A) There is created a Division of Training and Continuing Education to operate a training program for law enforcement officers and other persons employed in the criminal justice system in this State and to establish and maintain minimum standards in law enforcement selection and training.

(B) It is the intent of this article to encourage all law enforcement officers, departments, and agencies within this State to adopt standards which are higher than the minimum standards implemented pursuant to this article, and these minimum standards in no way may be considered sufficient or adequate in those cases where higher standards have been adopted or proposed. Nothing herein may be construed to preclude an employing agency from establishing qualifications and standards for hiring or training law enforcement officers which exceed the minimum standards set by the department, nor, unless specifically stated, may anything herein be construed to affect any sheriff, constable, or other law enforcement officer elected under the provisions of the Constitution of this State.

(C) The advisory council may recommend to the director methods to maximize training opportunities for law enforcement officers and criminal justice personnel, to coordinate training, and to set standards for the law enforcement and criminal justice service, all of which are imperative to upgrading law enforcement to professional status.

(D) Whenever used in this article, and for the purposes of this article, unless the context clearly denotes otherwise:

(1) "Law enforcement officer" means an appointed officer or employee hired by and regularly on the payroll of the State or any of its political subdivisions, who is granted statutory authority to enforce all or some of the criminal, traffic, and penal laws of the State and who possesses, with respect to those laws, the power to effect arrests for offenses committed or alleged to have been committed.

(2) "Advisory council" means the Law Enforcement Training Advisory Council created by this article.

SECTION 23-6-405. Governmental entity defined; successful completion of mandatory training while employed by governmental entity; reimbursement by subsequent hiring governmental entities.

(A) For purposes of this section, "governmental entity" means the State or any of its political subdivisions.

(B) After July 1, 1997, every governmental entity of this State intending to employ on a permanent basis a law enforcement officer who has satisfactorily completed the mandatory training as required under this article must comply with the provisions of this section.

(C) If the law enforcement officer has satisfactorily completed his mandatory training while employed by a governmental entity of this State, and within two years from the date of satisfactory completion of the mandatory training, a subsequent hiring governmental entity shall reimburse the governmental entity with whom the law enforcement officer was employed at the time of attending the mandatory training:

(1) one hundred percent of the cost of training the officer, which shall include the officer's salary paid during the training period and other training expenses incurred while the officer was attending the mandatory training, if the officer is hired within one year of the date of satisfactory completion of the mandatory training; or

(2) fifty percent of the cost of training the officer, which shall include the officer's salary paid during the training period and other training expenses incurred while the officer was attending the mandatory training, if the officer is hired after one year but before the end of the second year after the date of satisfactory completion of the mandatory training.

(D) If the law enforcement officer is employed by more than one successive governmental entity within the two-year period after the date of satisfactory completion of the mandatory training, a governmental entity which reimbursed the governmental entity that employed the officer during the training period may obtain reimbursement from the successive governmental entity employer for:

(1) one hundred percent of the cost of training the officer, which shall include the officer's salary paid during the training period and other training expenses incurred while the officer was attending the mandatory training, if the officer is hired within one year of the date of satisfactory completion of the mandatory training; or

(2) fifty percent of the cost of training the officer, which shall include the officer's salary paid during the training period and other training expenses incurred while the officer was attending the mandatory training, if the officer is hired after one year but before the end of the second year after the date of satisfactory completion of the mandatory training.

(E) Under no circumstances shall the governmental entity that employed the officer during the training period or a governmental entity seeking reimbursement from a successive governmental entity employer be reimbursed for more than one hundred percent of the cost of the officer's salary paid during the training period and other training expenses incurred while the officer was attending the mandatory training.

SECTION 23-6-410. Central training facility; training of officers; responsibilities of Deputy Director of Division.

