Location:
POLICE AND LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS;
Scope:
Connecticut laws/regulations; Court Cases; Background;

OLR Research Report


February 16, 2012

 

2012-R-0112

HISTORY OF STATE POLICE STAFFING STATUTE

By: Veronica Rose, Chief Analyst

You asked how the law on state police staffing levels has changed over time.

A 1903 act created the Connecticut State Police Department under a board of commissioners. It required the board to appoint five state police officers and allowed it to appoint an additional five if needed (1903 Ch. 141).

Since 1903, the staffing level provision has been amended 20 times to increase the number of officers on the force; add female officers; and modify the appointing authority's charge, by mandating appointments in some cases and making it discretionary in others.

The law has always specified the staffing level for the force, except for 1973-1998, when it authorized the appointment of an “adequate number” to “efficiently maintain the operation of the division in keeping with budgetary allowances” (CGS 29-4). During the periods when the law set staffing levels, it did so in one of four ways, by specifying:

1. both the maximum and minimum of officers (1903 to 1920),

2. only the maximum number (1921 to 1928),

3. a set number (1929 to 1972), and

4. only the minimum number (1998 to the present).

On January 11, 2012, a Superior Court judge ruled that the 1998 law requiring the public safety commissioner (now Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection commissioner) to appoint and maintain a minimum of 1,248 state police officers is mandatory ((State Police Union v. DESPP Commissioner, Doc. No. HHD CV 116024776, (2012)). The defendants in the case had argued that the statute is not mandatory, and the commissioner was not required to maintain 1,248 state police officers (see OLR Report 2012-R-0071).

Until 1940, the law provided for the appointment of male officers only. A 1941 law added two females to the force, and a 1945 law raised the number to 12. It remained at 12 for 31 years, while the number of male officers increased from 290 to 810. In 1973, the statute eliminated gender-based appointments, thereby allowing the commissioner to appoint officers regardless of gender.

Attachment 1 shows the changes affecting staffing levels since the statute was enacted.

Attachment 1: Changes in State Police Staffing Statute

Year/Legislation

Number of Officers Appointing Authority Shall or May Appoint

Gender of Officers

1903 (1903 Ch. 141)

Shall appoint five; may appoint additional five as “necessity may require”

Male

1913 (1913 Ch. 121)

Shall appoint five; may appoint additional 10 “as necessity may require”

Male

1921 (1921 Ch. 273)

Shall appoint up to 50

Male

1923 (1923 Ch. 202)

Shall appoint up to 80

Male

1927 (1927 Ch. 292)

Shall appoint up to 100

Male

1929 (1929 Ch. 214)

Shall appoint 125

Male

1935 (1935 Ch. 298)

Shall appoint 175

Male

1937 (1937 Ch. 389)*

Shall appoint 200

Male

1937 (1937 Ch. 453)*

Shall appoint 225

Male

1941 (1941 Ch. 74)

Shall appoint 277

275 males; two females

1945 (PA 154)

Shall appoint 302

290 males; 12 females

1947 (PA 67)

Shall appoint 312

300 males; 12 females

1953 (PA 427)

May appoint 362

350 males; 12 females

1957 (PA 431)

May appoint 462

450 males; 12 females

1963 (PA 633)

May appoint 512

500 males; 12 females

1965 (PA 290)

May appoint 602

590 males; 12 females

1967 (PA 127)

May appoint 677

665 males; 12 females

1969 (PA 587)

May appoint 777

765 males; 12 females

1972 (SA 53)

May appoint 822

810 males; 12 females

1973 (PA 73-374)

May appoint “an adequate number. . . to efficiently maintain the operation of the department in keeping with budgetary allowances”

None specified

1998 (PA 98-151)

Shall appoint and maintain a minimum of 1,248

None specified

Source: Compiled by OLR from a review of Public Acts

* Two separate acts were passed in 1937

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