1501.013 Designating natural resources law enforcement staff officers.

(A) Subject to division (B) of this section, the director of natural resources may designate an employee of the department of natural resources as a natural resources law enforcement staff officer. Such an officer may do any or all of the following:

(1) Coordinate the law enforcement activities, training, and policies of the department;

(2) Serve as the department's liaison with other law enforcement agencies and jurisdictions and as the director's representative regarding law enforcement activities;

(3) Conduct internal investigations of employees of the department as necessary;

(4) Perform other functions related to the department's law enforcement activities, training, and policies that the director assigns to the officer.

A natural resources law enforcement staff officer, on any lands or waters owned, controlled, maintained, or administered by the department, has the authority specified under section 2935.03 of the Revised Code for peace officers of the department of natural resources to keep the peace, to enforce all laws and rules governing those lands and waters, and to make arrests for violation of those laws and rules.

The governor, upon the recommendation of the director, shall issue to a natural resources law enforcement staff officer a commission indicating authority to make arrests as provided in division (A) of this section.

The director shall furnish a suitable badge to a commissioned natural resources law enforcement staff officer as evidence of that officer's authority.

(B)

(1) As used in division (B) of this section, "felony" has the same meaning as in section 109.511 of the Revised Code.

(2) The director shall not designate a person as a natural resources law enforcement staff officer under division (A) of this section on a permanent basis, on a temporary basis, for a probationary term, or on other than a permanent basis if the person previously has been convicted of or has pleaded guilty to a felony.

(3) The director shall terminate the employment as a natural resources law enforcement staff officer of a person designated as such an officer if that person does either of the following:

(a) Pleads guilty to a felony;

(b) Pleads guilty to a misdemeanor pursuant to a negotiated plea agreement as provided in division (D) of section 2929.43 of the Revised Code in which the natural resources law enforcement staff officer agrees to surrender the certificate awarded to that officer under section 109.77 of the Revised Code.

(4) The director shall suspend from employment as a natural resources law enforcement staff officer a person designated as such an officer if that person is convicted, after trial, of a felony. If the natural resources law enforcement staff officer files an appeal from that conviction and the conviction is upheld by the highest court to which the appeal is taken, or if the officer does not file a timely appeal, the director shall terminate the employment of the natural resources law enforcement staff officer. If the natural resources law enforcement staff officer files an appeal that results in the officer's acquittal of the felony or conviction of a misdemeanor, or in the dismissal of the felony charge against the officer, the director shall reinstate the natural resources law enforcement staff officer. A natural resources law enforcement staff officer who is reinstated under division (B)(4) of this section shall not receive any back pay unless the officer's conviction of the felony was reversed on appeal, or the felony charge was dismissed, because the court found insufficient evidence to convict the officer of the felony.

(5) Division (B) of this section does not apply regarding an offense that was committed prior to January 1, 1999.

(6) The suspension from employment, or the termination of the employment, of a natural resources law enforcement staff officer under division (B)(3) or (4) of this section shall be in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 1501.013

History. Effective Date: 01-01-2004