Bill S4535-2013

Reclassifies uniformed court officers as police officers; repealer

Reclassifies uniformed court officers as police officers.

Details

Actions

  • Jan 8, 2014: REFERRED TO CODES
  • Apr 8, 2013: REFERRED TO CODES

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S4535

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the criminal procedure law, in relation to reclassifying court officers of the unified court system under the definition of police officer; and to repeal certain provisions of such law relating thereto

PURPOSE: The legislation amended subdivision 34 of Section 1.20 of the criminal procedure law by reclassifying court officers as police officers.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section one of the bill adds a new paragraph (w) to Criminal Procedure Law section 1.20(34) to add uniformed court officers of the Unified Court System to the definition of the term "police officer."

Section two of the bill paragraphs (a), (e), and (f) of subdivision 21 of section 2.10 of the Criminal Procedure Law.

Section three of the bill amends paragraph (c) of subdivision 21 of section 2.10 of the Criminal Procedure Law to strike the words "or uniformed court officer" from the list of District Court officials who are peace officers pursuant to section 2.10.

Section four of the bill provides that this act shall take effect immediately.

EXISTING LAW: Currently, uniformed court officers of the Unified Court System are classified as peace officers pursuant to Criminal Procedure Law section 2.10.

JUSTIFICATION: Court Officers are trained by certified New York State Police Instructors at the New York State Court Officers Academy and are the law enforcement authority for the state's judicial branch. Court Officers perform duties identical to that of Police Officers and share the same responsibilities as Police Officers. These duties are performed in and around court facilities throughout New York State as well as Unified Court System Administration Facilities. Court Officers ate sworn peace officers who are authorized to carry a firearm and effect arrests both on and off duty.

Court officers engage in crime prevention by virtue of being a visible uniformed force on fixed posts and on patrol in and around these same facilities. New York State Courts Mobile Security Patrol (MSP) units routinely patrol these facilities in marked radio patrol cars responding to emergencies and effecting and assisting in arrests.

Court officers provide judicial protection and routinely transport members of the judiciary to and from court facilities and administrative offices as well as to and from duties in remote areas of New York State.

Additionally, Court Officers provide protection to Judges at their homes in the event of threats made against Judges. Court officers are the only peace officers in the state with stop, question and frisk power. (See, CPL 140.50). This power is currently limited to "in or

about the court house to which he is assigned." Police status would expand on this power allowing officers to better serve and protect members of the judiciary and the public at large.

Court officers can execute bench warrants in New York City - Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester Counties. Police status would expand this authority to include all counties of New York State and to permit execution of arrest warrants as well. (See, CPL 530.70) Until the Unified Court System expanded its jurisdiction statewide, Court officer duties were performed by Deputy Sheriffs who had police status (See, CPL 1.20, 34) (B). These Deputy Sheriffs lost police status when they became Court officers. This legislation would restore these officers to their previous status as police officers.

After the attacks of September 11, 2001, Court Officers were charged with providing physical security at the Office of Emergency Management Command Post. Court Officers are currently assigned to both the Joint Terrorist Task Force and the Office of Emergency Management; these officers participate in the same assignments as police officers but lack the same authority. Police status would eliminate this deficiency. In the event of a terrorist attack, natural disaster or other catastrophic events, court officers are designated as first responders. Court officer special response team units (SRT) are highly trained units ready to mobilize and respond to emergency situations statewide.

Court officers routinely effect and process arrests, respond to medical emergencies, conduct crowd control, respond to bomb threats, respond to vehicular accidents, testify in court and, work with local police agencies to effect inspection of crime scenes by judges and juries.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2011-12: S.2188 - Referred to Codes 2009-10 - S.3709 - Referred to Codes 2008: S.5565-A - Vetoed by Governor Memo 180 2007: S.5565-A - Passed Senate

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE & LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: Minimal costs for training

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 4535 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE April 8, 2013 ___________
Introduced by Sen. GOLDEN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Codes AN ACT to amend the criminal procedure law, in relation to reclassifying court officers of the unified court system under the definition of police officer; and to repeal certain provisions of such law relating thereto THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 34 of section 1.20 of the criminal procedure law is amended by adding a new paragraph (w) to read as follows: (W) UNIFORMED COURT OFFICERS OF THE UNIFIED COURT SYSTEM. S 2. Paragraphs a, e, and f of subdivision 21 of section 2.10 of the criminal procedure law are REPEALED. S 3. Paragraph c of subdivision 21 of section 2.10 of the criminal procedure law, as added by chapter 843 of the laws of 1980, is amended to read as follows: c. Marshall, deputy marshall, OR clerk [or uniformed court officer] of a district court. S 4. This act shall take effect immediately.

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