Relates to hiring of police officers in the department of environmental conservation.
Ayes (62): Adams, Addabbo, Avella, Ball, Bonacic, Boyle, Breslin, Carlucci, DeFrancisco, Diaz, Dilan, Espaillat, Farley, Felder, Flanagan, Fuschillo, Gallivan, Gianaris, Gipson, Golden, Griffo, Grisanti, Hannon, Hassell-Thomps, Hoylman, Kennedy, Klein, Krueger, Lanza, Larkin, Latimer, LaValle, Libous, Little, Marcellino, Marchione, Martins, Maziarz, Montgomery, Nozzolio, O'Brien, O'Mara, Parker, Peralta, Perkins, Ranzenhofer, Ritchie, Rivera, Robach, Sanders, Savino, Serrano, Seward, Skelos, Smith, Squadron, Stavisky, Stewart-Cousin, Tkaczyk, Valesky, Young, Zeldin
Excused (1): Sampson
BILL NUMBER:S1584 REVISED 3/12/13
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the civil service law, in relation to the hiring of police officers in the department of environmental conservation
PURPOSE: This legislation adds DEC police officers and Forest Ranger to the list of police officers subject to certain basic requirements, including the requirement of good moral character.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Civil Service law Section 58 is amended to make appropriate changes as they relate to DEC Police Officers and Forest Rangers to conform with already existing law for police officers.
EXISTING LAW: CSL 58 sets forth the requirements for provisional or permanent appointment for certain police officers. These requirements include age, height, weight, physical fitness, and educational requirements, as well as the requirement that the person be of good moral character. The current definition of police officer does not contain EnCon Police Officer, or Forest Ranger.
JUSTIFICATION: "Environmental Conservation Officers (ECOs) are sworn police officers involved in the enforcement of the Environmental Conservation Law in order to protect the State's natural resources and environment. They investigate complaints in order to detect and document both state and federal Environmental Conservation Law felonies, misdemeanors and violations. Environmental Conservation Officers meet with school groups, service groups, regulated community and hunter's and angler's clubs to promote compliance with environmental conservation law, which includes fish and wildlife law. At times, they are expected to work long and irregular hours on outdoor patrols. ECOs are required to carry a firearm" This language is taken directly from the DEC's website and clearly and concisely explains that ECO's are police officers
New York's rich and diverse forests, wildlands and wildernesses are protected by the Division of Forest Protection's Forest Rangers. As police officers, wildland firefighters and wilderness first responders, rangers are prepared to protect the state's forests and the people who use these great natural resources from all kinds of dangers. Each day and regardless of weather, forest rangers patrol 5.0 million acres of Department-administered public lands and easements by vehicle, boat, ATV, snowmobile, aircraft, bicycle, foot, skis Or snowshoes. Each ranger is required to reside within the ranger district in which she/he is assigned but emergencies and special events will require them to work anywhere and at anytime. Quite often, rangers are asked to assist other agencies with complex emergency or law enforcement incidents that have occurred in or near a forested area. Since New York is has 18.6 million acres of forested lands, rangers are busy year-round accomplishing their unique mission. This language is taken directly from the DEC's website and also clearly and concisely shows that forest rangers are also considered police officers.
