City of Monessen, PA
Westmoreland County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Monessen as indicated by article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Civil Service Commission — See Ch. 12, Art. VI.
[Derived from Ch. I, Part 7, of the 1964 Code of Ordinances of the City of Monessen]
[1]
Editor's Note: See also Ch. 12, Art. VI, Civil Service Commission.

§ 83-1 Composition.

[Amended 3-28-1969 by Ord. No. 5-1969]
From and after the first Monday of January, the Police Force of the City of Monessen shall consist of one Chief of Police, one Captain, three Lieutenants, 15 patrolmen, one Desk Sergeant, one Meterman Patrolman, Animal Control Officer and Juvenile Officer. The Council may, from time to time by resolution or ordinance, increase or diminish the number of Lieutenants, Desk Sergeants, Patrolmen, Animal Control Officers, Juvenile Officers and Meterman Patrolmen and, in like manner, may determine to employ plainclothes officers.

§ 83-2 Qualifications of members.

The qualifications of members of the police force shall be as follows:
A. 
Of all members: All members of the force shall be able-bodied male citizens of the United States, not less than 25 years of age, of good character and reputation, proper, correct and temperate habits. They shall be free from defects in sight and hearing and may be required to submit to a physical examination from time to time at the instance of the Council, which examination shall be conducted by a competent person appointed for that purpose.
B. 
Of the Chief: The Chief shall be a person experienced in police work and in the handling and control of men, familiar with the ordinances of the city and the criminal laws of the commonwealth generally, and the penalties inflicted for their violation, and able to read and write the English language in an intelligent manner.
C. 
Of the Desk Sergeants: The Desk Sergeant shall be experienced in such lines of clerical work as will enable him to properly, systematically and correctly keep records of the Police Department and the preparation of reports required therefrom.
D. 
Of the Lieutenants: The Lieutenant shall be a person experienced in police work and in the handling and control of men, familiar with the ordinances of the city and the criminal laws of the commonwealth generally, and the penalties inflicted for their violation, and able to read and write the English language in an intelligent manner.

§ 83-3 Appointment of members.

The Council shall appoint all members of the force, as provided by Act of Assembly, and shall designate the Chief and all other officers, including Lieutenants, Patrolmen and Desk Sergeants.

§ 83-4 Appointment of extra policemen and plainclothesmen.

A. 
The Mayor may appoint and qualify as many additional patrolmen or plainclothesmen as the Mayor deems necessary, and for the hours he deems necessary, to direct traffic during school hours in order to provide safety for our school children. All persons employed shall possess the qualifications required of regularly employed policemen. The wages of those appointed are to be set by City Council.
B. 
The Mayor may appoint and qualify members of the Auxiliary Police organization to act as traffic policemen and in cases of other emergencies. The wages of those appointed are to be set by City Council.

§ 83-5 Oath and bond.

Before entering upon the duties of their office, all policemen shall take the oath prescribed by the Constitution to be taken by public officers, before the Mayor or other person authorized to administer oaths, and all persons employed as regular members of the police force shall, before entering upon the duties of their office, file a bond in the sum of $100, with sureties to be approved by the Mayor, conditioned for the faithful performance of their duties, the accounting for all moneys of any persons that shall come into their hands or possession and the delivery to the city of all its property that shall come into their hands or possession.

§ 83-6 Control and discipline.

A. 
Members of the police force shall obey the orders of the Mayor and be subject to his, the Mayor's, direction and control, and he, the Mayor, shall hear and determine all complaints against them in the discharge of their duties. The orders of the Mayor to the police force shall be in connection with and relate to the protection of life and property, preserving the peace, preventing crime, detecting offenders against the laws and the enforcement of ordinances.
B. 
For disobedience of orders, insubordination of conduct or other conduct in violation of the laws of the State of Pennsylvania, the ordinances of the City of Monessen and the regulation of the Police Department, the Mayor may suspend any member of the force under his direction and control and report his actions to the Council at the next regular meeting, whereupon the Council shall either revoke said suspension and reinstate the suspended member of the force or continue the suspension as, in its best judgment, may be required under the facts and circumstances surrounding the suspension.

