§7-11-5. General powers of commission; rules; misdemeanor offenses; park police authorized.
The commission shall have the necessary powers and authority to manage and control all public parks and recreational properties and facilities owned by the county or commission and used as a part of such public parks and recreation system, including the right to promulgate rules and regulations concerning the management and control of such parks and recreational properties and facilities and to enforce any such rules and regulations so promulgated: Provided, That a commission shall not promulgate or enforce rules which prohibit the possession of firearms in such parks.
The commission shall also have plenary power and authority to prepare and submit to the county commission for adoption rules regulating the use of any parks and recreational properties and facilities under the control of the commission and prohibiting any type of use of or activities in connection with any such properties or facilities, and any such rules, and regulations if so adopted, shall be duly entered of record in the order book of the county commission. The violation of any such rule and regulation so adopted by the county commission shall constitute a misdemeanor and, any person convicted of any such violation shall be punished by a fine of not less than $5 nor more than $100, or by imprisonment in jail for a period not exceeding thirty days, or by both such fine and imprisonment. The magistrate court of the county shall have concurrent jurisdiction with the circuit court and other courts of record (having criminal jurisdiction) of any misdemeanor offenses arising under this article. The violation of any such rule which also constitutes the violation of any state law or municipal ordinance may be prosecuted and punished as a violation of such state law or municipal ordinance rather than under the provisions of this section. To enforce any such rules and regulations, to protect and preserve all properties and facilities under the control of the commission and to preserve law and order in connection therewith, the commission shall have plenary power and authority to provide in its bylaws procedures for the appointment, supervision and discharge of one or more park police officers. Whenever any such appointment is made, a copy of the order of appointment shall be maintained by the commission for review by members of the public.
In any area under the jurisdiction and control of the commission, or in connection with any properties or facilities under the jurisdiction and control of the commission, or in pursuit of one or more individuals therefrom, any park police officer so appointed shall have all of the power and authority which a regularly appointed deputy sheriff of such county has in enforcing the criminal laws of the state. Notwithstanding any provisions of this code to the contrary, park police officers appointed as aforesaid shall not be required to obtain a state license to carry a weapon, as required by the provisions of section two, article seven, chapter sixty-one of this code. When any such commission has purchased one or more policies of public liability insurance providing the commission and its officers, agents and employees insurance coverage for legal liability of said commission and its officers, agents and employees for bodily injury, personal injury or damage (including, but not limited to, false arrest and false imprisonment) and property damage, and affording said commission and its officers, agents and employees insurance coverage against any and all legal liability arising from, growing out of, by reason of or in any way connected with, any acts or omissions of said commission, or its officers, agents or employees in the performance of their official duties, and so long as the coverage aforesaid remains in full force and effect as to such park police officers, then the bond specified in section five, article seven of said chapter sixty-one shall not be required as to such park police officers.