The division must establish and maintain a central training facility which must be located near the geographical and population center of the State, and which shall provide facilities and training for all officers from state, county, and local law enforcement agencies and for other designated persons in the criminal justice system; provided, that correctional officers and other personnel employed or appointed by the South Carolina Department of Corrections may be trained by the department. The Deputy Director of the Division of Training and Continuing Education is responsible for selection of instructors, course content, maintenance of physical facilities, recordkeeping, supervision of personnel, scheduling of classes, enforcement of minimum standards for certification, and other matters as may be recommended by the advisory council and approved by the Director of the Department of Public Safety.

SECTION 23-6-420. Law Enforcement Training Advisory Council created; composition; terms; officers; meetings; procedures; no compensation; vacancies.

(A) There is created a South Carolina Law Enforcement Training Advisory Council consisting of fifteen members:

(1) the Attorney General of South Carolina;

(2) the Chief of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division;

(3) the Director of the Department of Public Safety;

(4) the Director of the Department of Natural Resources;

(5) the Director of the Department of Corrections;

(6) the Director of the Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services;

(7) the Dean or Chairman of the University of South Carolina School or College of Criminal Justice;

(8) the special agent in charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Columbia Division;

(9) one chief of police from a municipality having a population of less than ten thousand; this person to be appointed by the Governor for a term of four years;

(10) one chief of police from a municipality having a population of more than ten thousand; this person to be appointed by the Governor for a term of four years;

(11) one county sheriff engaged in full-time performance of duties as a law enforcement officer and from a county having a population of less than fifty thousand; this person to be appointed by the Governor for a term of four years;

(12) one county sheriff engaged in full-time performance of duties as a law enforcement officer and from a county having a population of more than fifty thousand; this person to be appointed by the Governor for a term of four years;

(13) one detention director who is responsible for the operation and management of a county or multi-jurisdictional jail; this person to be appointed by the Governor for a term of four years;

(14) one person employed in the administration of any municipality or holding a municipal elective office; this person to be appointed by the Governor for a term of four years; and

(15) one person employed in the administration of county government or elected to a county governing body; this person to be appointed by the Governor for a term of four years.

(B)(1) The members provided for in (1) through (8) above are ex officio members with full voting rights.

(2) The members provided for in (9) through (15) above serve terms as provided in subsection (A). If a vacancy arises it must be filled for the remainder of the term in the manner of the original appointment or designation.

(C) The Director of the Department of Public Safety shall serve as chairman of the advisory council. The advisory council may elect another one of its members to serve as vice-chairman. The advisory council shall meet at the call of the chairman or at the call of a majority of the members of the advisory council, but no fewer than four times each year. The advisory council shall establish its own procedures with respect to quorum, place, and conduct of meetings.

(D) Members of the advisory council shall serve without compensation.

(E) An advisory council member who terminates his holding of the office or employment which qualified him for appointment shall cease immediately to be a member of the advisory council; the person appointed to fill the vacancy shall do so for the unexpired term of the member whom he succeeds.

SECTION 23-6-430. Certification as "qualified" a prerequisite for law enforcement officers; exceptions; qualification under equivalent programs in other states.

No law enforcement officer employed or appointed on or after July 1, 1989, by any public law enforcement agency in this State is authorized to enforce the laws or ordinances of this State or any political subdivision thereof unless he has been certified as qualified by the Department of Public Safety, except that any public law enforcement agency in this State may appoint or employ as a law enforcement officer, a person who is not certified if, within one year after the date of employment or appointment, the person secures certification from the department; provided, that if any public law enforcement agency employs or appoints as a law enforcement officer a person who is not certified, the person shall not perform any of the duties of a law enforcement officer involving the control or direction of members of the public or exercising the power of arrest until he has successfully completed a firearms qualification program approved by the department; and provided, further, that within three working days of employment the department must be notified by a public law enforcement agency that a person has been employed by that agency as a law enforcement officer, and within three working days of the notice the firearms qualification program as approved by the director must be provided to the newly hired personnel. If the firearms qualification program approved by the director is not available within three working days after receipt of the notice, then the public law enforcement agency making the request for the firearms qualification program may employ the person to perform any of the duties of a law enforcement officer, including those involving the control and direction of members of the public and exercising the powers of arrest. Should any such person fail to secure certification within one year from his date of employment, he may not perform any of the duties of a law enforcement officer involving control or direction of members of the public or exercising the power of arrest until he has been certified. He is not eligible for employment or appointment by any other agency in South Carolina as a law enforcement officer, nor is he eligible for any compensation by any law enforcement agency for services performed as an officer. Exceptions to the one-year rule may be granted by the director in these cases:

