SENATE, No. 4017

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

220th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED JUNE 26, 2023

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator† M. TERESA RUIZ

District 29 (Essex)

Senator† TROY SINGLETON

District 7 (Burlington)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Senator O'Scanlon

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

†††† Allows persons who qualify under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to become law enforcement and corrections officers.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

†††† As introduced.

††


An Act concerning law enforcement and amending various parts of the statutory law.†

 

†††† Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

†††† 1.††† Section 1 of P.L.1991, c.110 (C.30:4-3.11) is amended to read as follows:†

†††† 1.††† A person shall not be appointed as a correctional police officer of any correctional institution assigned, maintained, or operated by the Department of Corrections unless that person:

†††† a.†††† is a citizen of the United States or has been granted relief from federal immigration laws under the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program;

†††† b.††† is able to read, write and speak the English language well and intelligently and has a high school diploma or its equivalent;

†††† c.†††† is sound in body and of good health;

†††† d.††† is of good moral character; and

†††† e.†††† has not been convicted of any offense which would make the person unfit to perform the duties of the office as evidenced by a criminal history record background check.

(cf: P.L.2021, c.305, s.3)†

 

†††† 2.††† Section 2 of P.L.1991, c.110 (C.30:8-18.1) is amended to read as follows:† †

†††† 2.††† No person shall be appointed as a corrections officer of any county correctional institution unless that person:†

†††† a.†††† Is a citizen of the United States or has been granted relief from federal immigration laws under the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program;

†††† b.††† Is able to read, write and speak the English language well and intelligently and has a high school diploma or its equivalent;†

†††† c.†††† Is sound in body and of good health;

†††† †d.†† Is of good moral character;

†††† †e.††† Has not been convicted of any offense which would make him unfit to perform the duties of his office.†

(cf: P.L.1991, c.110, s.2) ††

 

†††† 3.††† N.J.S.40A:14-122 is amended to read as follows:†

†††† 40A:14-122. Except as otherwise provided by law, no person shall be appointed as a member of the police department and force, unless he:

†††† (1) is a citizen of the United States or has been granted relief from federal immigration laws under the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program;

†††† (2) is sound in body and of good health sufficient to satisfy the board of trustees of the police and firemen's retirement system of New Jersey as to his eligibility for membership in the retirement system;

†††† (3) is able to read, write and speak the English language well and intelligently;

†††† (4) is of good moral character, and has not been convicted of any criminal offense involving moral turpitude.

†††† The appointing body, officer or officers of the municipality when authorized† so to do, may employ such officers and other personnel for said police† department and force as temporary employees in emergencies, or for certain† specified parts of the year, as needed.

†††† Except as otherwise provided by law, any permanent member or officer of such† police department and force who shall be absent from duty without just cause or† leave of absence, for a continuous period of 5 days, shall cease to be a member† of such police department and force.

(cf: P.L.1971, c.443, s.4)†

 

†††† 4.††† Section 6 of P.L.1995, c.284 (C.52:17B-174) is amended to read as follows:

†††† 6.††† a. †The Juvenile Justice Commission shall employ, within the limits of available funds, juvenile corrections officers to staff each State secure juvenile facility and to provide security for other State juvenile facilities and programs including parole programs as deemed appropriate and to perform all other duties related to enforcement of confinement and conditions of release including execution of warrants and legal process.† Juvenile corrections officers shall be in the competitive division of the career service established pursuant to N.J.S.11A:3-2, "policemen" within the meaning of section 1 of P.L.1944, c.255 (C.43:16A-1) and members of the Police and Firemen's Retirement System of New Jersey established pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1944, c.255 (C.43:16A-2), and shall be "employees" within the meaning of section 3 of P.L.1941, c.100 (C.34:13A-3).

