[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Nether Providence 9-13-2012 by Ord. No. 769. Amendments noted where applicable.]
There are hereby established rules and regulations governing the Township Civil Service Commission, including standards for testing for the hiring, promoting and disciplining of police officers pursuant to §§ 625 through 650 of the First Class Township Code.
Unless otherwise expressly stated, the following words and phrases, whenever used in these rules and regulations, shall be construed to have the meaning indicated herein:
- ALTERNATE COMMISSIONER
- An individual appointed by the Township Commissioners in a First Class Township to serve as an alternate Civil Service Commissioner. Properly appointed alternate Commissioners shall have all the same powers and duties as a properly appointed Commissioner set forth in the First Class Township Code.
- Any individual who applies in writing to the Commission in response to a legally advertised notice of vacancy and/or examination for any position full time or part time in the Police Department.
- APPOINTING AUTHORITY
- The Board of Commissioners of the Township of Nether Providence, County of Delaware, Pennsylvania.
- The submission to the appointing authority pursuant to its request of three names taken from the eligibility list created by the Civil Service Commission.
- The Chairperson of the Civil Service Commission of the Township of Nether Providence, County of Delaware, Pennsylvania,
- The Civil Service Commission of the Township of Nether Providence, County of Delaware, Pennsylvania.
- The words he, his, him, and men when used in these rules and regulations represent both the masculine and feminine genders.
- A person whose name is recorded on a current eligible list or furlough list.
- ELIGIBLE LIST
- The list of names of persons who have passed all examinations for a particular position in the Police Department.
- The series of examinations given to candidates to determine their qualifications for a position in the Police Department.
- FURLOUGH LIST
- The list containing the names of persons temporarily laid off from positions in the Police Department because of a reduction in the number of police officers.
- PATROL OFFICER
- For purposes of these rules, an entry-level, sworn, full-time or part-time position in the Police Department. The appointing authority shall retain full discretion in determining which part-time patrol officer receives an offer of full-time employment. Regardless of a Patrol Officer's hours worked, the civil service rank of full-time and part-time Patrol Officers shall be the same.
- An employee in the Police Department who has been appointed from an eligible list, but who has not yet completed the one-year work-test period.
- Recognized ranks in the Police Department are:
- REDUCTION IN RANK
- A change to a different position or rank where the employee fulfilled all of the requirements of these rules and regulations for both the prior and current position or rank. However, a decrease in salary without a change to a different position or rank shall not necessarily constitute a reduction in rank.
- The permanent separation of a police officer from the Police Department.
- The Secretary of the Civil Service Commission of the Township of Nether Providence, County of Delaware, Pennsylvania.
- The temporary separation without pay of a police officer from the Police Department.
Civil Service Commission. The Commission shall consist of three Commissioners who shall be qualified electors of the Township of Nether Providence and shall be appointed by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Nether Providence initially to serve for the terms of two, four, and six years, and as terms thereafter expire shall be appointed for terms of six years. Any vacancy occurring in the Commission for any reason whatsoever shall be filled by the Nether Providence Township Board of Commissioners for the unexpired term within the period of 30 days after such vacancy occurs. Each member of the Commission, before entering upon the discharge of the duties of their office, shall take an oath or affirmation to support the Constitution of the United States and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and to perform their official duties with fidelity. No Civil Service Commissioner shall receive compensation. No member of the Civil Service Commission shall hold any other office in the Township.
The Board of Commissioners may appoint no more than three qualified electors of the Township to serve as alternate members of the Commission. The term of office shall be six years. An alternate shall be entitled to participate in all proceedings and discussions of the Commission to the same and full extent as provided by law for Commission members, including specifically the right to cast a vote as a voting member during the proceedings, and shall have all the powers and duties set forth in the First Class Township Code and as otherwise provided by law. Alternates shall hold no other office in the Township. Any alternate may participate in any proceeding or discussion of the Commission, but shall not be entitled to vote as a member of the Commission unless designated as a voting alternate member pursuant to § 628 of the First Class Township Code.
