Senate Bill No. 91
Introduced By grosfield
By Request of the Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks
A Bill for an Act entitled: "An Act establishing a reserve park ranger and auxiliary park ranger program; granting rulemaking authority to the department of fish, wildlife, and parks to determine the training course content and curriculum for reserve park rangers; allowing reserve park rangers to be ex officio wardens; providing for the security of reserve park rangers; allowing reserve park rangers to accept and engage in casual employment; amending sections 13-2-115, 13-2-122, 37-60-406, and 87-1-503, MCA; and providing an effective date."
STATEMENT OF INTENT
A statement of intent is required for this bill because it grants rulemaking authority to the department of fish, wildlife, and parks to establish course content and length for reserve park ranger training. The legislature further intends that the department model the training course in content and length after the basic training course for reserve officers described in 7-32-214, providing additional instruction in issues specific to the laws and rules governing parks and outdoor recreation provided in Title 23, chapters 1 and 2, except chapter 2, part 7.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Montana:
NEW SECTION. Section 1. Definitions. As used in [sections 1 through 18], the following definitions apply:
(1) "Auxiliary park ranger" means an unsworn, part-time volunteer for the department who may perform but is not limited to performing the following duties:
(a) search and rescue;
(b) office duties;
(c) campground and picnic area patrols;
(e) crowd and traffic control; and
(f) crime prevention.
(2) "Department" means the department of fish, wildlife, and parks provided for in 2-15-3401.
(3) "Director" means the director of the department of fish, wildlife, and parks.
(4) "Park ranger" means a sworn, full-time employee of the department with arrest authority as provided in 23-1-121 and 23-1-122.
(5) "Park ranger law enforcement duties" means:
(a) patrol operations performed for detection, prevention, and suppression of crime; and
(b) the enforcement of the laws and rules governing parks and outdoor recreation provided in Title 23, chapters 1 and 2, except chapter 2, part 7.
(6) "Reserve park ranger" means a sworn, part-time volunteer for the department who qualifies as a park ranger as defined in 23-1-121. A reserve park ranger has arrest authority only when authorized as a representative of the department.
NEW SECTION. Section 2. Reserve park rangers authorized. The department may appoint reserve park rangers. A person may be appointed as a reserve park ranger if the person:
(1) meets the minimum standards for appointment as a park ranger;
(2) meets the qualifications provided in [section 4]; and
(3) satisfactorily completes the training course pursuant to [section 5].
NEW SECTION. Section 3. Prohibition on reduction of full-time park rangers. The department may not reduce the authorized number of full-time park rangers through the appointment or use of reserve park rangers.
NEW SECTION. Section 4. Qualifications for appointment as reserve park ranger. To be appointed a reserve park ranger, a person must:
(1) be a citizen of the United States;
(2) be at least 18 years old;
(3) be fingerprinted for a search to be made of local, state, and national fingerprint files to disclose any criminal record;
(4) not have been convicted of a crime for which the person could have been imprisoned in a federal penitentiary or state prison;
(5) be of good moral character as determined by a thorough background investigation;
(6) be a graduate of an accredited high school or the equivalent;
(7) be examined by a licensed physician within 30 days immediately preceding the date of appointment and be pronounced in good physical condition; and
(8) possess a valid Montana driver's license.
NEW SECTION. Section 5. Training program required. (1) A reserve park ranger has 2 years from the date of the ranger's original appointment to satisfactorily complete a training program or the ranger may not be authorized to perform park ranger law enforcement duties as a representative of the department.
(2) The department shall adopt rules governing the training course length and content. The rules governing the training course must detail the curriculum and specify the number of hours required for each portion of the course, similar to the description of the reserve officer training program provided in 7-32-214.
(3) The department shall train its reserve park rangers in accordance with minimum training standards established by the Montana board of crime control pursuant to 44-4-301(3).
NEW SECTION. Section 6. Reserve park ranger manual. The department shall prepare, adopt, and publish a manual detailing the minimum qualifications, minimum training standards, and standard operating procedures for reserve park rangers.
NEW SECTION. Section 7. Limitations on activities of reserve park rangers. (1) A reserve park ranger may serve as a peace officer only on the orders and at the direction of the director, the director's designee, or the administrator of the department's law enforcement division.
(2) A reserve park ranger:
(a) may act only in a supplementary capacity to the department;
(b) is subordinate to a full-time park ranger; and
(c) must be supervised by a full-time park ranger who monitors and directs the reserve park ranger as necessary considering the reserve park ranger's experience and training.
NEW SECTION. Section 8. Authority of reserve park rangers to issue citations. A reserve park ranger may issue a citation to a person violating the laws and rules governing parks and outdoor recreation.
NEW SECTION. Section 9. Status of reserve park ranger upon activation. Except as provided in [sections 1 through 18], a reserve park ranger is vested with the same powers, rights, privileges, obligations, and duties as any other park ranger of this state upon being activated by the director, the director's designee, or the administrator of the department's law enforcement division.
NEW SECTION. Section 10. Park ranger reserve force coordinator. The director shall appoint a full-time law enforcement officer of the department as a reserve park ranger force coordinator. The reserve force coordinator shall coordinate the activities of the reserve force with those of the department.
NEW SECTION. Section 11. Appointment of reserve park ranger to full-time position. A reserve park ranger may be appointed as a full-time park ranger through the department's hiring process.
NEW SECTION. Section 12. Termination of reserve park ranger. A reserve park ranger serves at the pleasure of the director, the director's designee, or the administrator of the department's law enforcement division and may be terminated by written notice without cause.