†††† b.††† Except as provided in subsection c. of this section, no person shall be appointed as a juvenile corrections officer unless that person:

†††† (1)†† Is a citizen of the United States or has been granted relief from federal immigration laws under the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program;

†††† (2)†† Is able to read, write and speak the English language well and intelligently;

†††† (3)†† Has a high school diploma or its equivalent;

†††† (4)†† Is sound in body and of good health;

†††† (5)†† Is of good moral character;

†††† (6)†† Has not been convicted of any offense which would make the person unfit to perform the duties of a juvenile corrections officer;

†††† (7)†† Has successfully completed the training course approved by the Police Training Commission and required by section 5 of P.L.1988, c.176 (C.52:17B-68.1) or is exempt pursuant to the provisions of that section; and

†††† (8)†† Meets such other qualifications, including education and training, as may be specified by the commission in consultation with the Civil Service Commission.

†††† c.†††† (1) Pending appointment of a full complement of juvenile corrections officers who meet the requirements of subsection b. of this section, the commission and the Commissioner of Corrections shall arrange through agreement for the assignment of corrections officers necessary to fill the positions transferred pursuant to section 8 of P.L.1995, c.284 (C.52:17B-176).† Corrections officers assigned to the commission pursuant to such an agreement shall be under the supervision of the commission during the period of assignment as provided by the agreement between the commission and the Commissioner of Corrections.† The primary concerns of all agreements governing assignment and supervision shall be public safety and safety within the facilities and programs.† No officer assigned pursuant to such an agreement shall, by virtue of such assignment, be considered an employee of the commission or lose or suffer any diminution of any right, power, privilege or benefit to which the employee would otherwise be entitled pursuant to the provisions of Title 11A of the New Jersey Statutes, Title 34 of the Revised Statutes, or Title 43 of the Revised Statutes, including any rights, powers, privileges or benefits as to salary, seniority, promotion, re-employment, retirement, pension or representation for purposes of collective bargaining;

†††† (2)†† Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection b. of this section, a corrections officer assigned to the commission pursuant to this section shall not be considered ineligible for the position of juvenile corrections officer solely because the officer does not meet any educational or training requirement the commission may establish and may be appointed as a juvenile corrections officer if the officer applies for such position within 18 months of the effective date of this act.† A juvenile corrections officer appointed pursuant to this subsection shall not be deprived of any right or protection provided by Title 11A of the New Jersey Statutes or any pension or retirement system and, notwithstanding any law or regulation to the contrary, shall be eligible to compete for vacant positions within the Department of Corrections with full credit for experience, service and rank earned as an employee of the Department of Corrections and such credit for experience, service and rank earned as an employee of the commission as the Commissioner of Corrections, after consultation with the Civil Service Commission, deems appropriate.

†††† d.††† Each juvenile corrections officer shall by virtue of such employment and in addition to any other power or authority, be empowered to act as an officer for the detection, apprehension, arrest and adjudication of offenders against the law and, subject to regulations promulgated by the commission and conditions set forth in N.J.S.2C:39-6, shall have the authority to possess and carry a firearm.

(cf: P.L.2008, c.29, s.111)†

 

†††† 5.††† (New section) A person who has been granted relief from federal immigration laws under the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and is appointed as a correctional police officer pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1991, c.110


(C.30:4-3.11), county corrections officer pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1991, c.110 (C.30:8-18.1), law enforcement officer pursuant to N.J.S.40A:14-122, or juvenile corrections officer pursuant to section 6 of P.L.1995, c.284 (C.52:17B-174) shall be entitled to carry a firearm in the course of the officerís employment and when required by the officerís supervising authority.†

 

†††† 6.††† This act shall take effect immediately.†

 

 

STATEMENT

 

†††† This bill allows persons who have been granted relief under the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to become law enforcement officers, State and county correctional police officers, and juvenile corrections officers.

†††† Under current law, a person is required to be a United States citizen as a prerequisite to being appointed as a law enforcement or corrections officer.† The DACA program was established by the federal government to protect from deportation certain noncitizens who were brought to the United States as children and allow them to receive work permits.† Under this bill, persons who qualify under the DACA program would be eligible to become law enforcement or corrections officers.† The bill also clarifies that a person who qualifies under the DACA program and is appointed as a law enforcement or corrections officer would be entitled carry a firearm in the course of the officerís employment and when required by the officerís supervising authority.†