[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town of Medfield as indicated in Article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted as Art. IV, Secs. 1 and 2, of the 1926 Bylaws]
The Board of Selectmen shall appoint a Chief of Police, who shall receive such pay as the Board of Selectmen shall determine, unless otherwise specially voted by the Town, and who shall hold said office until a successor is appointed, subject to removal of said Board, as provided herein.
The Personnel Board shall draft, and may from time to time amend, a set of qualifications and procedures for selection of a Chief of Police, one of which shall be at least seven years of police experience, except that each year of supervisory experience in the rank of sergeant or higher shall count for two years. The set of qualifications and procedures shall be filed with the Town Clerk as a public record.
Prior to making an appointment, the Selectmen shall cause notice of the availability of the position to be posted in all places in the Town where notices to employees are generally posted and to be advertised in a newspaper of general circulation in the Town and in such other publications as can reasonably be expected to give notice to qualified applicants. At least 60 days after the publication of the first notice of the availability of the position, the appointment shall be made by the Board of Selectmen in accordance with the qualifications and procedures on file with the Town Clerk, except that one or more of the qualifications or procedures may be waived by the Board of Selectmen.
Without written consent of the Police Chief, the Police Chief shall not be discharged, removed, suspended for a period exceeding five days, lowered in rank or compensation, nor shall the office or position be abolished, except for just cause and for reasons specifically given to the Police Chief in writing by the Board of Selectmen. At least three days after the Selectmen have given the Police Chief a written statement of the specific reasons for the contemplated action, the Police Chief shall be given a full hearing before them or before a hearing officer appointed by them for that purpose. Within 10 days after the hearing, the Police Chief shall be given a written notice of the decision of the Board of Selectmen stating fully and specifically the reasons therefor.
A suspension of the Police Chief for a period not exceeding five days may be made by the majority of the Board of Selectmen only for just cause. Within 24 hours of suspension the Police Chief shall be given written notice stating the specific reason for the suspension, which notice will state that the Chief may, within 48 hours of receipt of the notice, request in writing a hearing by the Board of Selectmen on the question of whether there was just cause for the suspension. Such a hearing shall be held within seven days of receipt of the written notice from the Chief. Within seven days after the hearing, the Board of Selectmen shall give the Chief written notice of its decision. By a majority vote, the Board of Selectmen may find that the suspension was for just cause, or may reduce the number of days of the suspension, or may find that it was without just cause. If the suspension is found to be without just cause, the Chief shall be deemed not to have been suspended and shall be entitled to compensation for the period for which suspension was in effect. If the number of days of suspension are reduced by the full Board after hearing, the Chief shall receive compensation based on the number of days restored.
Any hearing under this Section shall be public if requested in writing by the Police Chief, who shall be allowed to answer the charges.
The Police Chief may petition the Superior Court in Norfolk or any successor court having similar jurisdiction for review of any decision of the Board of Selectmen under this Section within 30 days following receipt of the decision. Within 30 days of receipt of notice of the filing of a petition for such review in the Norfolk County Superior Court, the Board of Selectmen shall file a complete copy with the court of all proceedings before them, certified by the Clerk of the Board, and they may file an answer to any allegations in the petition. The review shall be conducted by the court and shall be confined to the records, except that in cases of alleged irregularities in procedure, not shown in the record, testimony thereon may be taken in court.
If application is made to the court for leave to present additional evidence, and it is shown to the satisfaction of the court that the additional evidence is material to the issues in the case, and that there was good reason for failure to present it in the proceeding before the Board of Selectmen, the court may order that the additional evidence be heard by the Board of Selectmen upon such conditions as the court deems proper. The Board of Selectmen may modify its findings and decision by reason of such additional evidence, together with any modified or new findings or decision.
The court may affirm the decision of the Board of Selectmen if it finds that the decision was justified, or remand the matter for further proceedings before the Board of Selectmen, or the court may set aside and reverse the decision if it determines that such decision is:
In violation of constitutional provisions;
In excess of the authority of the Board of Selectmen;
Based upon an error of law;
Made upon unlawful procedure;
Unsupported by substantial evidence;
Arbitrary or capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law.
If the court finds that the decision of the Board of Selectmen should be reversed, the Police Chief shall be reinstated without loss of compensation. The decision of the court shall be final and conclusive.
Any notice required under this Section may be delivered by hand or mailed to the address shown in the records of the Town. A certificate of the person mailing the notice shall be proof of giving of notice.
It shall be the duty of the Chief of Police to report in writing annually or at such other times as are deemed necessary by the Board of Selectmen upon all matters pertaining to the Department, with recommendations as to the same, to the Board of Selectmen.
[Adopted as Art. IV, Sec. 20, of the 1926 Bylaws]
If police officers are called upon to staff the ambulance when they are off duty, they shall be considered to go on duty when staffing the ambulance for purposes of MGL c. 41, § 111F.