Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

Amendment

 

February Session, 2008

LCO No. 6467

   
 

*HB0585206467HDO*

Offered by:

 

REP. URBAN, 43rd Dist.

 

To: Subst. House Bill No. 5852

File No. 723

Cal. No. 199

After the last section, add the following and renumber sections and internal references accordingly:

"Sec. 501. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2008) For the purposes of sections 2 to 6, inclusive, of this act, "animal control officer" includes a regional animal control officer, assistant regional animal control officer and municipal animal control officer, as defined in section 22-327 of the general statutes, and an assistant municipal animal control officer and "council" means the Police Officer Standards and Training Council established pursuant to section 7-294b of the 2008 supplement to the general statutes.

Sec. 502. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2008) (a) The council, in consultation with the Commissioner of Agriculture, may develop a training program, within available appropriations, for certification of animal control officers. The program shall consist of not less than eighty hours of training including, but not limited to: (1) State and federal law relating to arrest, search and seizure; (2) state law relating to animals; (3) the basics of investigation; (4) report writing and record keeping; (5) shelter or pound standards; (6) disease recognition; (7) euthanasia policy; (8) ethics and professionalism in dealing with the public; (9) cruelty and neglect investigations, including, but not limited to, blood sports and cults; (10) animal bite and vicious animal investigations; (11) officer safety and loss prevention; (12) animal care, identification, behavior, handling and capture and restraint techniques; (13) overview of the legal system, court structure and terminology; (14) warrants; and (15) civil liability issues.

(b) The council may, within available appropriations, hire one instructor for the purpose of instructing, certifying and retraining animal control officers. The council, in consultation with the Commissioner of Agriculture, shall approve or develop an examination, within available appropriations, designed to test proficiency in the subjects covered by the training program developed pursuant to subsection (a) of this section. The examination may be written, oral, practical or a combination thereof.

(c) The council, in consultation with the Commissioner of Agriculture, may approve, reject or revoke approval of any animal control officer training courses, including, but not limited to, courses provided by the National Animal Control Association, the American Humane Association or the Humane Society of the United States for inclusion in the training programs developed pursuant to this section.

(d) The council may, from time to time, amend or alter the training programs and the examination the council develops pursuant to this section.

Sec. 503. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2008) (a) Except as provided in subsection (e) of this section, each person appointed as an animal control officer on and after July 1, 2008, shall be certified, subject to available appropriations, by the council not later than two years after such appointment. Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, the council shall only certify a person who has satisfactorily completed the training program developed pursuant to section 502 of this act. The provisions of section 7-294d of the general statutes concerning police officer training shall not apply to animal control officers appointed pursuant to section 22-328, 22-331 or 22-331a of the general statutes unless the duties of such officer include carrying a firearm or custodial arrest.

(b) The council, in consultation with the Commissioner of Agriculture, may, within available appropriations, develop a retraining program for persons who have served as animal control officers in the state for a period of five years since July 1, 1997. Except as provided in subsection (e) of this section and subject to available appropriations, such officers shall complete the retraining program and become certified in order to continue to serve as animal control officers. The council shall refuse to certify any officer that fails to complete such training satisfactorily.

(c) The council may decline to issue a certificate if (1) the applicant falsified any document in order to obtain or renew the certificate, (2) the applicant has been convicted of a felony, (3) the applicant has been found not guilty of a felony by reason of mental disease or defect pursuant to section 53a-13 of the general statutes, (4) the applicant has been convicted of a violation of subsection (c) of section 21a-279 of the general statutes or section 29-9 of the general statutes, or (5) the applicant has been refused issuance of a certificate or similar authorization or has had a certificate or other similar authorization revoked by another jurisdiction on grounds that would authorize revocation under the provisions of this subsection.

(d) The council may revoke any certificate if (1) the certificate was issued by administrative error, (2) the certificate was obtained through misrepresentation or fraud, (3) the holder falsified any document in order to obtain or renew any certificate, (4) the holder has been convicted of a felony, (5) the holder has been found not guilty of a felony by reason of mental disease or defect pursuant to section 53a-13 of the general statutes, (6) the holder has been convicted of a violation of subsection (c) of section 21a-279 of the general statutes or section 29-9 of the general statutes, or (7) the holder has been refused issuance of a certificate or similar authorization or has had the certificate or other authorization revoked by another jurisdiction on grounds that would authorize revocation under the provisions of this subsection. Whenever the council believes there is a reasonable basis for revocation of the certificate of an animal control officer, the council shall give the holder of the certificate notice and an opportunity for a hearing, in accordance with the provisions of section 4-182 of the general statutes. Any officer whose certification is revoked pursuant to this section may reapply for certification no sooner than two years after the date on which the revocation order becomes final.

(e) The provisions of this section shall not apply to an animal control officer appointed in a municipality with a population of less than fifteen thousand.

Sec. 504. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2008) (a) If a person who was employed and certified as an animal control officer is not employed in such capacity, such certification shall expire after two years of unemployment, unless such officer has been on a leave of absence. Upon reemployment as an animal control officer, such officer shall apply for certification and become certified in the manner provided in sections 502 and 503 of this act.

(b) A municipality may appoint a temporary animal control officer who does not hold a certificate pursuant to sections 501 to 504, inclusive, of this act for a period not to exceed thirty days per calendar year. The council may grant a one time thirty-day extension for such temporary animal control officer. The council may encourage municipalities to share the services of animal control officers in the event a temporary animal control officer is needed by a municipality.

Sec. 505. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2008) The Commissioner of Agriculture, in consultation with the Police Officer Standards and Training Council, may adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 of the general statutes, to implement the provisions of sections 501 to 504, inclusive, of this act, including, but not limited to, establishing procedures for applying for certification as an animal control officer.

Sec. 506. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2008) No municipality shall be liable for compensation to any municipal animal control officer whose certification under section 503 or 504 of this act has been revoked or expired during the period of such revocation or expiration.

Sec. 507. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2008) (a) The council shall establish an account to be known as the "animal control officer training account" that shall contain any moneys required by law to be deposited in the account.

(b) The council may solicit and accept funds from any public or private source to help to carry out the goals of the animal control officer training program.

(c) All money in the account shall be used by the council exclusively for the implementation of the animal control officer training program. Any balance remaining in said account at the end of any fiscal year shall be carried forward in said account for the fiscal year next succeeding. "