ASSEMBLY EDUCATION COMMITTEE
ASSEMBLY, No. 3629
with committee amendments
STATE OF NEW JERSEY
DATED: JUNE 20, 2016
The Assembly Education Committee reports favorably Assembly Bill No. 3629 with committee amendments.
As amended, this bill establishes a new category of “Class Three” special law enforcement officers under the Special Law Enforcement Officers’ Act. This category of law enforcement officer would be comprised of retired law enforcement officers and would be authorized to provide security in this State’s public and nonpublic schools and county colleges.
Under current law, Class One special law enforcement officers are authorized to perform routine traffic detail, spectator control, and similar duties. They also may be empowered to issue summonses for disorderly persons offenses, but are not authorized to carry a firearm while on duty. Class Two special law enforcement officers are empowered to exercise full police powers and perform the duties of a permanent, regularly appointed full-time police officer. They are authorized to carry a firearm.
Under the bill, Class Three special law enforcement officers would be retired police officers less than 65 years old. These officers would be authorized to provide security at a public or nonpublic school or county college while they are on the school or college premises during hours when the school or college normally is in session or when it is occupied by students or their teachers or professors. They also are authorized to respond to offenses or emergencies off of school grounds occurring in the officer’s presence while traveling to a school or college, but they may not be dispatched or dedicated to any other assignment off of school or college property. They would be authorized to exercise full powers and duties similar to those of a permanent, regularly appointed full-time police officer while providing this security. The restrictions on carrying a firearm currently applicable to Class Two special law enforcement officers also would apply to Class Three law enforcement officers. Class Three law enforcement officers would not be authorized to carry a firearm while off duty under the bill; they would only be authorized to carry a firearm off duty if they comply with the statutory requirements generally authorizing retired law enforcement officers to carry handguns, including qualifying in the use of a handgun twice a year.
In addition to the qualifications currently applicable to all special law enforcement officers, Class Three special law enforcement officer applicants also would be required to: be retired police officers less than 65 years of age; have served as duly qualified, fully-trained, full-time municipal or county police officers or were regularly employed as a full-time member of the State Police; be separated from that prior service in good standing, within three years of appointment; be physically capable of performing the functions of the position; and possess a New Jersey Police Training Commission Basic Police Officer Certification or New Jersey State Police Academy Certification.
Class Three special law enforcement officers would not be subject to the 20 hour per week limit currently applicable to Class One and Class Two special law enforcement officers. But they would not be eligible for health care benefits or enrollment in any State administered retirement system under the bill.
Currently, boards of education are authorized to hire law enforcement officers and safe schools resource officers to work in public schools within their jurisdiction pursuant to regulations of the Commissioner of Education. Under the bill, both public and nonpublic schools, as well as county colleges, would be authorized to hire Class Three special law enforcement officers whose duties would be limited to providing security. The bill specifies that these officers would not supplant law enforcement officers and safe schools resource officers currently employed in schools.
It is the sponsor’s intent that the provisions of the Special Law Enforcement Officers’ Act that currently govern Class One and Class Two special law enforcement officers also would apply to Class Three officers, except as specifically amended in the bill.
As amended and reported by the committee, this bill is identical to Senate Bill No. 86 (2R) with committee amendments, which was also reported by the committee on this same date.
The committee amended the bill to remove the requirement that a Class Three special law enforcement officer complete the training course for safe schools resource officers.