Email WV Code

Email: Chapter 8, Article 14A, Section 2

§8-14A-2. Investigation and interrogation of a police officer or fireman.

When any police officer or fireman is under investigation and subjected to interrogation by his commanding officer, or any other member of the employing police or fire department, which could lead to punitive action, such interrogation shall be conducted under the following conditions:

(1) The interrogation shall be conducted at a reasonable hour, preferably at a time when the police officer or fireman is on duty, or during his normal working hours, unless the seriousness of the investigation requires otherwise. If such interrogation does occur during off-duty time of the police officer or fireman being interrogated at any place other than his residence, such officer or fireman shall be compensated for such off-duty time in accordance with regular department procedure. If the interrogation of the police officer or fireman occurs during his regular duty hours, such officer or fireman shall not be released from employment for any work missed due to interrogation.

(2) Any police officer or fireman under investigation shall be informed of the nature of the investigation prior to any interrogation. Such officer shall also be informed of the name, rank and command of the officer in charge of the interrogation, the interrogating officers, and all other persons to be present during the interrogation. No more than three interrogators at one time shall question the officer or fireman under investigation.

(3) No police officer or fireman under interrogation shall be subjected to offensive language or threatened with punitive action. No promise of reward shall be made as an inducement to answering questions.

(4) The complete interrogation of any police officer or fireman shall be recorded, either written, taped or transcribed. Upon request of the law-enforcement officer or fireman under investigation or his counsel, and upon advance payment of the reasonable cost thereof a copy of the record shall be made available to him not less than ten days prior to any hearing.

(5) Upon the filing of a formal written statement of charges or whenever an interrogation focuses on matters which are likely to result in punitive action against any police officer or fireman, then that officer or fireman shall have the right to be represented by counsel who may be present at all times during such interrogation.

Nothing herein shall prohibit the immediate temporary suspension, pending an investigation, from duty of any police officer or fireman who reports for duty under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances which would prevent the officer or fireman from performing his duties as defined in chapter sixty-a of this code, or under the influence of an apparent mental or emotional disorder.