§ 83-7 Dismissal.

Council may dismiss any or all members of the force for any of the following reasons:
A. 
Drinking intoxicating liquor while on duty.
B. 
Willful disobedience of orders.
C. 
Indecent, profane or harsh language.
D. 
Unnecessary violence to a prisoner.
E. 
Leaving post without just cause.
F. 
Immorality or indecency.
G. 
Absence without leave.
H. 
Incompetency or mental or physical incapacity.
I. 
Sleeping while on duty.
J. 
Neglect of duty.
K. 
Violation of any criminal law.
L. 
Revealing the proposed actions or movements of the force, or the provisions of any orders not intended for publicity, to persons outside the force.
M. 
Conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman.
N. 
Offensive partisanship in politics while on duty.
O. 
When Council shall consider that the service of this department will be promoted by such action.
P. 
No full-time policeman shall accept or undertake regular employment in any other trade, business or profession. No full-time police officer may actively participate or engage in any political campaign or hold any elective or appointive office; provided, however, that any such police officer now holding an elective office will be permitted to complete his present term of office.

§ 83-8 Powers of policemen.

A. 
Policemen shall be ex officio Constables of the city and shall and may, without warrant and upon view, arrest and commit for hearing any and all persons guilty of breach of the peace, vagrancy, riotous or disorderly conduct or drunkenness or who may be engaged in the commission of any unlawful act tending to a breach of the peace or so imperil the personal security or endanger the property of any citizen or who may be violating any law or ordinance of the city for the violation of which a penalty is imposed. They shall have authority to serve and execute all criminal or civil processes issued by the Mayor or any District Justice for the violation of any city ordinance and shall charge the same fees for such service as Constables are by law entitled to charge and receive, but all such fees and costs shall be collected by the Mayor or District Justice, as the case may be, and delivered by him to the City Treasurer.
B. 
In all suits brought before District Justices for the collection of fines and penalties for the violation of city ordinances or for the violation of statutes or for the collection of fines and penalties to which the city is entitled by reason of the violation of statutes, the process shall be issued by the District Justice to some member of the police force and not to a Constable.

§ 83-9 Compensation.

The compensation of all police officers shall be fixed by Council from year to year as specified in the budget ordinance for that year, provided that all new appointees shall start on a six-month probation period and no appointment shall be permanent until after that period has expired. Salaries of new appointees shall be $25 less per month than the regular salary the first year; $10 less per month than the regular salary the second year, and full pay thereafter.

§ 83-10 Preparation of payroll.

On the first and 16th days of each month the Chief of Police shall furnish to each member of his Department a statement signed by him, certifying the number of days for which the respective persons were on duty and what deductions, if any, are to be made for suspension, absence, loss of city property or otherwise and shall in like manner make and sign a certificate in regard to his own services. Each party applying to the Director of the Department of Public Affairs for a warrant shall produce and deliver the certificate above provided to him, and it shall be attached by said Director to the duplicate part of the warrant and transmitted by him to the Director of the Department of Accounts and Finance. This section shall apply to all policemen temporarily employed.

§ 83-11 Duties of Chief of Police.