As stated above ECO's and Forest Rangers do the jobs of and are considered police officers by the Department of Environmental Conservation and as such should be subject to certain basic requirements, including the requirement of good moral character to the same extent that all other police officers are.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: Similar bills S.4311 of 2006.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1584 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 9, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sens. GRISANTI, GALLIVAN, MAZIARZ -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Civil Service and Pensions AN ACT to amend the civil service law, in relation to the hiring of police officers in the department of environmental conservation THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 1 of section 58 of the civil service law, as amended by chapter 560 of the laws of 1978, the opening paragraph as amended by chapter 435 of the laws of 1997 and paragraph (a) as amended by chapter 346 of the laws of 2008, is amended to read as follows: 1. Notwithstanding any other provision of this law or any general, special or local law to the contrary, no person shall be eligible for provisional or permanent appointment in the competitive class of the civil service as a police officer OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION OR of any police force or police department of any county, city, town, village, housing authority or police district unless he OR SHE shall satisfy the following basic requirements: (a) he or she is not less than twenty years of age as of the date of appointment nor more than thirty-five years of age as of the date when the applicant takes the written examination, provided that the maximum age requirement of thirty-five years of age as set forth in this para- graph shall not apply to eligible lists finalized pursuant to an exam- ination administered prior to May thirty-first, nineteen hundred nine- ty-nine OR A POLICE OFFICER IN THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION, provided, however, that: (i) time spent on military duty or on terminal leave, not exceeding a total of six years, shall be subtracted from the age of any applicant who has passed his or her thirty-fifth birthday as provided in subdivi- sion ten-a of section two hundred forty-three of the military law;EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD04679-01-3 S. 1584 2
(ii) such maximum age requirement of thirty-five years shall not apply to any police officer as defined in subdivision thirty-four of section 1.20 of the criminal procedure law, who was continuously employed by the Buffalo municipal housing authority between January first, two thousand five and June thirtieth, two thousand five and who takes the next writ- ten exam offered after the effective date of this subparagraph by the city of Buffalo civil service commission for employment as a police officer in the city of Buffalo police department, or June thirtieth, two thousand six, whichever is later; and (iii) such maximum age requirement of thirty-five years shall not apply to any police officer of any county, town, city or village police force not otherwise provided for in this section if the eligible list has been exhausted and there are no other eligible candidates; provided, however, the police officer themselves are on the eligible list of such county, town, city or village and meet all other requirements of merit and fitness set forth by this chapter and do not exceed the maximum age of thirty-nine; (b) he OR SHE is a high school graduate or a holder of a high school equivalency diploma issued by an education department of any of the states of the United States or a holder of a comparable diploma issued by any commonwealth, territory or possession of the United States or by the Canal Zone or a holder of a report from the United States armed forces certifying his OR HER successful completion of the tests of general educational development, high school level; (c) he OR SHE satisfies the height, weight and physical fitness requirements prescribed by the municipal police training council pursu- ant to the provisions of section eight hundred forty of the executive law; and (d) he OR SHE is of good moral character. S 2. Subdivision 2 of section 58 of the civil service law, as amended by chapter 32 of the laws of 1999, is amended to read as follows: 2. The provisions of this section shall not prevent any county, city, town, village, housing authority, transit authority
[or], police district OR THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION from setting more restrictive requirements of eligibility for its police officers, except the maximum age to be a police officer as provided in paragraph (a) of subdivision one of this section. S 3. Subdivision 3 of section 58 of the civil service law, as amended by chapter 435 of the laws of 1997, is amended to read as follows: 3. As used in this section, the term "police officer" means a POLICE OFFICER IN THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION, A member of the regional state park police or a police force, police department, or other organization of a county, city, town, village, housing authority, transit authority or police district, who is responsible for the prevention and detection of crime and the enforcement of the general criminal laws of the state, but shall not include any person serving as such solely by virtue of his OR HER occupying any other office or posi- tion, nor shall such term include a sheriff, under-sheriff, commissioner of police, deputy or assistant commissioner of police, chief of police, deputy or assistant chief of police or any person having an equivalent title who is appointed or employed to exercise equivalent supervisory authority. S 4. Paragraphs (a) and (b) of subdivision 4 of section 58 of the civil service law, as amended by chapter 435 of the laws of 1997, are amended to read as follows:S. 1584 3
(a) Any person who has received provisional or permanent appointment in the competitive class of the civil service as a police officer of the regional state park police, THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION or any police force or police department of any county, city, town, village, housing authority, transit authority or police district shall be eligible to resign from any police force or police department, and to be appointed as a police officer in the same or any other police force or police department without satisfying the age requirements set forth in paragraph (a) of subdivision one of this section at the time of such second or subsequent appointment, provided such second or subsequent appointment occurs within thirty days of the date of resignation. (b) Any person who has received permanent appointment in the compet- itive class of the civil service as a police officer of the regional state park police, THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION or any police force or police department of any county, city, town, village, housing authority, transit authority or police district shall be eligi- ble to resign from any police force or police department and, subject to such civil service rules as may be applicable, shall be eligible for reinstatement in the same police force or police department or in any other police force or police department to which he OR SHE was eligible for transfer, without satisfying the age requirements set forth in para- graph (a) of subdivision one of this section at the time of such rein- statement, provided such reinstatement occurs within one year of the date of resignation. S 5. This act shall take effect immediately.