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                                                      PRINTER'S NO. 1941



No. 1535 Session of 2007

           YOUNGBLOOD, JUNE 18, 2007


                                     AN ACT

     1  Amending Title 53 (Municipalities Generally) of the Pennsylvania
     2     Consolidated Statutes, further providing for powers and
     3     duties of Municipal Police Officers' Education and Training
     4     Commission.

     5     The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
     6  hereby enacts as follows:
     7     Section 1.  Section 2164 of Title 53 of the Pennsylvania
     8  Consolidated Statutes is amended to read:
     9  § 2164.  Powers and duties of commission.
    10     The powers and duties of the commission shall be as follows:
    11         (1)  To establish and administer the minimum courses of
    12     study for basic and in-service training for police officers
    13     and to revoke an officer's certification when an officer
    14     fails to comply with the basic and in-service training
    15     requirements or is convicted of a criminal offense or the
    16     commission determines that the officer is physically or
    17     mentally unfit to perform the duties of his office or
    18     determines that a police officer subject to section 2166.1

     1     (relating to prohibition on political activity) has engaged
     2     or participated in the conducting of political or election
     3     campaign activity in violation of that section.
     4         (2)  To approve or revoke the approval of any school
     5     which may be utilized to comply with the educational and
     6     training requirements as established by the commission.
     7         (3)  To establish the minimum qualifications for
     8     instructors, to approve or revoke the approval of any
     9     instructor and to develop the requirements for continued
    10     certification.
    11         (4)  To promote the most efficient and economical program
    12     for police training by utilizing existing facilities,
    13     programs and qualified Federal, State and local police
    14     personnel.
    15         (5)  To make an annual report to the Governor and to the
    16     General Assembly concerning the administration of the
    17     Municipal Police Officers' Education and Training Program and
    18     the activities of the commission, together with
    19     recommendations for executive or legislative action necessary
    20     for the improvement of law enforcement and the administration
    21     of justice.
    22         (6)  To require every police officer to attend a minimum
    23     number of hours of in-service training as provided for by
    24     regulation, unless the officer's employer files a show cause
    25     document with the commission requesting additional time for
    26     the officer to comply with the in-service training
    27     requirements. Approval of this request shall be made by the
    28     commission on a case-by-case basis.
    29         (7)  To require all police officers to undergo a
    30     background investigation to determine the individual's
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     1     suitability for employment as a police officer. This
     2     investigation shall be completed prior to the employment of
     3     the officer and shall include a criminal history check, a
     4     credit check, personal interviews and any other applicable
     5     means of determining eligibility. An applicant who has been
     6     convicted of a felony or serious misdemeanor shall not be
     7     eligible for employment as a police officer.
     8         (8)  To require minimum standards for physical fitness,
     9     visual acuity, audio acuity, psychological evaluation and
    10     education as prerequisites to employment as a police officer.
    11     The standards shall require an applicant to have audio acuity
    12     sufficient to distinguish a normal whisper at a distance of
    13     15 feet. The test shall be independently conducted for each
    14     ear while the tested ear is facing away from the speaker and
    15     the other ear is firmly covered with the palm of the hand. If
    16     the applicant fails this test, the applicant shall be
    17     required to take and pass a decibel audio test. The applicant
    18     may use a hearing aid or other aid to perform any audio
    19     acuity test required under this subsection.
    20         (9)  To appoint an executive director to administer the
    21     training program established by this subchapter. The position
    22     of executive director shall be filled by the commission which
    23     shall select the best qualified person from a list of three
    24     persons nominated by the chairman. The person who receives a
    25     simple majority of those members present and voting shall
    26     become the executive director. If the commission rejects all
    27     nominees, then the process shall be repeated until a person
    28     is selected. The executive director shall be directly
    29     responsible to the commission and may be dismissed only by
    30     two-thirds vote of the commission. The executive director
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     1     shall employ a sufficient staff, including professional,
     2     administrative and clerical personnel, to perform the tasks
     3     of the office, including the preparation of an annual budget.
     4         (10)  To consult and cooperate with universities,
     5     colleges, community colleges and institutes for the
     6     development of specialized courses for police officers.
     7         (11)  To consult and cooperate with departments and
     8     agencies of this Commonwealth and other states and the
     9     Federal Government concerned with police training.
    10         (12)  To certify police officers who have satisfactorily
    11     completed basic educational and training requirements as
    12     established by the commission and to issue appropriate
    13     certificates to those police officers.
    14         (13)  To visit and inspect approved schools at least once
    15     a year.
    16         (14)  To make such rules and regulations and to perform
    17     such other duties as may be reasonably necessary or
    18     appropriate to implement the education and training program
    19     for police officers.
    20         (15)  To grant waivers of mandatory basic training to
    21     police officers who have successfully completed previous
    22     equivalent training or who have acceptable full-time police
    23     experience, or both.
    24     Section 2.  This act shall take effect in 60 days.

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