[Res. 85-8. Passed 2-19-1985; Ord. 337. Passed 1-13-1997; Ord. 388. Passed 8-6-2001; Ord. 421. Passed 4-22-2004; Ord. 444. Passed 3-5-2007]
Applications and Qualifications.
Eligibility for Examination. In order to be eligible for participation in any examination for any patrol officer position with the Police Department, every applicant must submit a completed application form before the deadline stated for that specific examination. The application must be completed truthfully. The applicant is subject to the penalties of 18 Pa. C.S.A. § 4904 relating to unsworn falsification to authorities.
Discrimination. The Township is an equal opportunity employer. It is the Township's policy to grant equal employment opportunities to qualified persons without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, gender, age, veteran's status, marital status or non-job-related physical or mental handicap or disability. The Township will provide equal opportunities in employment and promotion.
Availability. The Township may administer a test exclusively for Lower Gwynedd Township or the Township may administer a test in conjunction with other municipalities. Application forms will be available to all interested persons in the office of the Township Manager or in other offices as designated by the Township, on the Township internet website, or from other municipalities participating in the same test.
General Qualifications for All Applicants. In accordance with the Rules and Regulations of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's Municipal Police Officers' Education and Training Commission and Lower Gwynedd Township, every applicant for any patrol officer position shall:
Have reached their 21st birthday before the deadline for submitting completed applications.
Be a United States citizen at the time of appointment.
Be free from convictions of disqualifying criminal offenses.
Possess a high school diploma from an accredited high school or a graduate equivalency diploma (GED).
Have successfully completed the Act 120 Municipal Police Officers' Education and Training certification program. (Applicants currently enrolled in an Act 120 Academy or who meet eligibility requirements for a Waiver of Training may apply for the position, but must receive MPOETC certification prior to appointment.)
Be physically and psychologically capable of performing the duties of a police officer.
Possess a valid motor vehicle operator's license issued by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania prior to appointment.
Be able to read at no less than the ninth grade level (MPOETC requirement).
Rejection of Applicant. The Township may refuse to examine, or, if examined, may refuse to certify as eligible after examination, any applicant who is found to lack any of the minimum qualifications for examination prescribed in these rules and regulations for the particular position for which the applicant has applied. Any rejected applicant may request reconsideration of the decision by writing to the Township Manager within 10 days of the notice of rejection.
Recording and Filing Applications. The Township may administer an entry level police test exclusively for Lower Gwynedd Township, or the Township may enter into an agreement with multiple municipalities to administer said test. In either case, applications for positions in the Police Department shall be received at the Lower Gwynedd Township Building or at a designated municipality only after a hiring test has been properly advertised and before the deadline for receiving applications which must be set forth in the public advertisement. The advertisement shall specify the deadline date and time for acceptance, the location to which the application must be sent and any other pertinent information required to insure the applicant has submitted a completed application. Upon receipt of a completed application by the designated municipality, the application shall be recorded and the applicant shall receive notice of the date, time and location for the testing procedure, the written examination. Any application containing material errors or omissions may, at the discretion of the Township, be returned to the applicant for correction prior to the deadline for filing the application after which no new applications or amended applications will be accepted.
Examination and Grading Procedure.
General Examination Requirements for the Position of Police Officer. The examination for the position of Police Officer will consist of a written and an oral examination which will be graded on a one-hundred-point scale with the written examination representing 50% of the final score and the oral examination representing 50% of the final score. In addition, each qualified applicant will undergo a physical fitness test and a background investigation. These tests will be graded on a pass/fail basis for each applicant. After an applicant has been extended an offer of employment, final appointment shall be contingent upon the applicant passing a physical, psychological and polygraph examination.
Written Examination. The written examination shall be graded on a one-hundred-point scale. An applicant must score 70% or higher and receive one of the 20 highest scores, including ties, in order to continue in the application process. Applicants scoring less than 70% or not receiving one of the top 20 highest scores shall be rejected. Within 30 days after the administration of the written examination, the applicants with the 20 highest scores, plus ties, shall be given written notice of their test results and shall be scheduled for a physical fitness examination. Written test scores for all applicants will be available for viewing at the Township Building.
Physical Fitness Examination. Applicants scheduled for a physical fitness examination will be furnished with a copy of the examination requirements. The requirements for the physical fitness examination shall:
Background Investigation. The Township shall request the Chief of Police or the Chief's designee to conduct a background investigation on each applicant. The background investigation shall be conducted, at a minimum, following the background investigation guidelines required by the Pennsylvania Municipal Police Officers Education and Training Commission, Act 120, as amended. These minimum guidelines shall include, but are not limited to, a criminal history check, driving record check, credit history check and personal interviews with persons having personal knowledge of the applicants' background and work history. Additionally, each applicant shall complete a personal data questionnaire. Upon completion of the questionnaire, the applicant will meet with a designee of the Chief to review the information in the questionnaire for accuracy and truthfulness. The applicant may be interviewed directly when the information collected during the background investigation requires clarification or explanation. After the background investigation is completed, the Chief or designee shall make a written recommendation as to whether or not the applicant is appropriate for consideration for appointment as a police officer. The Township Manager shall make the final determination on whether the information collected during the background investigation warrants rejection of the candidate.
Oral Examination. Every applicant who received one of the top 20 scores, including ties, and scored 70% or higher in the written examination and passed the physical agility test shall be given an oral examination which will be graded on a one-hundred-point scale, with a score of 70% or higher necessary for passing. The oral examination shall involve questioning applicants on how they would handle situations relevant to police work. The oral examination represents 50% of the final score. Within 30 days after the applicants' oral examination, they shall be informed of the score in their oral examination and total overall score.
