[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Orchard Park as Secs. C-2 through C-62 of the 1970 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Town Clerk is hereby directed and authorized to have the rules, orders and regulations set forth herein, including the sections pertaining to charges and trials, printed and copies of the same distributed to each member of the Police Department.
The Police Department shall consist of the following:
The Chief of Police shall be the chief executive officer of the police force, subject to the rules, regulations and orders of the Town Board.
A senior commissioned officer within the Police Department may be designated as Acting Chief of Police to assume all of the powers and responsibilities of the Chief of Police in the absence of the Chief of Police. The functions assigned to any officer by title of office devolve upon the officer acting in his place. An officer in temporary command shall not, however, except in urgent cases, alter or annul a standing order of the Chief of Police.
The Chief of Police shall have the power to promulgate orders through the police force, not inconsistent with law or the rules and regulations of the Department.
All standing orders promulgated by the Chief of Police pursuant to § 27-5 shall be recorded either in a book or on a bulletin board at police headquarters.
All orders of the Police Department shall be issued by the Chief of Police, or in his absence the Acting Chief, and communicated to the police force through the Lieutenants or in such manner as circumstances may require, but whenever practicable, orders shall be passed down through the line of command.
It shall be the responsibility and the duty of the Chief of Police to assign the supervisory officers of the Department to duty and to instruct them concerning their duties, seeing that they conform to all provisions of law relating to police officers and the rules and regulations of the Police Department.
The Chief of Police shall attend to all of the correspondence of the Department and shall also be responsible for the preparation of all reports to the Town Board or other governmental agencies. The Chief shall have the right to delegate all or any portion of these duties to any officer competent to attend to the same.
When necessary, the Chief of Police will repair to all serious or extensive fires, riots or other emergencies within the town. He may order any or all of the police to duty as he may deem proper when such emergencies arise and may in his judgement require the services of extra policemen.
The Chief of Police shall be in charge of all school crossing guards employed by the town. The instruction, training, assignment, control and discipline of the school crossing guards shall be the responsibility of the Chief.
Generally. The police force shall consist of one or more Lieutenants, who shall rank next highest to the Chief of Police or Acting Chief of Police and shall be obeyed and respected as such.
Obedience to orders. The Lieutenants shall promptly obey all lawful orders received from the Chief of Police or Acting Chief of Police.
Responsibilities generally. The Lieutenants shall be held responsible for the general good order and discipline of the men under them and shall make themselves thoroughly acquainted with the capabilities of the patrolmen under their command. It is their responsibility to see that the men under them strictly adhere to all rules, regulations and orders.
Patrolmen of the police force shall promptly obey all lawful orders of their superior officers.
Courtesy; treatment of prisoners. Patrolmen assigned to the desk must be courteous and respectful to persons who may telephone or visit the police station on business. They will be held personally responsible for the treatment of the prisoners in the station and under no circumstances shall they allow unnecessary violence in the handling of a prisoner. They shall allow no one except a police officer or the prisoner's attorney to have any conversation with the prisoner except in their presence.
Condition of station. Patrolmen assigned to the desk shall be held personally responsible for the condition of the police station while on duty.
Duty to visit cells. Patrolmen assigned to the desk shall visit the cells when prisoners are being held at least once every hour.
Taking of bail; relaying, recording messages. The patrolmen assigned to the desk on duty shall be charged with the responsibility of the taking of bail and relaying or recording all messages received by telephone, teletype, radio or by other means and shall fully cooperate with all other government agencies in the recording or relaying of messages.
Department books, records, reports. The patrolman assigned to the desk shall be charged with the responsibility of keeping all Department books and records and the making or filing of all reports in accordance with the orders of his superiors.
Care of cars. Patrolmen in police cars shall be held responsible for the cleanliness and general condition of the cars. The need for any repair work or maintenance other than routine maintenance shall immediately be reported to a superior officer.
Use of car. It shall be the duty of the patrolman to whom a particular police car is assigned to use it only in accordance with the rules, orders and regulations of the Police Department.
Every member of the police force is expected to make a continuing effort by study, observation and training to better his skill as a police officer. He is expected to refrain from any acts or conduct which, while not expressly enumerated in this chapter, would be unbecoming to a police officer and a gentleman. His primary concern shall be the enforcement of the law and the prevention of crime.