A. 
The Chief of Police shall be in direct personal charge of all members of the force during their hours of duty. The Director of the Department of Public Affairs, with his aid and assistance, shall divide the city into posts and districts of such location and extent as will permit the officer assigned thereto to make visits of such frequency as will best serve to give adequate police protection to the whole of the city, having reference to the number of persons available for that purpose.
B. 
The Chief, under the direction of the Mayor, shall make all assignments and details of officers, for regular and special duty, communicated to the members personally where possible, and if not, by bulletin posted in police headquarters. The original copy of all notices so posted shall be filed and preserved after removal from the board. The Chief shall make not fewer than two daily inspections of the entire force while on duty, reporting promptly in writing to the Mayor any misconduct, negligence, disobedience of orders, absence from posts or other delinquency on the part of any member of the force. Failure of the Chief in this respect shall be sufficient reason for his suspension by the Mayor and dismissal by Council.
C. 
The Chief shall keep a daily record, in a book provided for that purpose, of the duty performed by each officer (from which he shall make up the certificate provided in § 83-10 hereof), the time of coming on duty and the hour of relief, the district of the city covered during the hours of duty, arrests made and a brief statement of any other occurrence reported by the officer and any other matter that he may think of sufficient importance or interest to be noted.
D. 
During the hours when he is on duty, the Chief, except when upon tours of inspection of officers on duty or absent therefrom on account of other duties, shall remain at police headquarters. He shall be on duty during such daytime hours as shall from time to time be prescribed by City Council, and he shall remain available for duty at other times in cases of serious fires, riots and tumultuous assemblages.
E. 
He shall promptly and fully investigate all charges preferred against members of the force and, after accurately making a minute thereof in the police records to be kept at headquarters, shall submit a report thereof to the Mayor once a month for transmission to Council, in writing, summarizing the conduct and work of the Police Department since the date of the last report, together with such suggestions of changes and improvements as he may deem advisable for the better regulation of the force and the good of the service.
F. 
He shall be required to thoroughly instruct the members of the force in the duties to be performed by them and to satisfy himself that they are familiar with the provisions of all ordinances, rules and regulations enacted for the regulation of this Department and for the enforcement of which they are responsible, and it shall be his duty in like manner to instruct them concerning all new ordinances hereafter enacted.
G. 
He shall be the custodian of all city property used by the Police Department and accountable for its proper care, safekeeping and delivery to the city when the officer using it may cease to be a member of the force. When property is delivered to any officer, the Chief shall take a receipt for it, which receipt shall be preserved among the records of the Department. He shall serve all notices issued by order of Council, City Clerk, City Solicitor or the Director of the respective departments and all notices of special meetings of Council.
H. 
The Chief of Police shall be on duty and perform such functions as assigned to him by the Mayor, as Director of the Department of Public Affairs, or his designee.
[Added 3-9-1983 by Ord. No. 2-1983]

§ 83-12 Delivery of records.

The original of every record or report required by this article, made or filed at police headquarters or at the office of the Director of the Department of Public Affairs shall, upon demand by Council, be produced or delivered without alteration, amendation, erasure or substitution. Neglect or refusal upon the part of the Chief of Police or other subordinate officer having custody thereof shall render the offender liable to immediate dismissal.

§ 83-13 Duties of Lieutenants.

The duties of the Lieutenants of Police are as follows:
A. 
The Lieutenants of Police are the second officers in command and shall have charge of the patrols assigned.
B. 
They shall report to the Chief of Police every morning, in writing, or in the absence of the Chief to the Mayor, previous to Mayor's Court, the whole number of arrests made during the last trick and by whom, together with their names.
C. 
The Lieutenants will be held responsible for the safekeeping of all parties properly arrested and brought to the station house by any of the officers of the force during the hours he is on duty.
D. 
The station house must never be left without the attendance of himself or the Desk Sergeant in charge.
E. 
No one will be allowed to remain in the station house longer than necessary to do their business, without first obtaining permission from the Lieutenant or the officer in charge, police officers excepted.

§ 83-14 Duties of Desk Sergeants.

It shall be the duty of the Desk Sergeants to remain at headquarters during their shift, keeping watch over prisoners in the city jail, performing all such other duties as may be assigned him by the Mayor or the Chief of Police. He shall keep a record of all calls and all reports from patrolmen and make reports thereof to the Chief of Police. He shall turn over to the Chief of Police all forfeits and valuables received by him before leaving duty each day.

