South Carolina Legislature

1976 South Carolina Code of Laws
Updated through the end of the 2006 Regular Session


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Title 23 - Law Enforcement and Public Safety


SECTION 23-28-10. Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter:

(A) "Reserves" means persons given part-time police powers without being regularly assigned to full-time law enforcement duties.

(B) "Chief" means the chief law enforcement officer of a municipality, county or other political entity of the State having police powers.

SECTION 23-28-20. Appointment of reserve police officers authorized; powers and duties.

(A) The chief with the approval of the governing body or its chief operating officer or sheriff 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 or sheriff in writing. The powers and duties of reserves must be prescribed by the chief or sheriff and they are subject to removal by him at any time.

(B) The chief or sheriff, 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. No additional training, beyond what is required for reserve police officers, is 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 county, municipality, or other political entity which may be not less than one thousand five hundred dollars;

(3) successfully complete a course of training specified pursuant to Title 23, Chapter 6 and endorsed by the chief or sheriff who appoints them."

SECTION 23-28-30. Training course; subjects of study.

A reserve officer shall not assume any police function until he has successfully completed a course of training of at least sixty hours and passed a comprehensive test prepared by the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy and administered by the local law enforcement agency. The sixty hours of training shall be promulgated by the Law Enforcement Training Council, endorsed by the appointing official and shall include, but not be limited to:

(A) Firearms training-twelve hours

(B) Laws of arrest-three hours

(C) Searches and seizure-three hours

(D) Evidence-six hours

(E) Crisis intervention-three hours

(F) Officer survival-two hours

(G) Ethics-two hours

(H) Constitutional law-two hours

(I) Local ordinances and policies-ten hours

(J) Radio communications-one hour

(K) Handling prisoners-one hour

(L) Handling juveniles-one hour

(M) Human relations-two hours.

Nothing in this chapter prevents the entity having a reserve unit from prescribing additional training, subject to the approval of the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy Division of the Department of Public Safety.

SECTION 23-28-40. Manner in which training shall be given; in-service training.

This training may be provided locally or regionally but shall 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.

In addition to the sixty hours of preliminary training, classes of in-service training shall be held periodically but not less than once a month. Consecutive absences of more than three sessions may be grounds for dismissal.

Any person who served as an auxiliary or reserve police officer on any municipal or county police force for a period of at least six months prior to April 19, 1978, and is serving in that capacity on the effective date of this act shall not be required to have a high school diploma as a prerequisite for participating in any training program authorized or required by this chapter.

SECTION 23-28-50. Physical examination; applicability of other minimum selection standards.

Prior to final acceptance as a reserve each candidate shall, at his own expense or through the offices of the doctor of his political 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 shall also apply to reserves.

SECTION 23-28-60. Additional requirements; identification cards.

Additional requirements beyond those set out in this chapter may be imposed by the local political entity through the chief.

Identification cards registering a reserve's status may be issued by the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy Division of the Department of Public Safety upon request by the chief and assuring the council that all minimum requirements have been met.

SECTION 23-28-70. Duties of officers; coordinator-supervisor.

(A) Reserves shall serve and function as law enforcement officers only on specific orders and directions of the chief or sheriff. 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 or deputy sheriff for a minimum of two hundred forty hours and receive the approval of the chief or sheriff 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 shall 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 who must be responsible directly to the chief or sheriff.

SECTION 23-28-80. Additional training for reserve officers desiring to become full-time officers.

Any reserve who has been in active status for at least two years who desires to become a full-time law enforcement officer may, upon application and completion of other existing requirements, be accepted at the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy for such additional hours of training as deemed necessary.

SECTION 23-28-90. Former full-time officer becoming member of reserve.

Any currently certified full-time law enforcement officer who leaves his position under honorable conditions may, within twelve months, at the request of his chief and with the concurrence of the Department of Public Safety, be issued a registration card identifying him as a member of the reserve. Any such officer shall not be required to undergo the preliminary training for reserves but shall be required to have a current physical exam.

SECTION 23-28-100. Uniforms and equipment.

The uniforms and equipment issued by the political entity shall remain the property of the entity but may, in the discretion of the chief, be entrusted to the care and control of the reserves. Reserves shall wear uniforms which will identify them as law enforcement officers. Handguns, if issued, shall be of a caliber approved by the chief.

SECTION 23-28-110. Workers' compensation.

Workers' compensation benefits may be provided for reserves by the governing body 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, reserves shall be considered as employees of the political entity for which they were appointed and shall be included with regular duty officers in the assigned responsibility for prevention, suppression and control of crime.

SECTION 23-28-120. Exemptions.

The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to deputy enforcement officers of the Natural Resources Enforcement Division of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.

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