503 KAR 3:020. Law enforcement training course trainee requirements; misconduct; penalties; discipline procedures.

 

      RELATES TO: KRS 15A.070(1)

      STATUTORY AUTHORITY: KRS 15A.070(5)

      NECESSITY, FUNCTION, AND CONFORMITY: KRS 15A.070(1) authorizes Department of Criminal Justice Training to establish, supervise and coordinate training programs and schools for law enforcement personnel. This administrative regulation establishes conduct requirements for trainees attending in-service law enforcement training courses conducted by the Department of Criminal Justice Training, procedures for disciplinary action, and penalties for violations of conduct requirements.

 

      Section 1. Removing a Trainee from the Course. (1) Unqualified trainee. If a trainee is not qualified to participate in training, he shall:

      (a) Be removed from training by the:

      1. Director;

      2. Branch manager; or

      3. Section supervisor; and

      (b) Not receive credit for completed portions of training.

      (2) A trainee shall be considered unqualified if:

      (a) He or his agency files an incomplete or fraudulent application to attend the training course;

      (b) He is not presently employed as a law enforcement officer and has not received special permission to attend;

      (c) He arrives at the beginning of training physically unable to participate because of:

      1. Physical injury; or

      2. Being under the influence of alcohol or drugs (prescription or illegal);

      (d) He has had prior disciplinary action while at DOCJT which would prevent participation (expelled or suspended from training), or has a pending disciplinary action which was initiated during a previous DOCJT training course;

      (e) He is unprepared to participate in training due to his arrival without the required equipment, license, uniform, or preparation;

      (f) He failed to complete a prerequisite law enforcement training course; or

      (g) He is not employed in a capacity for which the course is designed and has not received special permission to attend.

      (3) If a trainee is removed from training, pursuant to subsection (1) of this section, within thirty (30) days of the removal, he may request in writing an administrative hearing, which shall comply with KRS Chapter 13B.

      (4) Agency request. The department shall remove a trainee from training upon written request of the trainee’s law enforcement agency. The trainee shall not receive credit for completed portions of the course.

 

      Section 2. Gifts. A gift from trainees to department staff shall conform with the requirements of KRS 11A.040.

 

      Section 3. Penalties for Misconduct. (1) The following penalties shall apply to a trainee’s failure to meet conduct requirements of the department. The penalties are listed in order of decreasing severity.

      (a) Expulsion. The trainee is dismissed from the course and all privileges are terminated.

      (b) Loss of privileges. The trainee's privileges as specified in the imposed penalty are rescinded for a stated period of time. The trainee's participation in training activities is not affected.

      (c) Written reprimand. The trainee is reprimanded in writing for violating a conduct requirement.

      (d) Verbal warning. The trainee is warned verbally that he has violated a conduct requirement.

      (2) Second and subsequent violations.

      (a) If a trainee has received a penalty for violating a conduct requirement, upon a second violation of any conduct requirement the next higher penalty shall be added to the list of penalties which may be imposed for the second violation.

      (b) If a trainee has previously received two (2) penalties for violating two (2) conduct requirements, upon a third or subsequent violation of any conduct requirement the next two (2) higher penalties shall be added to the list of penalties which may be imposed for the third or subsequent violation.

      (3) Giving notice of disciplinary action to trainee and trainee's agency. The department shall give written notice to a trainee of any penalty imposed upon him. The trainee's agency shall be given written notice of any penalty imposed upon the trainee except a verbal warning, and shall be given verbal notice when a trainee has been charged with a violation of a conduct requirement and has requested a hearing.

      (4) Penalty records.

      (a) The department shall keep a written record of any penalty imposed on a trainee.

      (b) A copy of any penalty imposed on a trainee shall be placed in his training file.

      (c) Only the department, the trainee, and the trainee's agency head shall have access to the penalty records in a trainee's training file unless broader access is required by law.

 

      Section 4. Termination of Dangerous or Disruptive Situation. If the conduct or condition of a trainee constitutes an immediate danger or an immediate threat of danger to self or others, or is disruptive of, or is an immediate threat to be disruptive of a department activity, a department staff member may take all reasonable steps necessary to terminate the situation.

