H. B. 4377
(By Delegates D. Poling, Longstreth, Butcher, Guthrie, Martin, Brown and Hatfield)
[Introduced February 1, 2012; referred to the
Committee on Agriculture then the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated §19-20-26, relating to creating “Nitro’s Law” to honor fallen law-enforcement canines and other canines in the service of state or local governmental agencies.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated §19-20-26, to read as follows:
ARTICLE 20. DOGS AND CATS.
§19-20-26. Honoring fallen K-9s in the service of state or local government agencies.
(a) This act shall be known as “Nitro’s Law” and is intended to honor law-enforcement canines and other canines in the service of state or local governmental agencies, and to help provide closure to grieving law-enforcement officers or other governmental employees who have served as handlers for these dogs.
(b) Any canine working for, or retired from, a state or local law-enforcement agency or other governmental agency shall be memorialized by that agency upon its death if the law-enforcement officer or other agency employee who acted as the canine’s handler so requests. The tribute shall include:
(1) A memorial service, which may be a small informal service within the law-enforcement agency or other governmental agency where the canine served, or it may be open to the public, at the discretion of that agency;
(2) A plaque and flag to be presented to the canine’s most recent handler as a memorial to the canine for its distinguished service;
(3) A picture of the canine and its most recent handler to be placed, for an appropriate period of time, on a “wall of honor” at the law-enforcement agency or other agency which is dedicated for pictures of canines and their handlers; and
(4) An obituary posted in the local news paper in honor of the fallen canine.
(c) The Superintendent of State Police or other appropriate director of a state agency which utilizes canines in its service, a county commission or a municipal government may set aside funding to provide for canine memorial services for those law-enforcement agencies or other governmental agencies under their direction. Such funding may be dedicated from moneys realized from the seizure of contraband by law-enforcement agencies or as otherwise determined by the state agency, county commission or municipal government.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to create “Nitro’s Law” to honor fallen law-enforcement canines and other canines in service of state and local government agencies, and to honor their handlers.
§19-20-26 is new; therefore, it has been completely underscored.