Every member of the police force, upon initially being appointed by the town, shall first serve on a probationary basis, it being fully understood that no civil service, seniority or any other rights will accrue prior to the conclusion of said probationary period. It is further understood that the hiring during this probationary period is terminable at will by the town, and that the town is not obligated to afford any hearing or give any notice to said probationary appointee prior to discharging him.
Members of the Police Department appointed since July 1, 1961, must reside within the Town of Orchard Park. Each Department member must file his current address at police headquarters.
Every member of the Police Department must maintain at his residence and at his own expense a telephone, with the current number of such telephone listed at police headquarters.
All members of the Police Department shall devote the major portion of their time and attention to the business of the Department.
Any employment outside the Police Department in excess of 24 hours in one calendar week is expressly prohibited.
All members of the Police Department are expressly prohibited from following any calling or being employed in any business that might be degrading to a police officer.
If a Police Department member holds an outside job which is not contrary to § 27-22 of these rules, orders and regulations, he must file with the department the name, address and telephone number of said outside employer.
Every member of the Police Department is required to attend such police training schools as may be designated and approved by the town. While this rule does not require regular attendance at such schools, the town or the Chief of Police shall determine how often members of the police force must attend.
All members of the Police Department shall be deemed to be always on duty, subject to such relief therefrom as shall be allowed by proper authority, and the same responsibility as to the suppression of disturbances and arrest of offenders rests upon them when not in uniform as when on duty.
All members of the Police Department shall report to police headquarters at least 10 minutes prior to the commencement of their tour of duty. When reporting, they shall be clean and presentable and in the proper uniform. During this period and prior to the commencement of his tour of duty, it shall be the duty of every member of the Department to familiarize himself with any significant events or occurrences which may have occurred during the tour of duty of the officer whom he is relieving and to thoroughly familiarize himself with all significant communications which may have come to the attention of the Department since he was last on duty.
Except where not possible due to the scheduling of shifts or due to emergencies within the Police Department, no member of the Department shall report for duty who has not had eight full hours of rest during the sixteen-hour period immediately preceding the commencement of his tour of duty.
No member of the Police Department shall report for duty in such condition that he would be deemed to be under the influence of alcohol by his superior officers, and no member of the Department shall consume any beverages of an alcoholic nature while on duty.
Department to be notified. A member of the police force unable to report for duty because of illness shall notify the patrolman assigned to the desk at least one hour prior to the commencement of his tour of duty. The patrolman at the desk shall thereupon immediately inform the Chief of Police or the Acting Chief of Police of this fact, or in the absence of the Chief or Acting Chief, a Lieutenant on duty shall be informed.
Physical examination. If there is any question about the physical condition of the member of the force alleged to be ill, he shall immediately be required, in the discretion of the Chief of Police, the Acting Chief of Police or the Lieutenant, to submit to a physical examination by a physician chosen by the Police Department.
Any member of the Police Department who has missed more than five days of duty because of illness or other disability shall be required to submit to a physical examination prior to returning to duty.
The use of Police Department facilities, vehicles, telephones and other equipment for other than Police Department work is hereby expressly prohibited. Going to and from work is not deemed to be Police Department work under this section.
Only members of the Police Department or civilian defense or other duly authorized auxiliary police on duty or other persons necessary to the performance of police work shall be permitted to ride in police cars. Only members of the Police Department may operate police cars.
Members of the Police Department will notify the patrolman assigned to the desk when going to lunch and also upon returning for duty. A lunch period shall not exceed 30 minutes. When two patrols are on the road, they shall not go for lunch at the same time.
Members of the Police Department, in dealing with the public and in securing the services of private citizens for the purposes of the towing of vehicles, the treatment of the injured or any other activities where the services of private citizens may be necessary, shall show no favoritism towards nor any bias against any particular individual or firm, and wherever practicable, especially with regard to the towing or servicing of vehicles, shall avail themselves of the services of residents of the town in rotation.
No member of the Police Department shall solicit for any attorney in connection with civil or criminal cases or advise prisoners whom to engage. No member of the Department shall perform any services for pay for any attorney, including the procuring of photographs or the assitance in investigation of an accident or crime. This does not prohibit a member of the Department from appearing in court for an attorney pursuant to a subpoena, nor does it prohibit a member of the Department from serving legal papers for attorneys while off duty, provided a uniform charge is made for such service by all members of the Department.
Members of the Orchard Park Police Department are prohibited from contributing any money, directly or indirectly, to or soliciting, collecting or receiving any money for any political fund or joining or becoming a member of any political club, association, society or committee.
