CSSB 145(FIN): "An Act relating to regional and village public safety officers; relating to the expansion of the village public safety officer program to include the provision of probation and parole supervision services; and relating to retirement benefits for village public safety officers."
00 CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 145(FIN) 01 "An Act relating to regional and village public safety officers; relating to the expansion 02 of the village public safety officer program to include the provision of probation and 03 parole supervision services; and relating to retirement benefits for village public safety 04 officers." 05 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 06 * Section 1. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section 07 to read: 08 INTENT. This Act is intended to strengthen the delivery of law enforcement to the 09 most remote and inaccessible areas of the state. It enhances the role of the village public 10 safety officer by providing additional responsibilities concurrent with additional pay and 11 improved retirement benefits. In addition, providing delegated probation and parole 12 responsibilities significantly enhances the recovery of offenders, decreasing ultimate state 13 costs while increasing citizen benefits. This Act is intended to improve law enforcement 14 services to rural areas by providing a career path for village public safety officers through the
01 creation of a regional public safety officer program. Regional public safety officers will be 02 certified police officers. It is also intended, however, that the regional public safety officer be 03 assigned job duties and jurisdictional authorities that are distinct and separate from those 04 assigned to state troopers. 05 * Sec. 2. AS 09.65 is amended by adding a new section to read: 06 Sec. 09.65.280. Civil liability of state for acts or omissions of village public 07 safety officers. Notwithstanding another provision of law, the state and its officers, 08 agents, and employees are not liable in tort, except for an act or omission that 09 constitutes gross negligence or reckless or intentional misconduct, for damages for the 10 injury to or death of a person or property damage resulting from the supervision of, 11 training of, actions of or failure to act of, or use of or failure to use village public 12 safety officers in communicating with or monitoring the activities of persons on 13 probation or parole. 14 * Sec. 3. AS 18.65.670 is amended to read: 15 Sec. 18.65.670. Village public safety officers program. (a) There is created 16 in the Department of Public Safety a village public safety officer program to assist 17 local governments and villages through nonprofit regional corporations to appoint, 18 train, supervise, and retain persons to serve as village public safety officers to 19 administer functions relative to 20 (1) the protection of life and property in rural areas of the state; and 21 (2) providing probation and parole supervision to persons under 22 supervision by communicating with and monitoring the activities and progress of 23 these persons at the direction of probation and parole officers. 24 (b) With funds appropriated for that purpose, the commissioner of public 25 safety shall provide grants to nonprofit regional corporations for village public safety 26 officers. The commissioner of public safety shall coordinate with the 27 commissioner of corrections when providing grants under this section, and the 28 commissioners shall jointly execute an agreement with the nonprofit regional 29 corporations. 30 (c) The commissioner of public safety may adopt regulations related to village 31 public safety officers, including minimum standards and training, criteria for
01 community or corporation participation, and the interaction between the Department 02 of Public Safety and village public safety officers. The commissioner of corrections 03 may adopt regulations related to the functions of village public safety officers 04 providing probation and parole supervision. 05 * Sec. 4. AS 18.65.670 is amended by adding a new subsection to read: 06 (d) A village public safety officer employed under the village public safety 07 officer program established by this section is a member of the public employees' 08 retirement system under AS 39.35 unless the officer waives coverage under 09 AS 39.35.127. 10 * Sec. 5. AS 18.65 is amended by adding a new section to article 9 to read: 11 Sec. 18.65.680. Regional public safety officers. The commissioner of public 12 safety may appoint regional public safety officers to 13 (1) provide an expanded public safety and law enforcement presence in 14 rural areas of the state; 15 (2) provide oversight and training for the village public safety officer 16 program; 17 (3) administer functions relating to 18 (A) protecting life and property in the rural areas of the state; 19 (B) conducting investigations; 20 (C) conducting search and rescue missions; 21 (D) conducting local training programs in drug and alcohol 22 awareness and prevention, water safety, and gun safety; 23 (4) perform other duties relating to public safety as directed by the 24 commissioner. 