Offices incompatible with Civil Service Commissioner. No Commissioner or alternate shall at the same time hold an elective or appointed office under the United States government, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Township of Nether Providence, or any political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Organization of Commission; quorum. The Commission first appointed shall organize within 10 days of its appointment and shall elect one of its members as its Chairperson and one as its Secretary. The Commission shall thereafter meet and organize on the first Monday of January of each even-numbered year. Three members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum and no action of the Commission shall be valid unless it shall have the concurrence of at least two members.
If, by reason of absence or disqualification of a member, a quorum is not reached, the Chairman shall designate as many alternate Commissioners to sit on the Commission as may be needed to provide a quorum. Any alternate member of the Commission shall continue to serve on the Commission in all proceedings involving the matter or case for which the alternate was initially designated until the Commission has made a final determination of the matter or case. Designation of an alternate Commissioner shall be made on a case-by-case basis in rotation according to declining seniority among all alternates. No action of the Commission shall be valid unless it shall have the concurrence of at least two members.
For purposes of hiring and promoting police officers under these rules, each step of the hiring or promotional process requiring official action by the Commission shall be considered a separate "matter or case" under Subsection B, above, and each step of the hiring or promotional process need not be voted upon or approved by the same composition of Commissioners or alternate Commissioners, as the case may be, provided that the quorum requirement has been satisfied.
Duties of Chairperson. The Chairperson, or in his or her absence, the Vice-Chairperson, shall preside at all meetings and hearings of the Commission, decide all points of order or procedure and perform any duties required by law or these rules and regulations.
Duties of Secretary. The Secretary shall carry on at the direction of the Commission all official correspondence of the Commission, send out all notices required by law and these rules and regulations, keep a record of each examination or other official action of the Commission, and perform all other duties required by law or these rules and regulations.
Meetings. Except for the biennial organizational meeting, all meetings shall be held either at the call of the Chairperson or at the call of two members of the Commission. The Commission shall have the discretion to determine whether meetings shall be open to the public when not specifically regulated by law or these rules and regulations. The Secretary of the Commission shall give each Commissioner and alternate Commissioner 24 hours' notice of each and every meeting of the Commission.
Clerks and supplies. The Nether Providence Township Board of Commissioners shall furnish the Commission with such supplies and clerical assistance as may be necessary for the Commission to fulfill its duties. In addition, the Commission may retain counsel, and any other consultants or experts as are necessary. The elected and appointed officials of the Township of Nether Providence shall assist the Commission with all reasonable and appropriate efforts including compensation for any counsel or experts retained by the Commission. Physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists and other qualified medical professionals shall be appointed by the Township Commissioners.
Amendment of rules and regulations. The Commission may amend, revise, void or replace these rules and regulations for any reason by action of a majority of the Commission at any properly convened meeting of the Commission. Before any changes to these rules and regulations become effective, those changes must be approved by the Nether Providence Township Board of Commissioners by resolution. These rules and regulations, and any amendments thereto, shall be made available to the public for distribution or inspection.
Minutes and records. The Commission shall keep minutes of its proceedings and records of examinations and other official actions. All records of the Commission shall be preserved and disposed of according to the Retention and Disposition Schedule for Records of Pennsylvania Municipalities issued by the Local Government Records Committee under the authority of the Municipal Records Act, 1968 P.L. 961, Number 428, 53 P.S. 9001. Any and all records related to any disciplinary action filed with the Commission shall be open to public inspection subject to reasonable regulation. The Secretary shall keep minutes of its proceedings showing the vote of each member upon each question. If the member is absent or fails to vote, the Secretary shall indicate that fact in the minutes.
Investigations. The Commission shall have the power to make investigations concerning all matters relating to the administration and enforcement of these rules and regulations. The Chairperson of the Commission is authorized to administer oaths and affirmations in connection with such investigations.