(a) military leave or injury occurring during that first year which would preclude the receiving of training within the usual period of time; or

(b) in the event of the timely filing of application for training, which application, under circumstances of time and physical limitations, cannot be honored by the training academy within the prescribed period; or

(c) upon presentation of documentary evidence that the officer-candidate has successfully completed equivalent training in one of the other states which by law regulate and supervise the quality of police training and which require a minimum basic or recruit course of duration and content at least equivalent to that provided in this article or by standards set by the South Carolina Department of Public Safety; or

(d) if it is determined by documentary evidence that the training will result in undue hardship to the requesting agency, the requesting agency must propose an alternate training schedule for approval.

Notwithstanding another provision of law, in the case of a candidate for certification who begins one or more periods of state or federal military service within one year after his date of employment or appointment, the period of time within which he must obtain the certification required to become a law enforcement officer is automatically extended for an additional period equal to the aggregate period of time the candidate performed active duty or active duty for training as a member of the National Guard, the State Guard, or a reserve component of the Armed Forces of the United States, plus ninety days. The director must take all necessary and proper action to ensure that a candidate for certification as a law enforcement officer who performs military service within one year of his employment or appointment is not prejudiced in obtaining certification as a result of having performed state or federal military service.

SECTION 23-6-435. Continuing Law Enforcement Education Credits in domestic violence.

(A) A law enforcement officer who is Class 1-LE certified in this State is required to complete Continuing Law Enforcement Education Credits (CLEEC) in domestic violence each year of a three-year recertification period. The number of required annual CLEEC hours in domestic violence shall be determined by the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy Division of the Department of Public Safety but must be included in the forty CLEEC hours required over the three-year recertification period. The training must be provided or approved by the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy and must include, but is not limited to, the following curriculum: responding to crime scenes, Fourth Amendment issues, incident report writing, mutual restraining orders, orders of protection, determining primary aggressors, dual arrests, victim and offender dynamics, victims' resources, victims' rights issues, interviewing techniques, criminal domestic violence courts, victimless prosecution, offender treatment programs, and recognizing special needs populations.

(B) The Department of Public Safety shall develop guidelines to provide for an exemption from the requirement of certain Class 1-LE certified law enforcement officers whose job responsibilities may not include responding to domestic violence cases from completing CLEEC hours in domestic violence each year. The request for an exemption must be made by the chief executive officer of the law enforcement officer's employing agency. A waiver or exemption from domestic violence training must not reduce the forty CLEEC hours required over the three-year period.

SECTION 23-6-440. Council may issue certificates; inspection of training facilities; recommendations for improvements; information to be submitted as to applicants; expiration of certification; renewal.

(A) At the request of any public law enforcement agency of this State the department is hereby authorized to issue certificates and other appropriate indicia of compliance and qualification to law enforcement officers or other persons trained under the provisions of this article. Members of the advisory council may individually or collectively visit and inspect any training school, class, or academy dealing with present or prospective law enforcement officers, and are expected to promote the most efficient and economical program for police training, including the maximum utilization of existing facilities and programs for the purpose of avoiding duplication. The advisory council may make recommendations to the director, the General Assembly, or to the Governor regarding the carrying out of the purposes, objectives, and intentions of this article or other acts relating to training in law enforcement.

