State Affairs and Government

CHAPTER 42-28.6
Law Enforcement Officers' Bill of Rights

SECTION 42-28.6-1

§ 42-28.6-1. Definitions – Payment of legal fees.

As used in this chapter, the following words have the meanings indicated:

(1) "Law enforcement officer" means any permanently employed city or town police officer, state police officer, permanent law enforcement officer of the department of environmental management, or those employees of the airport corporation of Rhode Island who have been granted the authority to arrest by the director of said corporation. However this shall not include the chief of police and/or the highest ranking sworn officer of any of the departments including the director and deputy director of the airport corporation of Rhode Island.

(2)(i) "Hearing committee" means a committee which is authorized to hold a hearing on a complaint against a law enforcement officer and which consists of three (3) active or retired law enforcement officers from within the state of Rhode Island, other than chiefs of police, who have had no part in the investigation or interrogation of the law enforcement officer. The committee shall be composed of three (3) members; one member selected by the chief or the highest ranking officer of the law enforcement agency, one member selected by the aggrieved law enforcement officer and the third member shall be selected by the other two (2) members. In the event that the other two (2) members are unable to agree within five (5) days, then either member will make application to the presiding justice of the superior court and the presiding justice shall appoint the third member who shall be an active law enforcement officer. Upon written application by a majority of the hearing committee, the presiding justice, in his or her discretion, may also appoint legal counsel to assist the hearing committee.

(ii) The law enforcement agency and the law enforcement officer under investigation shall each be responsible to pay fifty percent (50%) of the legal fee of the appointed legal counsel for the hearing committee; provided, however, that on motion made by either party, the presiding justice shall have the authority to make a different disposition as to what each party is required to pay toward the appointed legal counsel's legal fee.

(3) "Hearing" means any meeting in the course of an investigatory proceeding, other than an interrogation at which no testimony is taken under oath, conducted by a hearing committee for the purpose of taking or adducing testimony or receiving evidence.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1976, ch. 186, § 1; P.L. 1980, ch. 272, § 1; P.L. 1982, ch. 368, § 1; P.L. 1995, ch. 19, § 1; P.L. 2001, ch. 77, art. 29, § 8; P.L. 2007, ch. 497, § 2; P.L. 2007, ch. 519, § 2.)