Subpoenas. The Commission shall have the power to issue subpoenas over the signature of the Chairperson, or designee, to require the attendance of witnesses and the production of records and papers pertaining to any investigation or inquiry. The fees of such witnesses for attendance and travel shall be the same as for witnesses appearing in the Courts and shall be paid from appropriations for the incidental expense of the Commission. All officers in public service and employees of the Township of Nether Providence shall attend and testify when required to do so by the Commission. If any person shall refuse or neglect to obey any subpoena issued by the Commission, upon conviction of such refusal or neglect in a summary proceeding, that person shall be sentenced to pay a fine not to exceed $100, and in default of the payment of such fine and cost shall be imprisoned not to exceed 30 days. If any person shall refuse or neglect to obey any subpoena, the Commission may apply by petition to the Court of Common Pleas, County of Delaware, Pennsylvania for its subpoena, requiring the attendance of such persons before the Commission or the court to testify and to produce any records and papers necessary, and in default thereof shall be held in contempt of court.
Annual report. The Commission shall make an annual report to the Nether Providence Township Board of Commissioners containing a brief summary of its work during the year and a full accounting for any expenditures of public monies. The annual report shall be available for public inspection.
Eligibility for examination. In order to be eligible for participation in any examination for a position with the Police Department, every applicant must submit a completed application form to the Commission before the deadline stated by the Commission for that specific examination. The applicant must make an oath or affirmation that the application is completed truthfully, and the applicant is subject to the penalties of 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 4904 relating to unsworn falsification to authorities.
Discrimination (EEO statement). The Township of Nether Providence is an equal opportunity employer. It is the policy of the Township of Nether Providence and the Commission 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 or any other status protected under federal law or the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The Township of Nether Providence and the Commission will provide equal opportunities in employment and promotion.
Availability. Application forms shall be available to all interested persons in the Office of the Nether Providence Township Secretary and from such other offices and officers that the Commission, from time to time, may choose to designate.
Age. All applicants for the position of Patrol Officer must have reached their 21st birthday on or before the deadline for submitting completed applications.
General qualifications (all applicants). Every applicant for the position of Patrol Officer in the Police Department shall possess at the time of filling the application a high school diploma or equivalent, have successfully completed Act 120 training and be immediately eligible for certification by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Municipal Police Officers' Education and Training Commission. Every applicant for the position of Patrol Officer shall be a United States citizen, be physically and mentally fit to perform the full duties of a police officer, and possess a valid motor vehicle operator's license issued by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania at the time of filing the application.
General qualifications (Sergeants).
In addition to meeting the qualifications in § 10-4E, above, all applicants for a promotional position, except Chief, shall have not been reprimanded in the one year before the examination and suspended without pay in the three years prior to the deadline for submitting applications. Any suspension to which the applicant has timely appealed pursuant to a contractual grievance procedure or these rules shall be disregarded unless the appeal is resolved prior to the creation of the eligibility list.
All applicants for a promotional position shall have continuous prior service with the Police Department of Nether Providence Township as follows: An applicant for the position of Sergeant shall hold the position of Patrol Officer and have at least five years of experience as a full-time officer with the Police Department; at the time of his or her application for the position of Sergeant and continuing until the time of promotion to the position of Sergeant, an applicant for the position of Sergeant shall hold in good standing the rank of Patrol Officer within the Police Department of the Township of Nether Providence; provided, however, that if there are no applicants for the position of Sergeant then holding the position of Patrol Officer within the Police Department of the Township of Nether Providence, an applicant shall be eligible to apply for promotion to the position of Sergeant, provided that such applicant meets all other requirements and prerequisites of holding the position of Patrol Officer at the time of application and promotion to Sergeant.