§ 83-15 Plainclothes officers.

The duty of the plainclothes officers, if any are appointed, shall be to carefully make surveys throughout the entire city for the purpose of detecting the violation of law and ordinances, the apprehension of criminals and the prevention of crime. It shall be their principal duty to locate criminals, locate and apprehend offenders, locate and make arrangements and aid in the apprehension of persons about to commit a crime and to locate places where crimes and offenses are being committed and to aid and assist in the capture of the persons engaged in such offenses and in maintaining and operating such places. Their duties shall be primarily those of detectives. They shall make report to the Mayor, shall conduct their operations under his general supervision, but shall be as free as possible to operate in such places and at such times as shall be the best calculated to promote the success of their work. A plainclothes officer or officers shall from time to time perform such special duties as Council may by resolution direct.

§ 83-16 Hours and shifts.

[Added 3-9-1983 by Ord. No. 2-1983]
The officers of the police force shall work the dates and shifts as assigned to them by the Chief of Police. It shall be the duty of the Chief of Police to schedule officers as needed.

§ 83-17 Rules and regulations.

The following, in addition to the preceding provisions of this article, shall be the rules and regulations of the members of the police force:
A. 
Rule 1: Duty of all officers and members of the force. The primary duty of all members of the force is to prevent the violation of any law or ordinance within the limits of the city, and secondly, in case of the violation of any law or ordinance, to apprehend the guilty person or persons. To these ends, every officer, of whatever rank or distinction, must be constantly watchful and vigilant.
B. 
Rule 2: Public property. Whenever any person ceases to be a member of the force, he shall return all property of the city in his possession to the Director of Public Affairs and, in the event of his failure to do so, shall be liable upon his bond for the value thereof.
C. 
Rule 3: Behavior on duty.
(1) 
Each officer must attend strictly to his duties, be orderly in his behavior, gentlemanly in his conduct, civil to every person, yet firm and energetic in the discharge of his duty and the enforcement of the law and ordinances. In making arrests he shall use no more force than is necessary for that purpose, shall always control his own temper and carefully refrain from the use of any abusive, profane or obscene language and under no circumstances shall he strike any person with his mace or other weapon except in necessary self-defense and under no circumstances shall he use any deadly weapon except for the purpose of self-defense or to prevent the escape of a person who is believed to have committed a felony.
(2) 
While on duty all officers shall refrain from conversation with citizens, except to directly and respectfully answer proper inquiries. They shall give their names to all persons making respectful request therefor. Each officer shall patrol his post or beat continuously, unless otherwise directed by the Chief, never absenting himself therefrom during the hours of his duty except to convey prisoners to the city jail, to pursue fleeing offenders or to report to or obey an order of his superior officer.
D. 
Rule 4: Uniform. While on duty every member of the force must wear a regulation uniform, to be prescribed by the Director of the Department of Public Affairs, be clean, neat and tidy in dress and have his shoes shined. He shall carry a mace and wear a badge conspicuously displayed, unless specially authorized by the Chief to dispense therewith. This rule shall not apply to plainclothes policemen.
E. 
Rule 5: Drinking. No member while off-duty shall become intoxicated in any public place, and any visible degree of intoxication in a public place shall be sufficient cause for dismissal. All police officers shall refrain from smoking while patrolling a beat.
F. 
Rule 6: Communication of orders. No member of the force shall communicate to any person any information respecting orders he may have received or that may be made for the duty of movement of the force or any part thereof.
G. 
Rule 7: Suspicious and known bad characters. Every member shall make prompt arrest of all suspicious persons or known bad characters appearing upon his post or within his beat, if in his judgment their movements and actions warrant their detention. Always, however, when such persons appear they must be strictly watched and in such manner, so far as possible, as will leave them unconscious of that fact. If they attempt any crime or offense, they shall be immediately arrested. If no arrest is made, the time of the appearance of such persons and their movements, with a brief description of them, shall be noted by the officer and reported at headquarters. The movement of all vehicles at night, which under any circumstances excite suspicion, must be noted and reported.
H. 
Rule 8: Calls for officers. A request for the presence of an officer at any place in the city at any time of day or night shall be complied with as soon as possible. Such calls must be promptly reported by the officer on duty at headquarters to the nearest available patrolman.
I. 
Rule 9: Absence.
(1) 
No officer is authorized to absent himself from duty for any cause without specific permission from the Chief of Police and/or the Mayor of the City of Monessen. In case of illness, the Chief of Police must be advised immediately of the absence, and the officer must present his family physician's certificate as evidence upon his return to duty, which must be filed in the office of the Chief of Police of said city.
(2) 
All tardiness and neglect of prompt reporting to duty must be made up by the officer at the discretion of the Chief of Police.
(3) 
Any excusable absence due to illness, accident or unavoidable contingency will extend only for such period of time as the Chief of Police or the Mayor of the City of Monessen shall determine adequate. For any absence beyond the period wherein the Chief of Police or Mayor of the City of Monessen deems adequate, there shall be a withholding of pay.
