Senate Ok’s Ritchie Bill to Boost Nuclear Plant Security

Security at Oswego County Plants Would Gain Police Powers

Senator Patty Ritchie today announced Senate approval of her bill to give increased law enforcement powers to security officials at three nuclear power plants in Oswego County, and others across the state.

The measure, S.3825, would designate trained personnel of the Physical Security Organization of a nuclear facility as “peace officers” with power to make arrests, and other enhanced law enforcement powers.

“The security teams at nuclear facilities undergo the highest level of federally established military and law enforcement training and education, in order to ensure that the public is safe, and facilities are protected from attack,” said Senator Ritchie.

“Providing these additional powers only enhances our safety and security oat these vital facilities.”

Nuclear plant security forces already must undergo extensive training to possess and use firearms, and the bill has no impact on current licensing requirements.

Oswego County’s three nuclear plants produce more than half of all nuclear-generated power in the state, and their continued, safe operation is crucial to the region’s economy, public safety and thousands of local jobs.

As peace officers, security officers would be allowed to make arrests, use physical force in certain cases to make arrests, and issue appearance tickets.

More than 70 categories of law enforcement and security personnel are already characterized in law as “peace officers,” from probation officers and park rangers, to employees of the insurance fraud bureau.  

The bill was sent to the Assembly, where it is sponsored by Assemblywoman Sandy Galef.