 

      Section 5. Conduct Requirements. A trainee attending a training course shall meet the following conduct requirements:

      (1) General conduct - chain of command. All communications shall follow chain of command of the department. Exceptions are the unavailability of a supervisor, or the trainee’s complaint regarding a supervisor. Penalty: verbal warning or written reprimand.

      (2) General conduct - insubordination. A trainee shall:

      (a) Obey a lawful order from a department staff member. Penalty: verbal warning, written reprimand, loss of privileges.

      (b) Refrain from vulgarity, rudeness, violent, threatening, or offensive confrontation, or other disrespectful conduct directed toward a department staff member, trainee or other department trainee or guest. Penalty: verbal warning, written reprimand.

      (3) General conduct - grooming. The trainee shall maintain a professional personal appearance which reflects favorably upon the trainee, the department, and the trainee’s agency. Penalty: verbal warning or written reprimand.

      (4) General conduct - alcoholic beverages and other intoxicants.

      (a) A trainee shall not possess, consume nor be under the influence of alcoholic beverages, controlled substances, or other intoxicating substances not therapeutically prescribed by a physician while attending a training course or bring alcoholic beverages into the Thompson Residence Hall. Penalty: written reprimand, loss of privileges, or expulsion.

      (b) If a trainee has taken a controlled substance as prescribed by a physician or has taken any other medication, whether prescribed or not, he shall not participate in any training activity if he is under the influence thereof to the extent that the trainee may be impaired or may endanger himself or other persons or property. A trainee shall advise the section supervisor in writing of the use of controlled substance or medication whether or not it has been prescribed by a physician. Penalty: verbal warning, written reprimand.

      (c) Confiscation.

      1. If a dormitory staff member, department instructor, section supervisor, or branch manager observes an unlawfully-possessed intoxicating substance, he shall immediately confiscate it.

      2. Confiscated items shall be stored in a safe and secure facility of the department pending appropriate disposition.

      (5) General conduct - weapons and other dangerous devices.

      (a) A trainee may possess his regular service weapon or authorized off-duty weapon, including ammunition, on property used by the department. A trainee shall not possess any other deadly weapons (as defined in KRS 500.080), ammunition, destructive devices or booby trap devices (as defined in KRS 237.030), hazardous substances (as defined in KRS 224.01-400), fireworks, or instruments used by law enforcement for control purposes (such as batons, stun guns, Mace, and pepper spray) on property used by the department except under circumstances specifically authorized by the department. Penalty: verbal warning, written reprimand, loss of privileges, or expulsion.

      (b) Confiscation.

      1. If a dormitory staff member, department instructor, section supervisor, branch manager, director or commissioner observes an unlawfully-possessed weapon or other dangerous device he shall immediately confiscate it.

      2. Confiscated items shall be stored in a safe and secure facility of the department pending appropriate disposition.

      (6) General conduct - department property.

      (a) A trainee shall not negligently or intentionally damage, destroy, fail to return, or be wasteful of property of the department or any other facility used by the department. Penalty: verbal warning, written reprimand, loss of privileges, or expulsion.

      (b) A trainee shall not have successfully completed training until he has returned all issued items or made satisfactory arrangements to pay for unreturned or damaged items.

      (7) General conduct - conduct unbecoming a trainee. A trainee shall not:

      (a) Engage in criminal activity, including acts which would constitute a felony, misdemeanor or violation, while enrolled in a training class. Depending on the nature of the conduct, the trainee shall be penalized by a verbal warning, written reprimand, loss of privileges, suspension or expulsion. Additionally, the appropriate prosecutorial authority may be notified of the activity.

      (b) Engage in conduct which creates a danger or risk of danger to the trainee or another, possess obscene material as defined in KRS 531.010, engage in conduct which is unreasonably annoying, engage in fighting or in violent, tumultuous or threatening conduct, engage in sexual harassment or conduct which is patently offensive. Penalty: verbal warning, written reprimand, loss of privileges, or expulsion.

      (8) Training activities - absences.

      (a) A trainee is absent if he is not physically present in a class or other required department activity for more than ten (10) minutes. A trainee shall give advance notice of an absence if possible. Penalty for an unexcused absence: verbal warning or written reprimand; penalty for an unexcused tardiness: verbal warning or written reprimand.