Rejection of applicant. The Commission 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 for the particular position for which the applicant has applied. In addition, the Commission may refuse to examine, or if examined, may refuse to certify, any applicant who is physically or mentally unfit to perform the full duties of the position applied for, or who is a habitual substance abuser, who is guilty of any crime involving moral turpitude, or of infamous or notoriously disgraceful conduct, or who has been dismissed from public service for delinquency or misconduct in office, or who is affiliated with any group whose policies or activities are subversive to the forms of government set forth in the constitutions and laws of the United States and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The applicant will be given written notice of their right to appeal the decision of the Civil Service Commission.
Public notice. The Commission shall conspicuously post, at least three weeks prior to the initial examination, in the Nether Providence Township Municipal Building Administration Office and the Nether Providence Township Police Department, notice of the time and place of the initial examination, together with the information as to the type of position to be filled, the requirements for that position, where applications may be obtained for the examination, and the deadline for filing applications. In addition, at least three weeks prior to the initial examination, publication of the notice shall occur in at least one newspaper of general circulation or a newspaper circulating generally in Township of Nether Providence.
Recording and filing applications. Applications for the position in the Police Department to be filled shall be received at the Nether Providence Township Municipal Building Administration Office only after an examination has been properly advertised and before the deadline for receiving applications which must be set forth in the public advertisement. Applications and required documents will be received by the Nether Providence Township Secretary or his/her designee in full and no portion thereof shall be accepted. That person shall record the receipt of the application. Applicants for the position of Patrol Officer shall also produce the following documents at this time: a completed application; a photocopy of his Pennsylvania driver's license; a photocopy of his/her high school diploma or equivalent; a photocopy of documentation certifying completion of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Municipal Police Officers' Education and Training Commission Act 120 training; Proof of citizenship; and if veterans' preference is being sought, a photocopy of his/her honorable discharge or DD-214 from the United States Armed Forces. The Township of Nether Providence is not responsible for the photocopying of any of the originals of the aforementioned documents. Any application containing material errors or omissions may, at the discretion of the Commission, be returned to the applicant for correction prior to the deadline for filing applications after which no new applications or amended applications will be accepted.
Hearing for disqualified applicants. If any applicant or person is aggrieved by the refusal of the Commission to examine or to certify the applicant as eligible after examination, the Commission shall, at the request of the applicant, within 10 days appoint a time and place for a public hearing, with or without counsel, at which time the Commission shall take testimony and review its refusal to provide examination or certification. The hearing shall be conducted pursuant to the procedures set forth in the Local Agency Law, 2 Pa.C.S.A. § 101 et seq. The applicant or aggrieved party must make their request for a hearing in writing within 10 calendar days of the date when the party knew or should have known of the Commission's action which is being challenged. The decision of the Commission shall be final.
Fees. The Commission requires that a reasonable fee be charged in connection with the filing of an application for Patrol Officer. There shall be no fee assessed in connection with any promotional examination. Effective upon the adoption of these rules and regulations, there shall be a fee of $50 assessed to all entry-level applicants filing an application for the position of Patrol Officer. The fee shall be payable to the Township of Nether Providence.
General examination requirements for the position of Patrol Officer. The examination for Patrol Officer shall consist of an initial exam, written and an oral examination as set forth in § 10-5K which will be graded on a one-hundred-point scale with the written examination representing 70% of the final score and the oral examination representing 30% of the final score. In addition, each applicant will undergo a physical fitness test, and a background investigation. This physical fitness test and background investigation will be graded on a pass/fail basis for every applicant. After an applicant has been extended an offer of employment, final appointment shall be contingent upon the applicant passing a medical and psychological examination.
General examination requirements for the position of Sergeant. The examination for Sergeant shall consist of written and an oral examination as set forth in § 10-5K which will be graded on a one-hundred-point scale with the written examination representing 70% of the final score and the oral examination representing 30% of the final score. After a candidate has been extended an offer of promotion, the promotion shall be final contingent upon the candidate passing a medical and psychological exam.
Notice of examination. The Commission shall appoint a written examination administrator, an oral examination administrator, and physical fitness examiner to conduct the appropriate examination required by these rules and regulations.
