H. B. 2401
(By Delegates Hrutkay, Butcher, Ferrell,
Martin, Wright, Mahan and Amores)
[Introduced January 17, 2003; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend and reenact section one-a, article three, chapter
six of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred
thirty-one, as amended, relating to deputy officers and
conservators of the peace generally and allowing members of
the deputy sheriffs' reserve to transport juveniles and
persons involuntarily committed to a mental health facility.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section one-a, article three, chapter six of the code of
West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be
amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 3. DEPUTY OFFICERS AND CONSERVATORS OF THE PEACE.
§6-3-1a. Deputy sheriff's reserve; purpose; appointment and
qualifications of members; duties; attire; training;
oath; bond; not employee of sheriff or county
commission for certain purposes; limitation on liability.
(a) The sheriff of any county may, for the purposes
hereinafter set forth, designate and appoint a deputy sheriffs'
reserve, hereinafter referred to as "reserve" or "reserves." A
reserve may not be designated or created without the prior approval
of the county commission for the establishment of the reserve.
(b) Each sheriff may appoint as members of the reserve bona
fide citizens of the county who are of good moral character and who
have not been convicted of a felony or other crime involving moral
turpitude. Any person so appointed shall serve at the will and
pleasure of the sheriff and is not subject to the provisions of
article fourteen, chapter seven of this code. A member of the
reserve may not engage in any political activity or campaign
involving the office of sheriff or from which activity or campaign
the sheriff or candidates therefor appointing the member would
(c) Members of the reserves shall not serve as law-enforcement
officers, nor carry firearms, but may carry other weapons, provided
that the sheriff certifies in writing to the county commission that
the reserve has met the special training requirements for the
weapon as established by the governor's committee on crime,
delinquency and corrections. The governor's committee on crime,
delinquency and corrections is authorized to promulgate legislative
rules and emergency rules pursuant to the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to establish appropriate
training standards. The reserves may be provided with radio
communication equipment for the purpose of maintaining contact with
the sheriff's department or other law-enforcement agencies. The
duties of the reserves shall be limited to crowd control or traffic
control and direction within the county. In addition, the reserves
may perform such other duties including transporting juveniles and
people involuntarily committed to a mental health facility and
duties of a non law-enforcement nature as are designated by the
sheriff or by a deputy sheriff designated and appointed by the
sheriff for that purpose: Provided, That a member of the reserves
may not aid or assist any law-enforcement officer in enforcing the
statutes and laws of this state in any labor trouble or dispute
between employer and employee.
(d) Members of the reserves may be uniformed; however, if so
uniformed, the uniforms shall clearly differentiate these members
from other law-enforcement deputy sheriffs.
(e) After appointment to the reserves but prior to service
each member of the reserves shall receive appropriate training and
instruction in their functions and authority as well as the
limitations of authority. In addition, each member of the reserves
shall annually receive in-service training.
(f) Each member of the reserve shall take the same oath as
prescribed by section five, article IV of the constitution of the state of West Virginia, but the taking of the oath does not serve
to make the member a public officer.
(g) The county commission of each county shall provide for the
bonding and liability insurance of each member of the reserve.
(h) A member of the reserve is not an employee of either the
sheriff or of the county commission for any purpose or purposes,
including, but not limited to, the purposes of workers'
compensation, civil service, unemployment compensation, public
employees retirement, public employees insurance or for any other
purpose. A member of the reserves may not receive any compensation
or pay for any services performed as a member nor may a member use
the designated uniform for any other similar work performed.
(i) Neither the county commission nor the sheriff is liable
for any of the acts of any member of the reserves except in the
case of gross negligence on the part of the county commission or
sheriff in the appointment of the member or in the case of gross
negligence on the part of either the sheriff or any of his or her
deputies in directing any action on the part of the member.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to
allow members of the
deputy sheriffs' reserve to transport juveniles and persons
involuntarily committed to a mental health facility.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would