Review the current laws and guidelines for SLEOII Officers

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Review the current laws and guidelines for SLEOII Officers

This petition had 63 supporters

John Smith started this petition

The laws and guidelines governing SLEOII officers in NJ need to be reviewed. SLEOII officers have full police powers while on duty, the same as their full time counterparts. The program has evolved a great deal since it was started, however the laws and regulations have remained the same. Changes are needed to bring the program up to date. The only request is that a committee of politicians and un-biased law enforcement experts be formed to review the laws and regulations and advise the state legislature on their findings. The following changes are proposed, and asked to be researched;

1. The current SLEOII academy is not much shorter than the full time academy(and in some cases exactly the same length). If hired within 3 years SLEOII's may be granted a waiver to any classes they missed and recieve a full certification. This requires the hiring chief's approval, and throughout the state Chiefs who are not exposed to SLEOII's often deny a waiver. In the worse cases SLEOII's who completed the exact same training hours and classes as full-time officers are denied a waiver. The majority of SLEOII's when hired full time are required to go back to the 21 week academy for a mere average of 1 to 5 weeks of missed instruction. It is proposed that SLEOII's receive the same training as their full time counterparts, especially considering they have full police powers while on duty and because of this training should not differ. As long as there is not an extensive break in service they will be able to be hired full time without re-attending the academy.

2.Current laws require SLEOII's uniforms to differ in some way from their full time counterparts, and they must wear a large patch on their shoulder that states "Special Law Enforcement Officer II". The only reason for this appears to be so that the public may differentiate them from regular police officers. The outcome however only creates confusion among the public as to whether they are actually police officers with full police powers, and SLEOII's often receive resistance due to this. It is proposed that this patch is no longer required, and that a SLEOII designation is only necessary on the badge, in place of "patrolman", or "officer".

3. Volunteer firefighters, and full time police officers each have some type of benefit on civil service. SLEOII's who serve as police officers, should have some type of advantage over the average Joe who takes the test.

4. SLEOII's currently meet the definition outlined in the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act which allows police officers to carry their weapon for off-duty protection 

(except in restricted areas as noted by LEOSA), and the act supersedes all local laws, state laws, and departmental policies. However New Jersey State law, and policies currently restrict SLEOII's from doing such, with extreme consequences used as reprimand (job loss), in direct violation of federal law. This is a consistently debated issue in NJ's law enforcement community, however various directives and case law directly demonstrate that NJ's laws/policy are unlawful;

People of New York v. Rodriguez, Indictment No. 2917 (2006)

People of New York v.Benjamin L. Booth, Jr., Indictment No. 2007-940 (2007)

Rene, James M., and Ekerling, Howard L., "The Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004 And Its Application to California Reserve Peace Officers."

Rene, James M., “California Reserve Peace Officers and ‘Legal Status’ Under The Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004.”

Jose Diaz vs City of San Fernando (2011)

"Report on the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2003 from the United States House of Representative Committee on the Judiciary, House Report 108-560, pp. 53-62."

NJ's SLEOII program is similar to most states Reserve Officers programs throughout the country. However it it places unnecessary restrictions on them that are seen no where throughout the country. Please let it be noted that the hourly restrictions and amount of SLEOII's each department is allowed to have is fully supported as it defends the full-time police positions throughout the state.

Petition Closed

This petition had 63 supporters