      (b) All absences from training shall be approved by the section supervisor or branch manager. Absences shall only be excused for legitimate reasons including sickness, court appearances, and emergencies. Written notice shall be given prior to the absence, or if an unexpected absence, on the first day upon returning.

      (c) If a trainee is absent less than ten (10) percent of a subject area, excused or unexcused, he shall make up for the absence by completing a special assignment. The assignment shall be provided by the instructor who taught the missed subject area and shall be approved by the section supervisor. Failure to complete the assignment shall be deemed a failure for that subject area.

      (d) A trainee shall repeat a subject area in which he has had an absence of ten (10) percent or more, excused or unexcused.

      (e) A trainee shall not be allowed to repeat a test that occurs during the trainee’s unexcused absence.

      (9) Training activities - breaks. Trainees shall be allowed a ten (10) minute break per hour of instruction if possible. Breaks shall be taken only in areas designated by the department. Penalty: verbal warning or written reprimand.

      (10) Training activities- general conduct.

      (a) A trainee shall be attentive during training activities. Penalty: verbal warning or written reprimand.

      (b) A trainee shall not use tobacco products during, or bring food or drink into, any department training activity, regardless of location, unless permitted by the branch manager. Penalty: verbal warning or written reprimand.

      (c) A trainee shall not negligently or intentionally engage in conduct which creates or may create a risk of injury to others during a training session. Penalty: verbal warning, written reprimand, loss of privileges, or expulsion.

      (11) Training activities - dishonesty. A trainee shall not cheat or attempt to cheat on a test or on any other assignment or activity; or alter or attempt to alter a test grade or other evaluation result; or engage in any other conduct intended to gain an undeserved evaluation for himself or another. Penalty: verbal warning, written reprimand, loss of privileges, or expulsion.

      (12) Residence hall.

      (a) Each trainee shall be responsible for cleaning his area. Each morning, prior to leaving for class training, a trainee shall ensure his room is clean and free of trash, with beds made and the room ready for inspection. Penalty: verbal warning, written reprimand, loss of privileges.

      (b) Doors shall be locked whenever a room is unoccupied. Penalty: verbal warning or written reprimand.

      (c) The use of cooking appliances or space heaters is prohibited. Penalty: verbal warning, written reprimand, loss of privileges.

      (d) All residence hall rooms, closets, and containers therein may be inspected by department staff for purposes of safety, sanitation and rule violations.

      (e) A trainee residing at the residence hall shall not:

      1. Have any person of the opposite sex in his room without the permission of the department. Penalty: verbal warning, written reprimand, loss of privileges.

      2. Keep pets, animals, or birds of any kind in his room. Penalty: verbal warning, written reprimand, loss of privileges.

      3. Engage in dangerous, disruptive, immoral or obscene behavior. Penalty: verbal warning, written reprimand, loss of privileges.

 

      Section 6. Summary Discipline. Except for summary discipline, a penalty shall not be imposed upon a trainee unless charges have first been brought by the legal officer.

      (1) The following department staff members have the authority to impose the specified penalties summarily without meeting the requirements of the formal disciplinary procedures provided by Sections 8 through 12 of this administrative regulation. To have the authority to impose summary discipline, the staff member shall believe by a preponderance of the evidence that the trainee has engaged in the misconduct.

      (a) A department instructor may summarily impose a verbal warning.

      (b) The section supervisor, branch manager, director, or commissioner may summarily impose a verbal warning or written reprimand.

      (2) Before imposing a penalty summarily, the staff member shall give the trainee the opportunity to give an explanation.

      (3) A summarily imposed penalty shall be reviewed by, and may be rescinded or modified by, the immediate supervisor of the staff member imposing the penalty. The reviewer shall provide the trainee with the opportunity to give an explanation.

 

      Section 7. Removal from Training Pending an Initial Appearance Before the Commissioner. (1) When a charge is filed against a trainee, the commissioner or director may remove the trainee from some or all training until the trainee's initial appearance before the commissioner if he has reasonable grounds to believe the alleged misconduct took place and:

      (a) He has reasonable suspicion to believe the trainee would be dangerous or disruptive if not removed; or

      (b) The trainee has been charged with misconduct serious enough to authorize expulsion.