(B) All city and county police departments, sheriffs' offices, state agencies, or other employers of law enforcement officers having such officers as candidates for certification shall submit to the director, for his confidential information and subsequent safekeeping, the following:

(1) an application under oath on a format prescribed by the director;

(2) evidence satisfactory to the director that the candidate has completed high school and received a high school diploma, equivalency certificate (military or other) recognized and accepted by the South Carolina Department of Education or South Carolina special certificate;

(3) evidence satisfactory to the director of the candidate's physical fitness to fulfill the duties of a law enforcement officer including:

(a) a copy of his medical history compiled by a licensed physician or medical examiner approved by the employer;

(b) a certificate of a licensed physician that the candidate has recently undergone a complete medical examination and the results thereof;

(4) evidence satisfactory to the director that the applicant has not been convicted of any criminal offense that carries a sentence of one year or more or of any criminal offense that involves moral turpitude. Forfeiture of bond, a guilty plea, or a plea of nolo contendere is considered the equivalent of a conviction;

(5) evidence satisfactory to the director that the candidate is a person of good character. This evidence must include, but is not limited to:

(a) certification by the candidate's employer that a background investigation has been conducted and the employer is of the opinion that the candidate is of good character;

(b) evidence satisfactory to the director that the candidate holds a valid current state driver's license with no record during the previous five years for suspension of driver's license as a result of driving under the influence of alcoholic beverages or dangerous drugs, driving while impaired (or the equivalent), reckless homicide, involuntary manslaughter, or leaving the scene of an accident. Candidates for certification as state or local correctional officers may hold a valid current driver's license issued by any jurisdiction of the United States;

(c) evidence satisfactory to the director that a local credit check has been made with favorable results;

(d) evidence satisfactory to the director that the candidate's fingerprint record as received from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and South Carolina Law Enforcement Division indicates no record of felony convictions.

In the director's determination of good character, the director shall give consideration to all law violations, including traffic and conservation law convictions, as indicating a lack of good character. The director shall also give consideration to the candidate's prior history, if any, of alcohol and drug abuse in arriving at a determination of good character;

(6) a copy of the candidate's photograph;

(7) a copy of the candidate's fingerprints;

(8) evidence satisfactory to the director that the candidate's present age is not less than twenty-one years. This evidence must include a birth certificate or another acceptable document;

(9) evidence satisfactory to the director of successful completion of a course of law enforcement training as established and approved by the director, and conducted at an academy or institution approved by the director, this evidence to consist of a certificate granted by the approved institution.

(C) A certificate as a law enforcement officer issued by the department will expire three years from the date of issuance or upon discontinuance of employment by the officer with the employing entity or agency. The certification of any law enforcement officer issued by the department that is current on July 1, 1989, will expire in the year 1992 on the last day of the month during which it was issued, or upon discontinuance of employment with the employing entity or agency. Prior to the expiration of the certificate, the certificate may be renewed upon application presented to the director on a form prescribed by the director. The application for renewal must be received by the director at least forty-five days prior to the expiration of the certificate. If the officer's certificate has lapsed, the department may reissue the certificate after receipt of an application and if the director is satisfied that the officer continues to meet the requirements of subsections (B)(1) through (B)(9).

(D) The director may accept for training as a law enforcement officer an applicant who has met requirements of subsections (B)(1) through (B)(8).

(E) A person who is convicted of or pleads guilty or nolo contendere to a criminal domestic violence offense, as defined in Chapter 25 of Title 16, must have his law enforcement certification revoked.

SECTION 23-6-445. Certificate as law enforcement officer.

(A) A retired law enforcement officer with twenty years or more law enforcement experience who subsequently serves as a magistrate or municipal judge of this State and is or has been appointed chief of a municipal department by the governing body thereof must be issued a certificate as a law enforcement officer pursuant to Section 23-6-440 if that person completes the legal course for Class I certified officers taught by the Criminal Justice Academy Division of the Department of Public Safety. This provision applies to a retired law enforcement officer of this State with twenty years or more law enforcement experience whose certificate has lapsed due to a three-year break in service who subsequently is appointed chief of a municipal department by the governing body thereof.

