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05/25/2024 06:46 PM
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Senate Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: December 19, 2022 10:46 AM
From: Senator Joe Pittman
To: All Senate members
Subject: Inclusion of Department of Corrections, Bureau of Investigations and Intelligence, under Definition of Enforcement Officer
In the future, I plan to reintroduce legislation to amend Title 71 (Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement Code) to expand the definition of “enforcement officer” to include commissioned police officers under the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) Bureau of Investigations and Intelligence. This measure was formerly Senate Bill 622 from the 2021-22 Legislative Session. 
The officers under the Bureau of Investigations and Intelligence primarily conduct internal affairs investigations of staff misconduct. However, they also conduct investigations of criminal activity in and related to state correctional facilities, such as the smuggling of narcotics. In completing these investigations, they are often in communities serving search warrants and making arrests. 
While the Bureau was granted police powers approximately 15 years ago, at that time the state retirement code was not amended to include these police officers under the “enforcement officer” definition. As a result, they are excluded from falling under the 50/55 retirement guidelines that are afforded to other Commonwealth law enforcement officers, such as Capitol Police, parole agents, corrections officers, and most recently Game Commission officers.

Given their comparable training, level of stress and sometimes physically challenging duties, I believe it is appropriate to include these officers under the “enforcement officer” definition in the SERS Code. Please join me in cosponsoring this bill. 

Introduced as SB479