      (2) A trainee who has been removed from training pending an initial appearance before the commissioner shall be provided the initial appearance within three (3) training days of the removal.

 

      Section 8. Complaint. Anyone having reasonable grounds for believing that a trainee has violated any of the conduct requirements identified in this administrative regulation may file a complaint with the section supervisor. This complaint shall be in writing setting forth the facts upon which the complaint is based.

 

      Section 9. Investigation by Section Supervisor. (1) If the section supervisor receives a complaint of or witnesses apparent misconduct, he shall take statements and otherwise investigate the matter.

      (2) After investigating the matter, the section supervisor shall:

      (a) Take no action if none is justified by the evidence;

      (b) Impose appropriate summary discipline; or

      (c) File, with the legal officer, a written request that charges be brought against the trainee. The request for charges shall describe the alleged misconduct and designate the specific conduct requirements violated. All pertinent evidence and documents including the complaint, and statements of the trainee and witnesses shall be forwarded to the legal officer.

 

      Section 10. Review by Legal Officer; Placing Charges. (1) The legal officer shall review the request for charges and the supporting evidence and documents.

      (2) The legal officer may make or cause further inquiry into the matter for additional information.

      (3) The legal officer shall either:

      (a) File any charges against the trainee as he believes are justified by the evidence; or

      (b) Deny the request for charges if the evidence does not support any charges. If the legal officer declines to file charges, he shall provide the commissioner with a statement of his reasons for not filing charges.

      (4) The charging document shall:

      (a) Be in writing;

      (b) Particularly describe the alleged misconduct so as to reasonably inform the trainee of the nature of the allegation;

      (c) State the time, date and place the trainee shall make an initial appearance before the commissioner to answer the charges.

      (d) Be signed by the legal officer; and

      (e) Be served upon the trainee at least one (1) hour before his initial appearance before the commissioner. The copy shall be served upon the trainee either in person or by mail.

 

      Section 11. Initial Appearance Before the Commissioner. (1) The initial appearance before the commissioner shall be held no more than three (3) training days after the charges have been served on the trainee. If the trainee after receiving proper notice, fails to appear, the commissioner may proceed in his absence and the trainee shall be notified in writing of any action taken.

      (2) At the initial appearance before the commissioner:

      (a) The legal officer shall:

      1. Read the charges to the trainee; and

      2. Explain to the trainee:

      a. The charges;

      b. His right to an administrative hearing in accordance with KRS Chapter 13B; and

      c. His right to be represented by legal counsel.

      (b) The legal officer shall explain to the trainee the possible answers to the charges: admit the charges are true, deny the charges are true but waive an administrative hearing, or deny the charges are true and ask for an administrative hearing.

      (c) The commissioner shall advise the trainee of the penalty which shall be imposed if the trainee admits the charges or waives an administrative hearing.

      (d) The trainee shall be requested to answer the charges.

      (e) If the trainee chooses to waive his rights and admits the charges or denies the charges but waives an administrative hearing:

      1. He shall be permitted to make a statement of explanation; and

      2. The commissioner shall impose a penalty.

      (f) If the trainee denies the charges and requests an administrative hearing, or refuses to answer the charges, the commissioner shall set a date for the administrative hearing. A notice of administrative hearing as required by KRS 13B.050 shall be served on the trainee within forty-eight (48) hours of the initial appearance before the commissioner.

      (3) The commissioner may remove the trainee from some or all training until the administrative hearing if:

      (a) He has reasonable grounds to believe the trainee would be dangerous or disruptive if not removed; or

      (b) The trainee is charged with misconduct serious enough to authorize expulsion as a possible penalty.

 

      Section 12. Hearing. The administrative hearing shall be conducted in accordance with KRS Chapter 13B. (16 Ky.R. 2081; Am. 2419; eff. 5-13-90; 26 Ky.R. 195; 599; eff. 9-16-99; 30 Ky.R. 2364; 31 Ky.R. 69; eff. 8-6-04.)