(B) A retired South Carolina law enforcement officer must be issued a certificate pursuant to Section 23-6-440, authorizing him to serve as a certified law enforcement officer, if the officer meets the following qualifications at the time of application:

(1) the officer must have been retired pursuant to Section 9-11-60 or 9-11-70 for not more than ten years, except that the department may certify an officer who has been retired for more than ten years if the officer provides evidence satisfactory to the director that he has received law enforcement training and experience sufficient to qualify him to serve as a certified law enforcement officer;

(2) within the previous three years, the officer must have completed a legal course and all other training programs for certified officers mandated by law and taught by the Criminal Justice Academy Division of the Department of Public Safety; and

(3) the officer must have maintained a constable commission during his retirement, without interruption.

(C) A retired federal law enforcement officer must be issued a certificate pursuant to Section 23-6-440, authorizing him to serve as a certified law enforcement officer, if the officer provides evidence satisfactory to the director that he has received law enforcement training and experience sufficient to qualify him to serve as a certified law enforcement officer.

SECTION 23-6-450. Powers of Director of Department of Public Safety.

The Director of the Department of Public Safety is authorized to:

(a) receive and disburse funds, including those hereinafter provided in this article;

(b) accept any donations, contributions, funds, grants, or gifts from private individuals, foundations, agencies, corporations, or the state or federal governments, for the purpose of carrying out the programs and objectives of this chapter;

(c) consult and cooperate with counties, municipalities, agencies, or official bodies of this State or of other states, other governmental agencies, and with universities, colleges, junior colleges, and other institutions, concerning the development of police training schools, programs, or courses of instruction, selection, and training standards, or other pertinent matters relating to law enforcement;

(d) publish or cause to be published manuals, information bulletins, newsletters, and other materials to achieve the objectives of this chapter;

(e) make such regulations as may be necessary for the administration of this chapter, including the issuance of orders directing public law enforcement agencies to comply with this chapter and all regulations so promulgated;

(f) certify and train qualified candidates and applicants for law enforcement officers and provide for suspension, revocation, or restriction of the certification, in accordance with regulations promulgated by the department;

(g) require all public entities or agencies that employ or appoint law enforcement officers to provide records in the format prescribed by regulation of employment information of law enforcement officers;

(h) provide by regulation for mandatory continued training of certified law enforcement officers, this training to be completed within each of the various counties requesting this training on a regional basis.

SECTION 23-6-460. Certain reports, communications, etc. made pursuant to this chapter or regulations thereunder not actionable for slander or libel.

An oral or written report, document, statement, or other communication that is written, made, or delivered concerning the requirements or administration of this chapter or regulations promulgated under it must not be the subject of or basis for an action at law or in equity for slander or libel in any court of the State if the communication is between:

(1) a law enforcement agency, its agents, employees, or representatives; and

(2) the department or the advisory council, its agents, employees, or representatives.

SECTION 23-6-470. Repealed by 1994 Act No. 497, Part II, Section 36U, eff January 1, 1995.

SECTION 23-6-480. Violation by public law enforcement agency; compliance orders, injunctions; civil penalties; appeals.

(A) Whenever the director finds that any public law enforcement agency is in violation of any provisions of this chapter, the director may issue an order requiring the public law enforcement agency to comply with the provision. The director may bring a civil action for injunctive relief in the appropriate court or may bring a civil enforcement action. Violation of any court order issued pursuant to this section must be considered contempt of the issuing court and punishable as provided by law. The director also may invoke the civil penalties as provided in subsection (B) for violation of the provisions of this chapter, including any order or regulation hereunder. Any public law enforcement agency against which a civil penalty is invoked by the director may appeal the decision to the court of common pleas of the county where the public law enforcement agency is located.