An applicant selected from the eligibility list by the Township Commissioners shall receive a conditional offer of employment. The offer of employment shall be conditioned upon the conditional employee undergoing a physical and psychological medical examination and a determination that the conditional employee is capable of performing all the essential functions of the position. Physical examinations shall be under the direction of a physician or other qualified medical professional. Psychological medical examinations shall be under the direction of a psychiatrist or psychologist.
The physician or other qualified medical professional and the psychiatrist or psychologist shall be appointed by the Township Commissioners and shall render an opinion as to whether the conditional appointee has a physical or mental condition which calls into question the person's ability to perform all of the essential functions of the position for which the person was conditionally appointed.
If the opinion rendered by the physician, other qualified medical professional, psychiatrist or psychologist calls into question the conditional appointee's ability to perform all essential functions of a position, a person designated by the Township Commissioners shall meet with the conditional appointee for the purpose of having one or more interactive discussions on whether the conditional appointee can, with or without reasonable accommodation, perform all the essential functions of the position.
If, at the conclusion of the interactive discussion under Subsection F, the Township Commissioners determine that the conditional appointee is not qualified, the Township Commissioners shall give written notice to the conditional appointee and the Civil Service Commission.
As used in this section, the following definitions shall apply:
- MEDICAL EXAMINATION
- Any examination, procedure, inquiry or test designed to obtain information about medical history or a physical or mental condition which might disqualify an applicant if it would prevent the applicant from performing, with or without a reasonable accommodation, all of the essential functions of the position.
- Shall have the meaning given to it in 1 Pa.C.S.A. § 1991 (relating to definitions).
- QUALIFIED MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
- An individual, in collaboration with or under the supervision or direction of a physician, as may be required by law, who is licensed:
- (1) As a physician assistant pursuant to the Act of December 20, 1985 (P.L. 457, No. 112), known as the "Medical Practice Act of 1985," or the Act of October 5, 1978 (P.L. 1109, No. 261), known as the "Osteopathic Medical Practice Act"; or
- (2) As a certified nurse practitioner pursuant to the Act of May 22, 1951 (P.L. 317, No. 69), known as "The Professional Nursing Law."
Written examination. The written examination for applicants for Patrol Officer shall be graded on a one-hundred-point scale. Only the 20 highest-scoring applicants, including ties, receiving a grade of 70% or higher will continue in the application process and participate in the oral examination. Within 30 days after the administration of the written examination, all applicants shall be given written notice of their test results, and the passing applicants shall be scheduled for an oral examination appointment.
The written examination for applicants for Sergeant shall be graded on a one-hundred-point scale. Only applicants, including ties, receiving a grade of 70% or higher will continue in the application process and participate in the oral examination. Within 30 days after the administration of the written examination, all applicants shall be given written notice of their test results, and the passing applicants shall be scheduled for an oral examination appointment.
Patrol Officer. The top 20 applicants, including ties, for Patrol Officer who scored 70% or higher in the written examination 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. Within 30 days after the applicants' oral examination, they shall be informed of the score in their oral examination and total overall score, and each passing applicant shall be informed of the date for physical fitness testing.
Sergeants. All applicants for Sergeant shall be given an oral exam which will be graded on a one-hundred-point scale. The oral examination process designated by the Commission shall, in addition to any other issues deemed appropriate by the Commission or its designee(s), include questioning applicants regarding how they would handle responding to relevant law enforcement situations and other matters which reasonably test the officer's ability to perform police work in a supervisory capacity. The manner in which the oral examination process is conducted, as well as the identity of the individuals who will actually administer the oral examinations, may be determined by the Commission on an ad hoc basis.
Due to the impact of Act 75 of 2010 becoming effective immediately, the result of any oral examination administered by this Commission on or after July 1, 2010, for promotion to Sergeant shall be used as the oral examination result for the same promotional test for which the application period opens on or after February 15, 2011, and closes by March 1, 2011.
