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Title 23 - Law Enforcement and Public Safety
RESERVE POLICE OFFICERS
For the purposes of this chapter:
(A) "Reserves" means persons given part-time police powers without being assigned regularly to full-time law enforcement duties.
(B) "Chief" means the chief law enforcement officer of a state agency, municipality, county, county sheriff, or other entity of the State having police powers.
Appointment of reserve police officers authorized; powers and duties.
(A) The chief, with the approval of the governing body or its chief operating officer, may appoint the number of reserve police officers as may be needed but not exceeding the number of regular full-time officers of his department. The number of full-time officers may not be decreased because of the institution or expansion of a reserve force. Each period of time reserves serve must be determined and specified by the chief in writing. The powers and duties of reserves must be prescribed by the chief and they are subject to removal by him at any time.
(B) The chief, with the approval of the governing body, also shall allow for the compensation of reserve police officers for work done pursuant to Section 23-24-10 when compensation for approved public activities would be paid by a party other than the municipality or county. Reserve officers must be paid for approved public activities the same as off-duty police officers. Work performed for compensation must be in excess of the minimum logged service time required by Section 23-28-70. Additional training, beyond what is required for reserve police officers, is not required for reserve police officers who receive compensation.
(C) Before assuming their duties, reserves must:
(1) take the oath of office required by law;
(2) be bonded in an amount determined by the governing body of the state agency, county, municipality, or other entity which may not be less than one thousand five hundred dollars;
(3) successfully complete a course of training specified pursuant to Chapter 23, Title 23 and endorsed by the chief who appoints them.
Training course; subjects of study.
(A) A reserve officer may not assume a police function until he has successfully completed a course of training of at least sixty hours and passed a comprehensive test prepared by the Law Enforcement Training Council and administered by the local law enforcement agency. The sixty hours of training must be promulgated by the Law Enforcement Training Council, endorsed by the appointing official and must include, but not be limited to:
(1) Firearms training-twelve hours
(2) Laws of arrest-three hours
(3) Searches and seizure-three hours
(4) Evidence-six hours
(5) Crisis intervention-three hours
(6) Officer survival-two hours
(7) Ethics-two hours
(8) Constitutional law-two hours
(9) Local ordinances and policies-ten hours
(10) Radio communications-one hour
(11) Handling prisoners-one hour
(12) Handling juveniles-one hour
(13) Human relations-two hours.
(B) Nothing in this chapter prevents the entity having a reserve unit from prescribing additional training, subject to the approval of the Law Enforcement Training Council.
Manner in which training provided; in-service training.
(A) The training described in Section 23-28-30 may be provided locally or regionally, but must be subject to approval of the Law Enforcement Training Council. If disapproved, the training council shall designate a representative to confer with the chief to make acceptable program changes. Within reason, and subject to academy schedules, academy staff may assist in the training.
(B) In addition to the sixty hours of preliminary training, classes of in-service training must be held periodically but not less often than once a month. Consecutive absences of more than three sessions may be grounds for dismissal.
Physical examination; applicability of other minimum selection standards.
Before final acceptance as a reserve each candidate shall, at his own expense or through the offices of the doctor of his entity, submit to the chief a summary of the results of a current physical examination for the satisfaction of the chief concerning physical competence and capability. Other minimum selection standards recognized by law as applicable to full-time law enforcement officers also shall apply to reserves.
Additional requirements; identification cards.
(A) Additional requirements beyond those set out in this chapter may be imposed by the chief.
(B) Identification cards registering a reserve's status may be issued by the Law Enforcement Training Council upon request by the chief and assuring the council that all minimum requirements have been met.
Duties of officers; appointment of coordinator-supervisor.
(A) Reserves shall serve and function as law enforcement officers only on specific orders and directions of the chief. To maintain status, reserves shall maintain a minimum logged service time of twenty hours each month or sixty hours each quarter.
(B) Each reserve must be in proximate contact, by radio or another device, with the full-time officer to whom he is assigned.
(C) A person appointed as an auxiliary or reserve police officer after January 1, 1996, shall perform his duties while accompanied by a full-time, certified South Carolina police officer for a minimum of two hundred forty hours and receive the approval of the chief before he may work as provided in subsection (B). Reserve or auxiliary officers serving before January 1, 1996, and who have at least two hundred forty hours of logged service time are exempt from this provision.
(D) Reserves may not assume full-time duties of law enforcement officers without complying with all requirements for full-time officers.
(E) Each department utilizing reserves shall have one full-time officer as coordinator-supervisor and who must be responsible directly to the chief.
Additional training for reserve officers desiring to become full-time officers.
A reserve who has been in active status for at least two years who desires to become a full-time law enforcement officer, upon application and completion of other existing requirements, may be accepted at the Law Enforcement Training Council for such additional hours of training as considered necessary.
Former full-time officer becoming member of reserve.
A currently certified full-time law enforcement officer who leaves his position under honorable conditions, within twelve months, and at the request of his chief and with the concurrence of the Law Enforcement Training Council, may be issued a registration card identifying him as a member of the reserve. That officer must not be required to undergo the preliminary training for reserves but must be required to have a current physical exam.
Uniforms and equipment.
The uniforms and equipment issued by the political entity shall remain the property of the entity but, in the discretion of the chief, may be entrusted to the care and control of the reserves. Reserves shall wear uniforms which shall identify them as law enforcement officers. However, in the discretion of the chief, a reserve may wear plain clothes or another uniform that is consistent with his duties as a law enforcement officer. Handguns, if issued, shall be of a caliber approved by the chief.
(A) Workers' compensation benefits may be provided for reserves by the governing body in the same manner as benefits are provided for full-time officers.
(B) For purposes of compensation or benefits arising from duty-related injury or death, reserves must be considered employees of the entity for which they were appointed and must be included with regular duty officers in the assigned responsibility for prevention, suppression, and control of crime.
This chapter does not apply to deputy enforcement officers of the Natural Resources Enforcement Division of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.