WEST virginia legislature
2023 regular session
House Bill 3151
By Delegates Kelly, Jeffries, Kimble, Worrell, Honaker, Shamblin, Garcia, Westfall, and Hott
[By request of the West Virginia State Police]
[Introduced January 30, 2023; Referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs and Homeland Security then the Judiciary]
A BILL to amend and reenact §15-10-4 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to assisting any law enforcement officer in an emergency at the request of a responding officer; and allowing officers to perform police functions out of jurisdiction on request in emergency circumstances.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
(a) The head of any law-enforcement agency, or the head of any campus police, as those terms are defined in section three of this article §15-10-3 of this code, may temporarily provide assistance and cooperation to another agency of the state criminal justice system or to a federal law-enforcement agency in investigating crimes or possible criminal activity if requested to do so in writing by the head of another law-enforcement agency or federal law-enforcement agency. Such assistance may also be provided upon the request of the head of the law-enforcement agency any criminal justice enforcement personnel or federal law-enforcement agency without first being reduced to writing in emergency situations involving the imminent risk of loss of life or serious bodily injury to any person or for the safety of the responding criminal justice enforcement personnel requesting assistance. The assistance may include, but is not limited to, providing police functions outside of the criminal justice enforcement personnel’s jurisdictional limits, entering into a multijurisdictional task force agreement to integrate federal, state, county and municipal law-enforcement agencies or other groups of state or local law-enforcement officers, or any combination thereof, for the purpose of enhancing interagency coordination, intelligence gathering, facilitating multijurisdictional investigations, providing criminal justice enforcement personnel of the law-enforcement agency to work temporarily with personnel of another agency, including in an undercover capacity, and making available equipment, training, technical assistance and information systems for the more efficient investigation, apprehension and adjudication of persons who violate the criminal laws of this state or the United States and to assist the victims of such crimes. When providing the assistance under this article, a head of a law-enforcement agency, and any criminal justice enforcement personnel, shall comply with all applicable statutes, ordinances, rules, policies or guidelines officially adopted by the state or the governing body of the city or county by which he or she is employed and any conditions or restrictions included therein.
(b) While temporarily assigned to work with another law-enforcement agency or agencies, criminal justice enforcement personnel and other state and local law-enforcement officers shall have the same jurisdiction, powers, privileges and immunities, including those relating to the defense of civil actions, as such criminal justice enforcement personnel would enjoy if actually employed by the agency to which they are assigned, in addition to any corresponding or varying jurisdiction, powers, privileges and immunities conferred by virtue of their continued employment with the assisting agency.
(c) While assigned to another agency or to a multijurisdictional task force, criminal justice enforcement personnel and other state and local law-enforcement officers shall be subject to the lawful operational commands of the superior officers of the agency or task force to which they are assigned, but for personnel and administrative purposes, including compensation, they shall remain under the control of the assisting agency. These assigned personnel shall continue to be covered by all employee rights and benefits provided by the assisting agency, including workers' compensation, to the same extent as though such personnel were functioning within the normal scope of their duties.
(d) No request or agreement between the heads of law-enforcement agencies, or the heads of campus police, made or entered into pursuant to this article shall remain in force or effect until a copy of said request or agreement is filed with the office of the circuit clerk of the county or counties in which the law-enforcement agencies, or the campus police, involved operate. Agreements made pursuant to this article shall remain in effect unless and until the agreement is changed or withdrawn in writing by the head of one of the law-enforcement agencies. Upon filing, the requests or agreements may be sealed, subject to disclosure pursuant to an order of a circuit court directing disclosure for good cause. Nothing in this article shall be construed to limit the authority of the head of a law-enforcement agency or the head of campus police to withdraw from any agreement at any time.
(e) Nothing contained in this article shall be construed so as to grant, increase, decrease or in any manner affect the civil service protection or the applicability of civil service laws as to any criminal justice enforcement personnel, or as to any state or local law-enforcement officer or agency operating under the authority of this article, nor shall this article in any way reduce or increase the jurisdiction or authority of any criminal justice enforcement personnel, or of any state or local law-enforcement officer or agency, except as specifically provided herein.
(f) Nothing contained in this article shall be construed so as to authorize the permanent consolidation or merger or the elimination of operations of participating federal, state, county and municipal law-enforcement agencies, or other groups of state and local law-enforcement officers, or campus police
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to provide for more timely assistance and cooperation between law enforcement officers of different jurisdictions in an emergency.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from a heading or the present law and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.