Senate Bill No. 551
(By Senators Laird, Unger and Beach)
[Introduced February 12, 2014; referred to the Committee on Government Organization.]
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated §8-14-3a, relating to requiring municipal law-enforcement officers to wear certain armored vests when feasible; and requiring municipal police chiefs to create a policy regarding the mandatory use of certain armored vests.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated §8-14-3a, to read as follows:
ARTICLE 14. LAW AND ORDER; POLICE FORCE OR DEPARTMENTS; POWERS, AUTHORITY AND DUTIES OF LAW-ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS AND POLICEMEN; POLICE MATRONS; SPECIAL SCHOOL ZONE AND PARKING LOT OR PARKING BUILDING POLICE OFFICERS; CIVIL SERVICE FOR CERTAIN POLICE DEPARTMENTS.
§8-14-3a. Mandatory armored vest wear policy requirement.
Every police force or department of a municipality shall adopt a formal policy by January 1, 2015, that requires all law-enforcement officers in their police force or department to wear an armor vest throughout each duty shift whenever feasible. The terms and exemptions of this mandatory wear policy shall be determined by each chief of police in the reasonable exercise of his or her discretion: Provided, That the policy must define an “armor vest” as a vest that has met the performance standards established by the National Law-Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center of the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) as published in NIJ Standard 0101.03, or any formal revision of this standard.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to require West Virginia municipal police officers to wear armored vests whenever feasible.
§8-14-3a is new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.