Reimbursement of Costs for Police and Corrections Officers
From our November 2017 e-newsletter
ORS 181A.620 provides that law enforcement units may seek reimbursement from another law enforcement unit when police or corrections officers leave employment in one unit and are subsequently employed by another unit. During the 2017 legislative session and as a means of reducing friction between law enforcement units, HB 2611 was introduced to clarify how ORS 181A.620 applies and what costs are reimbursable. The amendments to ORS 181A.620 become effective on January 1, 2018. HB 2611 provides that when a corrections or police officer employed by a law enforcement unit who has completed any portion of basic training voluntarily leaves employment with that law enforcement unit and is subsequently employed by a different law enforcement unit in a position that requires the same training, then the subsequent employing law enforcement unit shall, upon request, reimburse the original employing law enforcement unit for qualifying expenses incurred by the original employing law enforcement unit. The new law requires that the original employing law enforcement unit request reimbursement in writing from the subsequent employing law enforcement unit within 6 months of the date on which the corrections officer or police officer was hired by the subsequent employing law enforcement unit. Reimbursement under ORS 181A.620 may be limited by employment agreements and collective bargaining agreements. HB 2611 amends ORW 181A.620(1) by deleting the definition for “training costs” and adding the following definition:
(e) “Qualifying expenses” is defined as “the actual amount of salary and benefits paid by a law enforcement unit to a corrections officer or police officer while that corrections officer or police officer was:
(A) Engaged in basic training; (B) Completing up to six weeks of corrections officer field training; or (C) Completing up to 16 weeks of police officer field training.
Reimbursement under HB 2611 follows the same pro rata reimbursement schedule set out in ORS 181A.620 (12 months, 24 months, 36 months), but clarifies that the period of time is measured as of the date the corrections or police officer began employment with the original law enforcement unit. Under the current version of ORS 181A.620 and to seek reimbursement, the “original employing governmental agency” is required to have adopted the pro rata reimbursement schedule contained in ORS 181A.620(3) and incentives to promote the retention of employees under ORS 181A.620(6). If you seek reimbursement from another law enforcement unit between now and January 1, 2018 and have not yet adopted the above-mentioned reimbursement schedule and polices, then please contact us for assistance. Under HB 2611, no special policies or other action are required for the City to take advantage of the new law.