NEW SECTION. Section 13. Auxiliary park rangers authorized. The department may authorize auxiliary park rangers only on the orders and at the direction of the director, the director's designee, or the department's law enforcement administrator.
NEW SECTION. Section 14. Role of auxiliary park ranger. An auxiliary park ranger:
(1) is subordinate to a full-time park ranger;
(2) must be supervised by a full-time park ranger; and
(3) may not carry a weapon while on assigned duty.
NEW SECTION. Section 15. Auxiliary park ranger -- arrest authority. An auxiliary park ranger has only the arrest authority granted to a private person in 46-6-502.
NEW SECTION. Section 16. Certain pension and retirement systems -- participation prohibited. A reserve park ranger or an auxiliary park ranger may not participate in any pension or retirement systems established for full-time law enforcement officers.
NEW SECTION. Section 17. Provision of worker's compensation coverage. The department shall provide full workers' compensation coverage for reserve park rangers and auxiliary park rangers while they are providing actual service to the department. The department shall pay to the insurer a premium established by the insurer to cover the insurance risk of providing coverage for reserve and auxiliary park rangers.
NEW SECTION. Section 18. Exceptions. The provisions of [sections 2, 4, and 5] do not apply to auxiliary park rangers or to sworn volunteer peace officers who are not assigned to park ranger law enforcement duties.
Section 19. Section 13-2-115, MCA, is amended to read:
"13-2-115. Registration lists to be prepared. (1) Except as provided in subsection (5), immediately after registration is closed, the election administrator shall prepare and must have printed lists of all registered electors in each precinct. Names of electors must be listed alphabetically, with their residence address or with a mailing address if located where street numbers are not used. A preliminary list of registered electors may be printed before the close of registration for an election. If a preliminary list is printed, a supplementary list must be printed after the close of registration.
(2) A copy of the list of registered voters must be displayed at the polling place. Extra copies of the lists must be retained by the election administrator and furnished to an elector upon request.
(3) The list of registered electors prepared for a primary election may be used for the general election if a supplemental list giving the additions and deletions since the primary list was prepared is printed. The election administrator may prepare lists for a special election, but lists are not required to be printed for special elections.
(4) Lists of registered voters need not be printed if the election will not be held.
(5) If a law enforcement officer or reserve officer, as defined in 7-32-201, or a reserve park ranger, as defined in [section 1], requests in writing that, for security reasons, the officer's and the officer's spouse's residential address, if the same as the officer's, not be disclosed, the registrar may not include the address on any list of registered voters but shall list only the name or names."
Section 20. Section 13-2-122, MCA, is amended to read:
"13-2-122. Charges for registers, elector lists, and mailing labels made available to public. (1) Except as provided in subsection (2), upon written request, the registrar shall furnish to any elector, for noncommercial use, a copy of the official precinct registers, a current list of registered electors, or mailing labels for registered electors. Upon delivery, the registrar may collect a charge not to exceed the actual cost of the register, list, or mailing labels.
(2) If the registrar receives in writing from a law enforcement officer or reserve officer, as defined in 7-32-201, or a reserve park ranger, as defined in [section 1], a request that, for security reasons, the officer's and the officer's spouse's residential address, if the same as the officer's, not be disclosed, the registrar may not include the address on any register, list, or mailing labels disseminated pursuant to subsection (1)."
Section 21. Section 37-60-406, MCA, is amended to read:
"37-60-406. Peace officer's casual employment. (1) A peace officer, as defined in 46-1-202,
or a reserve officer, as
defined in 7-32-201, or a reserve park ranger, as defined in [section 1], is not prohibited or restricted from accepting and
engaging in employment as a security guard during his off-duty hours, provided that:
he the officer or ranger does not advertise his the officer's or ranger's services or solicit employment; and further
(b) the sheriff, chief, or director of
his the officer's or ranger's department previously approves the off-duty employment.
(2) A peace officer,
or reserve officer, or reserve park ranger engaged in casual employment is exempt from the provisions
of this chapter only if the casual employment is authorized in writing by his the officer's sheriff or chief of police or the
ranger's department director."
Section 22. Section 87-1-503, MCA, is amended to read:
"87-1-503. Ex officio wardens. (1) The following are ex officio wardens, without pay, as the director may appoint:
All all sheriffs and their deputies;
(b) all constables;
(c) all peace officers of the state or any subdivision of the state;
(d) the executive director and investigators of the board of outfitters;
(e) all state forest officers;
(f) as authorized by cooperative agreement, any officers of the United States forest service, agents of the United States fish and wildlife service, and peace officers of the bureau of land management, national park service, and corps of engineers that are assigned to duty in this state;
(g) former fish and game wardens;
(h) reserve park rangers, as defined in [section 1]; and
(i) field personnel of the department.
as the director may appoint are ex officio wardens, without pay, except that the
(2) The department may, in its discretion, allow travel expenses as provided for in 2-18-501 through 2-18-503, which, if allowed, must be paid upon proper vouchers from the state fish and game funds.
(3) Ex officio wardens have the same powers with reference to the enforcement of the fish and game laws of this state and the laws relating to parks and outdoor recreation contained in Title 23, chapters 1 and 2, except chapter 2, part 7, as regularly appointed wardens, and it is their duty to assist, whenever possible, in the enforcement of those laws."
NEW SECTION. Section 23. Codification instruction. [Sections 1 through 18] are intended to be codified as an integral part of Title 23, chapter 1, part 1, and the provisions of Title 23, chapter 1, part 1, apply to [sections 1 through 18].
NEW SECTION. Section 24. Effective date. [This act] is effective July 1, 1997.