H. B. 4117
(By Delegates Modesitt, Stemple, Ashley,
Stalnaker, Azinger, L. Smith and Williams)
[Introduced January 21, 2000; referred to the
Committee on Government Organization.]
A BILL to amend and reenact section one, article seven, chapter
twenty of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred
thirty-one, as amended, relating to renaming conservation
officers as natural resources police officers.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section one, article seven, chapter twenty of the code of
West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be
amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 7. LAW ENFORCEMENT, MOTOR BOATING, LITTER.
PART I. LAW ENFORCEMENT, PROCEDURES AND PENALTIES.
§20-7-1. Chief natural resources police officer; natural
resources police officers; special and emergency
natural resources police officers; subsistence
(a) The division's law-enforcement policies, practices and programs shall be under the immediate supervision and direction of
the division law-enforcement officer selected by the director and
designated as chief conservation officer as provided in section
thirteen, article one of this chapter.
(b) Under the supervision of the director, the chief
conservation officer shall organize, develop and maintain
law-enforcement practices, means and methods geared, timed and
adjustable to seasonal, emergency and other needs and requirements
of the division's comprehensive natural resources program. All
division personnel detailed and assigned to law-enforcement duties
and services under this section shall be known and designated as
conservation officers and shall be under the immediate supervision
and direction of the chief conservation officer. All conservation
officers shall be trained, equipped and conditioned for duty and
services wherever and whenever required by division law-enforcement
(c) The chief conservation officer, acting under supervision
of the director, is authorized to select and appoint emergency
conservation officers for a limited period of time for effective
enforcement of the provisions of this chapter when considered
necessary because of emergency or other unusual circumstances. The
emergency conservation officers shall be selected from qualified
civil service personnel of the division, except in emergency
situations and circumstances when the director may designate officers, without regard to civil service requirements and
qualifications, to meet law-enforcement needs. Emergency
conservation officers shall exercise all powers and duties
prescribed in section four of this article for full-time salaried
conservation officers except the provisions of subdivision (8) of
(d) The chief conservation officer, acting under supervision
of the director, is also authorized to select and appoint as
special conservation officers any full-time civil service employee
who is assigned to, and has direct responsibility for management
of, an area owned, leased or under the control of the division and
who has satisfactorily completed a course of training established
and administered by the chief conservation officer, when such
action is considered necessary because of law-enforcement needs.
The powers and duties of a special conservation officer, appointed
under this provision, is the same within his or her assigned area
as prescribed for full-time salaried conservation officers. The
jurisdiction of the person appointed as a special conservation
officer, under this provision, shall be limited to the division
area or areas to which he or she is assigned and directly manages.
(e) The chief conservation officer, acting under supervision
of the director, is also authorized to appoint as special
conservation officers any full-time civil service forest fire
control personnel who have satisfactorily completed a course of training established and administered by the chief conservation
officer. The jurisdiction of forest fire control personnel
appointed as special conservation officers is limited to the
enforcement of the provisions of article three of this chapter.
(f) The chief conservation officer, with the approval of the
director, has the power and authority to revoke any appointment of
an emergency conservation officer or of a special conservation
officer at any time.
(g) Conservation officers are subject to seasonal or other
assignment and detail to duty whenever and wherever required by the
functions, services and needs of the division.
(h) The chief conservation officer shall designate the area of
primary residence of each conservation officer, including himself
or herself. Since the area of business activity of the division
is actually anywhere within the territorial confines of the state
of West Virginia, actual expenses incurred shall be paid whenever
the duties are performed outside the area of primary assignment and
still within the state.
(i) Conservation officers shall receive, in addition to their
base pay salary, a minimum monthly subsistence allowance for their
required telephone service, dry cleaning or required uniforms, and
meal expenses while performing their regular duties in their area
of primary assignment in the amount of one hundred thirty dollars
each month. This subsistence allowance does not apply to special or emergency conservation officers appointed under this section.
(j) After the thirtieth day of June, two thousand, all
full-time law-enforcement officers employed by the division of
natural resources and referred to as conservation officers shall be
known as and referred to as natural resources police officers.
Wherever these law-enforcement officers are referred to in this
code as "conservation officers" that term shall mean "natural
resources police officers."
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would