17E-4. Powers and duties of the Commission.

(a) The Commission shall have the following powers, duties, and responsibilities, which are enforceable through its rules and regulations, certification procedures, or the provisions of G.S. 17E-8 and G.S. 17E-9:

(1) Promulgate rules and regulations for the administration of this Chapter, which rules may require (i) the submission by any agency of information with respect to the employment, education, and training of its justice officers, and (ii) the submission by any training school of information with respect to its programs that are required by this Chapter;

(2) Establish minimum educational and training standards that may be met in order to qualify for entry level employment as an officer in temporary or probationary status or in a permanent position. The standards for entry level employment of officers shall include all of the following:

a. Training in response to, and investigation of, domestic violence cases, as well as training in investigation for evidence-based prosecutions. For purposes of the domestic violence training requirement, the term "officers" shall include justice officers as defined in G.S. 17E-2(3)a., except that the term shall not include "special deputy sheriffs" as defined in G.S. 17E-2(3)a.

b. Training on juvenile justice issues, including (i) the handling and processing of juvenile matters for referrals, diversion, arrests, and detention; (ii) best practices for handling incidents involving juveniles; (iii) adolescent development and psychology; and (iv) promoting relationship building with youth as a key to delinquency prevention.

(3) Certify, pursuant to the standards that it may establish for the purpose, persons as qualified under the provisions of this Chapter who may be employed at entry level as officers;

(4) Establish minimum standards for the certification of training schools and programs or courses of instruction that are required by this Chapter;

(5) Certify, pursuant to the standards that it has established for the purpose, training schools and programs or courses of instruction that are required by this Chapter;

(6) Establish standards and levels of education or equivalent experience for teachers who participate in programs or courses of instruction that are required by this Chapter;

(7) Certify, pursuant to the standards that it has established for the purpose, teachers who participate in programs or courses of instruction that are required by this Chapter;

(8) Investigate and make such evaluations as may be necessary to determine if agencies are complying with the provision of this Chapter;

(9) Adopt and amend bylaws, consistent with law, for its internal management and control;

(10) Enter into contracts incident to the administration of its authority pursuant to this Chapter;

(11) Establish minimum standards for in-service training for justice officers. In-service training standards shall include all of the following:

a. Training in response to, and investigation of, domestic violence cases, as well as training in investigation for evidence-based prosecutions. For purposes of the domestic violence training requirement, the term "justice officer" shall include those defined in G.S. 17E-2(3)a., except that the term shall not include "special deputy sheriffs" as defined in G.S. 17E-2(3)a.

b. Training on juvenile justice issues, including (i) the handling and processing of juvenile matters for referrals, diversion, arrests, and detention; (ii) best practices for handling incidents involving juveniles; (iii) adolescent development and psychology; and (iv) promoting relationship building with youth as a key to delinquency prevention.

(12) Establish minimum standards and levels of training for certification of instructors for the domestic violence training and juvenile justice training required by subdivisions (2) and (11) of this subsection.

(13) Establish minimum educational and training standards for employment and continuing education for officers concerning:

a. Recognizing and appropriately interacting with persons who are deaf or hard of hearing.

b. Drivers license and vehicle registration identifiers of persons who are deaf or hard of hearing, as authorized by G.S. 20-7(q2), including that those identifiers are optional.

(14) Monitor compliance with G.S. 20-185.1(d).

(15) Establish minimum standards and levels of training for certification of diversion investigators and diversion supervisors, as defined in G.S. 90-113.74(i). As part of these minimum standards, the Commission shall require that certified diversion investigators receive training in the following:

a. Definition of drug diversion.

b. Categories of drugs most subject to diversion and misuse.

c. Methods used to divert drugs.

d. Proper investigation of drug diversion cases.

e. Appropriate use of the controlled substances reporting system to investigate drug diversion cases.

f. Requests of prescriptions and records related to prescriptions pursuant to G.S. 90-107.1, including best practices for working with pharmacies in a manner that minimizes disruption of customer service and pharmacy operations.

g. Data privacy and security provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and other pertinent federal and State laws governing privacy and security of confidential data and records.

h. Proper handling of confidential data and records from any source.

i. Criminal and civil penalties under federal and State law for improperly accessing, handling, or disclosing confidential prescription data or other confidential data or records.

(16) Certify and recertify at least once every three years, suspend, revoke, or deny, pursuant to the standards that it has established for the purpose, persons as qualified to be employed at entry level and retained as diversion investigators and diversion supervisors, as defined in G.S. 90-113.74(i).

The Commission may certify, and no additional certification shall be required from it, programs, courses and teachers certified by the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission. Where the Commission determines that a program, course, instructor or teacher is required for an area which is unique to the office of sheriff, the Commission may certify such program, course, instructor, or teacher under such standards and procedures as it may establish.

(b) The Commission shall have the following powers, which shall be advisory in nature and for which the Commission is not authorized to undertake any enforcement actions:

(1) Certify, pursuant to the standards that it has established for the purpose, justice officers for those law-enforcement agencies that elect to comply with the minimum education, training, and experience standards established by the Commission for positions for which advanced or specialized training, education, and experience are appropriate;

(2) Consult and cooperate with counties, agencies of this State, other governmental agencies, and with universities, colleges, junior colleges, and other institutions, public or private, concerning the development of training schools and programs or courses of instruction;

(3) Study and make reports and recommendations concerning justice education and training in North Carolina;

(4) Conduct and stimulate research by public and private agencies which shall be designed to improve education and training in the administration of justice;

(5) Study, obtain data, statistics, and information and make reports concerning the recruitment, selection, education and training of persons serving justice agencies in this State; to make recommendations for improvement in methods of recruitment, selection, education and training of persons serving sheriffs' departments;

(6) Study and make reports and recommendations to the Governor, Attorney General, Chief Justice, President of the Senate and Speaker of the House, concerning the manpower, salary and equipment needs of the sheriffs of the State;

(7) Make recommendations concerning any matters within its purview pursuant to this Chapter;

(8) Appoint such advisory committees as it may deem necessary;

(9) Do such things as may be necessary and incidental to the administration of its authority pursuant to this Chapter;

(10) Formulate basic plans for and promote the development and improvement of a comprehensive system of education and training for the officers and employees of agencies consistent with its rules and regulations;

(11) Maintain liaison among municipal, State and federal agencies with respect to education and training;

(12) Promote the planning and development of a systematic career development program for sheriffs' department personnel. (1983, c. 558, s. 1; 1991, c. 265, s. 2; 1995, c. 103, ss. 4, 5; 2004-186, ss. 2.7, 2.9, 2.10, 2.12; 2017-57, s. 16D.4(cc); 2017-191, s. 3; 2018-5, s. 35.25(e); 2018-44, s. 14(b); 2018-142, s. 23(b).)