25 * Sec. 6. AS 39.35.120 is amended to read: 26 Sec. 39.35.120. Commencement of participation. (a) An employee of the 27 state shall be included in this system upon commencement of employment with the 28 state, or on January 1, 1961, whichever is later. Unless an employee has elected to 29 participate in the optional university retirement program under AS 14.40.661 - 30 14.40.799, an employee of a political subdivision or public organization that becomes 31 an employer shall be included in the system on the effective date of the employer's
01 participation or the date of the employee's commencement of employment with the 02 employer, whichever is later. Unless the village public safety officer waives 03 coverage under AS 39.35.127, a village public safety officer employed under the 04 village public safety officer program established in AS 18.65.670 is included in 05 this system on the effective date of this Act or upon the officer's commencement 06 of employment with the employer, whichever is later. 07 (b) Inclusion in the system is a condition of employment for an employee 08 except as otherwise provided for 09 (1) an elected official; 10 (2) [AND FOR] an employee of the university who has elected to 11 participate in the optional university retirement program under AS 14.40.661 - 12 14.40.799; and 13 (3) a village public safety officer employed by a nonprofit regional 14 corporation as set out in AS 39.35.127. 15 * Sec. 7. AS 39.35 is amended by adding a new section to read: 16 Sec. 39.35.127. Participation of village public safety officers. A village 17 public safety officer employed by a nonprofit regional corporation is included in the 18 system unless the officer files a written waiver of coverage with the administrator 19 within 90 days after the effective date of this Act or within 90 days after the date on 20 which the officer begins employment as a village public safety officer, whichever is 21 later. A waiver is retroactive to the effective date of this Act or to the date on which 22 the officer began employment as a village public safety officer, whichever applies. 23 The waiver must be in writing on a form provided by the administrator and must be 24 filed with the administrator. A waiver under this subsection is irrevocable. 25 * Sec. 8. AS 39.35 is amended by adding a new section to read: 26 Sec. 39.35.285. Employers of village public safety officers. For purposes of 27 AS 39.35.250 - 39.35.290, all the nonprofit regional corporations employing village 28 public safety officers shall be treated jointly as a single employer. 29 * Sec. 9. AS 39.35.342(a) is amended to read: 30 (a) Except for employment for which the employee waived coverage 31 under AS 39.35.127, a [A] vested employee is entitled to credited service for
01 employment as a village public safety officer under the program established under 02 AS 18.65.670 for which the employee has not otherwise received credited service 03 under this system. An employee is not entitled to credited service for employment as 04 a village public safety officer unless the employee was employed as a village public 05 safety officer for at least one year. [THE CREDITED SERVICE ALLOWED MAY 06 NOT EXCEED AN AGGREGATE PERIOD OF FIVE YEARS.] Benefits are not 07 payable on credited service for village public safety officer service under this section 08 unless the employee makes retroactive contributions to the system for the period of 09 time that service credit is claimed. 10 * Sec. 10. AS 39.35.680(17) is amended to read: 11 (17) "employer" means 12 (A) the State of Alaska; 13 (B) a nonprofit regional corporation, but only with respect 14 to village public safety officers employed by the corporation under 15 AS 18.65.670 who have not terminated participation in the system under 16 AS 39.35.127; or 17 (C) a political subdivision or public organization of the state 18 that participates in the system; 19 * Sec. 11. AS 39.35.680(28) is amended to read: 20 (28) "peace officer" or "fire fighter" means an employee occupying a 21 position as a peace officer, chief of police, regional public safety officer, correctional 22 officer, correctional superintendent, fire fighter, fire chief, or probation officer, but 23 does not include a village public safety officer employed by a village public safety 24 officer program established under AS 18.65.670; 25 * Sec. 12. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to 26 read: 27 APPLICABILITY. This Act does not modify the terms of a contract between the state 28 and a nonprofit regional corporation in existence on the effective date of this Act.