Veterans' preference points. Pursuant to the Veterans' Preference Act, any applicant for the position of Patrol Officer who qualifies as a soldier under this Act, shall have 10 points added to their total score if that applicant had received passing scores in all other areas of testing and qualification. Any applicant claiming veterans' preference shall be responsible for providing any and all relevant documents to the Commission.
Editor's Note: See 51 Pa.C.S.A. § 7101 et seq.
The Commission shall request the Chief of Police or his/her designee to conduct a background investigation of each applicant. The background investigation may include interviews with the applicant's family, acquaintances, current and former employers, current and former neighbors, references and current and former teachers and school officials. In addition, the applicant's credit history and record of criminal history shall be investigated. The applicant may be interviewed directly when the information collected during the background investigation requires clarification or explanation. All applicants shall execute an appropriate authorization for release of personal information, and cooperate fully in providing information upon request to ensure a thorough and complete investigation.
After completion of the background investigation, the Chief of Police or his designee shall make a recommendation to the Commission as to whether or not the applicant is an appropriate candidate for consideration for appointment as a police officer.
Appropriateness of the applicant shall be considered upon the criteria set forth in § 10-4G of these rules and regulations. This recommendation shall be in writing and if the recommendation is to disqualify, then a detailed written explanation of the reasons for disqualification must be included. The Commission shall make the final determination as to whether or not the information collected during the background investigation warrants rejection of the candidate.
Creation of eligibility list.
At the completion of the examination requirements set forth in § 10-4, written examination (Patrol Officer only), oral examination, background investigation (Patrol Officer only), and physical fitness test, the Commission shall rank all passing applicants receiving the highest score at the top of the list and the applicant receiving the lowest passing score at the bottom of the list. Applicants who qualify for veterans' preference points shall have those points added to their passing score prior to being ranked on the eligibility list. In the case of tied scores, the tie will be broken by giving preference to the applicant who submitted a final completed application first. In the event the tie is still not broken, the applicants shall be ranked in alphabetical order by surname.
The eligibility list shall be valid for one year from the date the Commission ranks all passing applicants, assigns veterans points and formally adopts the eligibility list. The Commission may, at its sole discretion, by a vote of the majority of the Commission at a duly authorized Commission meeting, extend the list up to an additional 12 months. In the absence of a lawful extension by the Commission, the list shall expire. The Commission may, at its sole discretion, void an eligibility list at any time for any reason.
Appointment. The appointing authority of the Township of Nether Providence may fill any vacancy in an existing position in the Police Department which occurs as a result of expansion of the Police Department, retirement, resignation, disability or death, by the reappointment or reinstatement of a former employee who has been furloughed. Except for medical and psychology examinations, no other testing shall be required for a furloughed employee. If no furlough list exists or if positions remain to be filled after all names on the furlough list have been offered reemployment, every position, except that of Chief of Police shall be filled only in the following manner:
The appointing authority of the Township of Nether Providence shall notify the Commission of any vacancy which is to be filled and shall request the certification of three names from the list of eligibles;
If three names are not available, then the Commission shall certify the name(s) remaining on the list;
The Township of Nether Providence Board of Commissioners shall make an appointment from each one of the three names certified with reference to the merits and fitness of the candidates. However, for initial appointment to the position of Patrol Officer, when one of the three applicants on the certified list is a veteran, that applicant shall be selected.
The Board of Commissioners of the Township of Nether Providence may, at its sole discretion, appoint any applicant for Patrol Officer who has passed the required examinations for appointment or promotion although the applicant's name does not appear on the certified list of three when the applicant qualifies for veterans' preference.
Appointment of Chief of Police. In the case of a vacancy in the office of Chief of Police, the Board of Commissioners has full discretion in selecting the individual to fill the position of Chief of Police. If the Board of Commissioners requests the Commission to subject that person to a noncompetitive examination, and if that person successfully passes the noncompetitive examination, then the Commission shall notify the appointing authority of the results of the examination and that person may only be removed from the position of Chief of Police for the reasons set forth in § 10-7.