Certification of the list of eligibles and appointment.
Creation of Eligibility List. At the completion of the examination requirements set forth above, written examination, physical fitness test, background investigation and oral examination, the interview committee shall rank all passing applicants on a list, with the applicant receiving the highest score at the top of the list and the applicant receiving the lowest passing score at the bottom of the list. In the case of tied scores, then the applicants shall be ranked in alphabetical order by surname. The eligibility list will remain in effect for at least 12 months from the date of its adoption by the Board of Supervisors. The Board of Supervisors may, at its sole discretion, before the original expiration date, by vote of a majority of members, at a duly authorized meeting, extend the list for up to 12 months. The Board of Supervisors may, at its discretion, void an eligible list at any time for an appropriate reason.
The Board of Supervisors may fill any vacancy in an existing position in the Police Department which occurs as a result of expansion of the police force, retirement, resignation, disability or death by the reappointment or reinstatement of a former employee of the Police Department who had been furloughed. Except for physical or psychological examinations, no other testing shall be required for a furloughed employee or a rehired or reappointed employee.
If no furlough list exists or if positions remain to be filled after all of the officers on the furlough list were offered reemployment, every position, except that of the Chief of Police, shall be filled only in the following manner:
The interview committee shall certify three names from the list of eligibles.
If the three names are not available, then the interview committee shall certify the name(s) remaining on the list of eligibles.
The Board of Supervisors shall make an appointment from one of the three names certified with reference to the merits and fitness of the candidates. However, for initial appointment to the position of police officer, when one of the three applicants on the certified list is eligible for veteran's preference, that applicant shall be selected.
Physical, Psychological and Polygraph Examinations. The Board of Supervisors shall make an offer of employment to the selected applicant with final appointment being contingent upon the candidate successfully passing a physical, psychological and polygraph examination. Failure to successfully pass any of these examinations shall result in the candidate being rejected from further consideration.
Physical Examination. The Municipal Police Officers' Education and Training Commission establish the standards for the administration of physical examinations. An applicant will be sent to a licensed medical professional meeting MPOETC certification standards who will conduct a physical examination in accordance with MPOETC requirements. The medical professional shall submit the appropriate MPOETC form to the Township indicating that the applicant meets the requirements to be considered physically capable of performing the duties of a police officer. Applicants will be furnished with a copy of the physical examination requirements.
Psychological Examination. The Municipal Police Officers' Education and Training Commission establish the standards for the administration of psychological examinations. An applicant will be sent to a licensed medical professional meeting MPOETC certification standards who will conduct a psychological examination in accordance with MPOETC requirements. The medical professional shall submit the appropriate MPOETC form to the Township indicating that the applicant meets the requirements to be considered psychologically capable to exercise appropriate judgment or restraint in performing the duties of a police officer. Applicants will be furnished with a copy of the psychological examination requirements.
Polygraph Examination. A polygraph examiner shall administer the polygraph test based on information provided in the applicant's personal data questionnaire, information obtained during the background investigation and from information gained during pre-test and post-test interviews with the applicant. The examiner shall notify the Chief of Police or his designee if deception is indicated or the examiner believes that the applicant is withholding information. The Chief shall review the information in question and, if appropriate, permit the applicant with the opportunity to provide reliable and verifiable proof to refute the examiners conclusion. The Chief may also conduct a further investigation into the facts and circumstances regarding the information in question. If the situation or information in question cannot be satisfactorily resolved by the applicant or upon the Police Department investigation, then the Chief shall notify the Township Manager. The Township Manager shall make the final determination as to whether the applicant should be retested, a further investigation conducted or declare the applicant as failing the test.
Probationary Period. Every successful applicant to the position of patrol officer with the Police Department shall serve a twelve-month probationary period. At any time during the probationary period, the probationary officer may be terminated for unacceptable performance or behavior. The probationer shall be notified in writing that the appointment will not be permanent and that their employment shall end. Any officer who is not informed in writing that his or her performance has been unsatisfactory shall receive a permanent appointment to the new position.
[Res. 96-20. Passed 6-10-1996]
In addition to any other statutorily permitted warrantless arrest, officers of the Lower Gwynedd Township Police Department shall be permitted to effect a warrantless arrest of a person violating the following provisions of Title 18 of the Crimes Code:
Section 5503 (relating to disorderly conduct).
Section 5505 (relating to public drunkenness).
Section 5507 (relating to obstructing highways and other public passages).
Section 6308 (relating to purchase, consumption, possession or transportation of liquor or malt or brewed beverages).
Local police officers shall be governed by
Rule 71, Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure (Procedure following arrest without warrant).
All of the following requirements:
Following any such warrantless arrest:
The arresting officer(s) shall immediately transport the defendant(s) to the Township Police Department for processing and issuance of a citation.
The defendant shall be processed without unnecessary delay and furnished a copy of the citation.
The defendant will then be released, provided that he/she is no longer in a position to imperil his/her personal security or the personal security of another.
In the case of juvenile defendants:
Timely attempts shall be made to contact a parent, guardian or other responsible adult who shall have an interest is such juvenile.
The juvenile shall be promptly released to a parent, guardian or other responsible adult after completion of processing and the issuance of a citation.
If, after a period of six hours, a parent, guardian or other responsible adult cannot be contacted, or such shall refuse to accept custody, the officer shall contact the Juvenile Probation Department to arrange shelter for such juvenile.