J. 
Rule 10: Emergency call. When not on duty, all members of the force must hold themselves in readiness for any emergency. Members must leave with the Chief information as to where they can be found or reached at any hour when off duty, which information must be available at headquarters at all times.
K. 
Rule 11: Arrests. An officer shall arrest all persons committing an offense in his view, vagrants or persons appearing so to be, all suspicious persons who can give no reasonable account of themselves and also persons who are suspected to have committed a felony. He has no right to arrest any person upon the complaint of another, except persons suspected of having committed a felony, and in case of such complaint, he shall direct the person complaining to make a complaint before the Mayor or some District Justice and have a warrant issued for the apprehension of the offender.
L. 
Rule 12: Familiarity with the city. Every officer must examine and make himself entirely familiar with every part of the city, the routes of travel by which to reach any portion of it in the shortest possible time, the different classes of people located and residing within the respective parts and to what section or places parties charged with an offense are likely to flee and where they can be likely located.
M. 
Rule 13: Complaints and forfeits. Whenever a policeman arrests a person, he shall take him to the city jail and shall immediately write out on the blank to be provided for that purpose the charge against such person, giving the ordinance which he is charged with violating, to which the officer shall swear as soon as he can appear before a person authorized to administer oaths of that character. If the person arrested is willing to give bail, either by a personal surety or by deposit of money or other article of value to insure his appearance at a proper time, the Desk Sergeant shall permit him to do so if he is thoroughly satisfied that the person arrested will appear for a hearing to answer the charge and, unless he is so satisfied, shall not accept the bail or forfeiture tendered. In all cases the bail or forfeit required shall be of sufficient value to satisfy the Desk Sergeant that the defendant will appear. In case of personal security, the officer shall require the person and the bondsman to sign a bond, blanks for which purpose shall be kept at Police Headquarters, and in case of the deposit of a sum of money or other article of value, the officer shall require the prisoner to sign a proper pledge thereof, blanks for which purpose shall be kept at headquarters. He shall not accept a bond or forfeit from a person under what he believes to be an assumed name, nor from any person under influence of intoxicating liquor.
N. 
Rule 14: Obstructions of sidewalks and streets. Officers shall not allow sidewalks or passageways to be obstructed by merchandise, building materials, vehicles or other means, by the assemblage of crowds at street corners, churches, theaters, places of public entertainment, depots, public houses, hotels or public buildings or in any streets, squares or alleys of the city to the annoyance or inconvenience of passersby or to the neighborhood. They shall civilly request such crowds to disperse and persons so offending to move on, and if they refuse to do so, such offenders shall be taken into custody and charged before the Mayor or a District Justice with the offense prohibited by the ordinance in that behalf.
O. 
Rule 15: Report of dangerous conditions. Every officer, whether on or off duty, shall observe and note anything and everything of a dangerous character or likely to be a public inconvenience and also all the irregularities in and dangerous conditions of pavements, cellarways, coal holes, gutters, culverts, bridges, poles, wires and streets and alleys generally, the erection of scaffolding or buildings or other structures and make prompt report thereof to the director of the proper department.
P. 
Rule 16: Duties at fires.
(1) 
When there is a fire alarm, the Chief and such patrolmen as may be deemed necessary shall repair at once to the scene of the fire to prevent disturbance, preserve the peace, establish fire lines, protect the firemen in the discharge of their duty and safeguard property from thefts and destruction.
(2) 
In the event of an extremely serious fire or public disturbance, all members of the police force shall be subject to call, regardless of whether or not they are on duty at that particular time.
Q. 
Rule 17: Enforcement of rules. Punctual attendance, prompt and willing obedience to orders and conformity to the rules of the Department will be strictly enforced.
R. 
Rule 18: Charges against officers. Any officer or citizen having charges to prefer against any member of the force shall submit them in writing to the Mayor, who shall proceed as provided by Act of Assembly.
S. 
Rule 19: Search of persons arrested.
(1) 
When an officer arrests any person, the officer, before placing such person in the city jail, shall carefully search him and remove from his clothing and possession any deadly weapons, knives, liquors, matches, drugs, moneys, jewelry or other articles of value and place them in a box or other suitable receptacle prepared for that purpose, which shall be carefully marked so as to identify the articles therein contained as belonging to the person from whom they are taken, and upon the final discharge of the person arrested from the charge for which he has been detained or other charges alleged against him, said articles shall be delivered to him, except liquors, injurious drugs or other articles of a dangerous kind or character.
(2) 
Immediately after taking such articles from any person arrested, the officer shall make two lists thereof, depositing one with the articles in the receptacle therefor and giving the other one to the party from whom they are taken, which shall be delivered up to him when the possession of the articles is restored.