Medical and psychological examinations. After the appointing authority selects an applicant from the certified list of three for appointment to a vacant position, the candidate shall submit to a medical examination and a psychological examination by the appropriate medical experts. The applicant shall be notified of his conditional appointment contingent upon passing both the medical examination and the psychological examination. The Township shall be responsible for any and all costs and fees related to the medical examination and the psychological examination. If the candidate successfully passes the medical examination and the psychological examination, then that employee shall be appointed or promoted to the vacant position in the Police Department to which the applicant has applied. Failure to pass either examination, after completion of the interactive discussion process in § 10-5F shall result in the candidate being rejected from consideration. The rejected candidate may appeal this decision under § 10-4J. The Commission shall then certify another name to be included with the two previously certified names for consideration by the appointing authority.
Probationary period. Every successful applicant appointed to the position of Patrol Officer or to a promotional position with the Police Department shall serve a one-year probationary period. During the probationary period, the probationary Patrol Officer may be dismissed only for cause for the reasons set forth in § 10-7A. A promoted officer, during probation, may be returned to a prior rank only for cause for the reasons set forth in § 10-7A. However, at the end of the one-year probationary period, if the conduct of the probationer has not been satisfactory to the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Nether Providence, the probationer shall be notified in writing that the appointment will not be permanent. At that time, a newly hired Patrol Officer's employment shall end, and a promoted officer shall return to his previous rank. Any officer who is not informed in writing that his performance has been unsatisfactory shall receive a permanent appointment to the new position. Any probationer who is notified in writing that his appointment will not be made permanent has no rights of appeal under these rules and regulations.
Provisional appointments. Whenever there are urgent reasons for the filling of a vacancy in any position in the Police Department and there are no names on an eligibility list for such appointment, the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Nether Providence may nominate a person to the Commission for noncompetitive examination. Such nominee may be certified by the Commission as qualified after such noncompetitive examination and he may be appointed provisionally to fill such vacancy. It shall thereupon become the duty of the Commission within three weeks to hold a competitive examination and certify a list of eligibles and then a regular appointment shall then be made from the name or names submitted by the Commission; provided, however, that nothing within this section shall prevent the appointment, without examination, of persons temporarily as police officers in cases of riot or other emergency.
Grounds for disciplinary action.
No person appointed to a position in the Police Department pursuant to these rules and regulations may be suspended without pay or removed and no person promoted in rank pursuant to these rules and regulations may be reduced in rank except for the following reasons:
Physical or mental disability affecting the person's ability to continue in service, in which case the person shall receive an honorable discharge from service;
Neglect or violation of any official duty as per the Township of Nether Providence Police Department Manual of Operations and Procedures;
Violation of any law of this commonwealth which provides that such violation constitutes a misdemeanor or felony;
Inefficiency, neglect, intemperance, disobedience of orders or unbecoming conduct;
Intoxication while on duty; or
Engaging in or participating in the conducting of any political or election campaign other than the individual's exercises of his own right of suffrage.
No police officer shall be removed for religious, racial or political reasons. A statement of any charges made against any police officer so employed shall be furnished to the officer within five days after those charges have been adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Nether Providence.
If, for reasons of economy or other valid reasons, it shall be deemed necessary by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Nether Providence to reduce the number of police officers in the Police Department, then the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Nether Providence shall apply the following procedure:
If there are any employees eligible for retirement under the terms of any retirement or pension law, then such reductions in numbers shall be made by retirement of such employees starting with the oldest employee and following in order of age respectively;
If the number of full-time officers eligible for retirement is insufficient to effect the necessary reduction in numbers, or if there are no persons eligible for retirement, or if no retirement plan or pension fund exists, the reductions shall be effected by furloughing the person or persons, including probationers, last appointed to the Police Department.