(B) Any public law enforcement agency which fails to comply with this chapter and regulations promulgated pursuant to this chapter or fails to comply with any order issued by the director is liable for a civil penalty not to exceed one thousand five hundred dollars a violation. When the civil penalty authorized by this subsection is imposed upon a sheriff, the sheriff is responsible for payment of this civil penalty.

SECTION 23-6-490. Sheriff or equivalent officer to provide patrolling in event single municipal law enforcement officer is in attendance at training.

When a municipality employs only one law enforcement officer and that officer is attending law enforcement training at the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy as required by law, the sheriff of the county wherein the municipality is located, or the head of the entity in charge of countywide law enforcement if the county sheriff is not, shall provide systematic patrolling of the municipal area while its law enforcement officer is attending the training.

SECTION 23-6-493. Savannah River Site Law Enforcement Officer authorized to train at the Criminal Justice Academy.

Notwithstanding another provision of law, a person employed as a law enforcement officer with the Savannah River Site Law Enforcement Department, a United States Department of Energy facility, may attend and be trained at the Department of Public Safety's Criminal Justice Academy Division in accordance with training and certification standards established by the State. Expenses for mandated and elective training must be established by the Criminal Justice Academy Division and paid by the law enforcement officer's employer. An authorized representative of the United States Department of Energy shall certify to the academy that the officer is employed as a law enforcement officer at the Savannah River Site and request the officer's admission to the academy for training.

SECTION 23-6-495. "Department" is Department of Public Safety; "Division" is Division of Training and Continuing Education within Department.

Whenever, in this chapter, the term "department" is used, it means the Department of Public Safety and whenever the term "division" is used, it means the Division of Training and Continuing Education of the Department of Public Safety.

ARTICLE 11.

SOUTH CAROLINA PUBLIC SAFETY COORDINATING COUNCIL

SECTION 23-6-500. South Carolina Public Safety Coordinating Council created; purpose.

There is created a council to administer certain responsibilities of the Department of Public Safety and coordinate certain activities between the department, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division and municipal and county law enforcement agencies. The council is to be known as the South Carolina Public Safety Coordinating Council.

SECTION 23-6-510. Composition; filling of vacancies.

The council is composed of the following persons for terms as indicated:

(1) the Governor or his designee, to serve as chairman, for the term of the Governor;

(2) the Chief of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division for the term of office for which he is appointed;

(3) the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee for his term of office in the Senate or his designee;

(4) the Chairman of the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee for his term of office in the House of Representatives or his designee;

(5) the Director of the Department of Public Safety;

(6) a sheriff appointed by the Governor for the term of office for which he is elected;

(7) a municipal police chief appointed by the Governor for a term of two years; and

(8) a victim representative appointed by the Governor for a term of four years.

Any vacancy occurring must be filled in the manner of the original appointment for the unexpired portion of the term.

SECTION 23-6-520. Duties.

The council has the following duties to:

(1) recommend a hiring and promotion policy for commissioned personnel or officers to be administered under the sole authority of the director;

(2) establish a process for the solicitation of applications for public safety grants and to review and approve the disbursement of funds available under Section 402 of Chapter 4 of Title 1 of the Federal Highway Safety Program, public law 89-564 in a fair and equitable manner;

(3) coordinate the use of department personnel by other state or local agencies or political subdivisions;

(4) advise and consult on questions of jurisdiction and law enforcement and public safety activities between the Department of Public Safety, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division and law enforcement agencies of local political subdivisions.

SECTION 23-6-530. Council may elect officers; service is without pay; per diem, mileage and subsistence.

The council may elect such other officers as it deems necessary from its membership and the members of the council shall serve without pay but are authorized, as eligible, to receive the usual per diem, mileage and subsistence provided for by law.






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