§ 83-18 Appeal to Council.

Any officer feeling himself aggrieved by the infliction of any penalty, short of dismissal, may appeal from such decision to Council, which may sustain, modify or reverse the penalty. No suspension or other penalty imposed by the Mayor on any member of the police force shall be effective beyond the next regular meeting of Council unless the Mayor shall report his charges in writing to the Council at said meeting, and a copy of said charges shall have been delivered to the member charged at least 24 hours prior to said meeting. At said meeting of Council, the member charged may be represented by counsel and, at his request, all testimony shall be taken by a stenographer, reduced to writing, and a certified copy thereof delivered to said member; cost of said testimony shall be paid by the city. Further action, after a decision by the City Council shall be in accordance with the usual civil service practice.

§ 83-19 Publication and knowledge of rules.

A. 
This article shall be printed in booklet form under the title "Rules and Regulations of the Police Department of the City of Monessen" and one copy given to each officer when becoming a member of the force and returned by him at the expiration of his term of service.
B. 
No member of the force shall be allowed to enter upon his duties until he shall first familiarize himself with the provisions of this article and have given satisfactory evidence of his knowledge thereof to the Mayor or to the Chief of Police and shall have signed the following statement:
"I acknowledge to have received a copy of the rules and regulations of the Police Department of the City of Monessen, and hereby certify that I have read the said ordinance, rules and regulations and that I fully understand the same and hereby pledge myself to strictly conform my conduct thereto so long as I am a member of the force."
[Adopted 2-12-1970 by Ord. No. 3-1970]
[1]
Editor's Note: See the Federal Age Discrimination Act of 1967 and EEOC v. Wyoming, a U.S. Supreme Court case.

§ 83-20 Compulsory retirement age.

As of December 31, 1972, and thereafter, retirement shall be compulsory for any and all members of the Monessen Police Department who shall have attained the age of 65 or over.