Such removal shall be accomplished by furloughing in numerical order commencing with the person last appointed until such reduction shall have been accomplished. In the event that the appointing authority decides to increase the Police Department, the furloughed police officers shall be reinstated in order of their seniority in the Police Department if the furloughed police officer accepts reinstatement in writing within 30 days of receiving notice of the opening.
Any furloughed employee must accept reinstatement in writing within 30 days of receiving notice of the opening or shall forego the reinstatement.
Notice of suspension, removal or reduction in rank. Whenever a Patrol Officer is suspended, removed or reduced in rank, the specific charges warranting such actions shall be stated in writing by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Nether Providence. The charges shall be stated clearly and in sufficient detail to enable the officer to understand the charges and to allow the officer an opportunity to respond to those charges. The charges shall be stated clearly and in sufficient detail to enable the employee to understand the nature of the charges against him and to allow the employee an opportunity to respond to those charges. The charges shall specify the subsection of § 10-7A which provides the basis for the disciplinary action as well as an explanation of the factual circumstances upon which the appointing authority relied in finding a violation of § 10-7A. Within five days after the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Nether Providence has voted to impose the disciplinary action, a written statement of the charges shall be delivered to the officer either by personal service or by certified and registered mail. In addition, the charges shall notify the officer of the right to appeal under § 10-7D of these rules and regulations. A copy of the statement of charges shall also be served upon the members of the Civil Service Commission.
Hearings on suspension, removals and reductions in rank.
The officer who has been suspended, removed or reduced in rank may appeal the decision of the appointing authority by written notice to the Secretary, Nether Providence Township Civil Service Commission, 214 Sykes Lane, Wallingford, Pennsylvania 19063, requesting a hearing. This request shall be received by the Commission within 10 days after the employee received notice of the discipline. The officer may make written answers to any charges filed not later than the date fixed for the hearing. Failure of the officer to provide written answers to any of the charges shall not be deemed an admission by the officer.
The Commission shall schedule a hearing within 10 days from the officer's written request for a hearing unless continued by the Commission for cause at the request of the Commission, the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Nether Providence, or the officer. At any such hearing, the officer against whom the charges have been made may be present and represented by counsel, may call witnesses and may present testimony and documentation in defense. The Township of Nether Providence may also be represented by counsel, call witnesses and present evidence as is necessary to support the charges. A stenographic record of all testimony shall be taken at every hearing and preserved by the Commission. In the event the charges are dismissed, the record shall be sealed and not be available for public inspection.
In conducting a hearing under these rules and regulations, the Commission's standard of review shall be to determine whether sufficient evidence has been presented to support the statutory reason for the disciplinary action. If the Commission finds that sufficient evidence has been introduced to support the charge, the Commission shall not modify the penalty imposed by the Board of Commissioner of the Township of Nether Providence unless it finds that the penalty imposed was arbitrary, discriminatory or an abuse of the Board of Commissioners discretion. In considering the appropriateness of the discipline, the Commission shall not substitute its judgment for that of the Board of Commissioners. The Commission may request post-hearing briefs, and shall issue a written decision containing specific findings of facts and conclusions of law within 60 days of receipt of the hearing transcript.
All testimony shall be given under oath administered by the Chairperson, or in the absence of the Chair, the Vice Chairperson. The Commission shall have the power to issue subpoenas as set forth in § 10-3N. The hearing shall be open to the public unless, prior to the commencement of the hearing, a written or oral request to close the hearing is made by either the charged officer or the Township of Nether Providence.
If the Commission sustains the charges, the officer who was suspended, removed or reduced in rank may file an appeal with the Court of Common Pleas within 30 days from the date of entry by the Commission of its final order. No order of suspension shall be made by the Commission for a period longer than one year. In the event that the Commission fails to uphold the charges, then the person sought to be suspended, removed or demoted shall be reinstated with full pay for the period of the suspension, removal or demotion, and no charges relating to the suspension, removal or reduction in rank shall be officially recorded in the officer's record.