A member of the Orchard Park Police force or Department is prohibited from affiliating with any organization or body, the constitutions or regulations of which would in any way exact prior consideration and prevent him from performing his departmental duties, unless he first obtains permission from the Chief of Police; and he shall immediately advise the Chief of Police of any change in his classification in relation to selective service or status concerning his membership in any federal or state military organization or reserve program. At no time shall more than 10% of the Department be allowed to be members in such military organization or reserve program, and, in any event, no more than one member of the Department shall be on military or reserve leave at any one time.
When appearing either as a witness or as an arresting officer in any court, a member of the police force shall be attired in full uniform, if on duty, or in a business suit with tie if not on duty.
Any member of the police force shall be subject to suspension, reduction in pay, dismissal or such other penalty as may be determined by the town if found guilty of any of the following violations:
Intoxication while on duty.
Neglect of duty.
Disrespect toward a superior officer.
Unnecessary violence to prisoners.
Voluntarily divulging police information which is confidential.
Violation of any rule, order or regulation of the Police Department.
Publicly commenting upon the official action of a superior officer.
Absence without leave.
The Town Board, pursuant to the authority conferred upon it by § 155 of the Town Law, has adopted the rules and regulations set forth hereinafter for the examination, hearing, investigation and determination of charges made or preferred against any member of the Police Department.
Charges may be brought or preferred against any member of the Police Department where an offense has been committed which constitutes a violation of the rules, orders and regulations of the Police Department.
Charge to be in writing, sworn to. The charge preferred against a member of the Police Department must be in writing and must be sworn to by the person preferring the same.
Delay prior to charging. Such charges shall not be brought more than 60 days after the time when the facts upon which such charges are based are known to the Town Board.
Contents; each offense to form separate charge. The written charge shall state the name and rank of the accused and the time and place of the alleged act or omission constituting the offense. Each distinctive offense shall form a separate charge.
If a charge is against a member of the Police Department other than the Chief of Police, it shall be preferred by the Chief. If, because of physical or legal disability, the Chief is unable to act, or upon his failure to do so, the Town Board may designate an officer to prefer charges.
In a case where charges are preferred against the Chief of Police, such charges shall be preferred by the Supervisor of the town or any deputy or employee designated by him.
Pending the hearing and determination of charges preferred against a member of the Police Department, the accused officer or employee against whom such charges have been preferred may be suspended without pay for a period not exceeding 30 days.
A written notice designating the time and place of the trial or hearing, together with a written copy of the charge or charges, shall be served upon any member of the Police Department against whom charges have been preferred in either one of the two following manners:
The date designated on which the trial or hearing is to take place shall be at least 20 days following the service of the notice of trial or hearing and charges.
A member of the Police Department against whom charges have been preferred shall be allowed eight days, or in the case of service by registered mail, 12 days, in which to make written answer to the charges. The accused is not required to answer the charges in writing, but if he elects to do so, such answer must be sworn to.
A member of the Police Department against whom charges have been preferred shall have the right to a public hearing.
The person or persons holding the hearing or trial of a member of the Police Department against whom charges have been preferred shall, upon the request of the accused, permit him to be represented by counsel and shall allow him to summon witnesses in his behalf.
No person who has preferred charges or any part of the same against a member of the Police Department shall sit as judge upon such hearing or trial. Where the charges are preferred by the Chief of Police or someone designated to act in his stead, the trial or hearing shall be before the Town Board, with one of them designated to preside over the same. Where the charges are preferred by the Town Board, the trial and hearing shall be before a panel of three members, one appointed by the Town Board, one appointed by the accused and the third appointed by the first two members.
All witnesses who testify at the trial or hearing of a member of the Police Department shall testify under oath.
The person presiding over the trial or hearing of a member of the Police Department shall, at the expense of the town, employ a competent shorthand reporter to record all the testimony.
The burden of proving incompetency or misconduct shall be upon the person alleging the same.
Compliance with technical rules of evidence shall not be required during the trial or hearing of a member of the Police Department against whom charges have been preferred under the provisions of this chapter.
The person or persons hearing and determining the charges against a member of the Police Department shall also designate the punishment, if any. Except in the case where the charges have been preferred by the Town Board, the Town Board may, by a vote of at least 3/4 of its members, vacate or modify the punishment.
If a member of the Police Department is found guilty of the charges preferred against him, he may be punished as follows:
By forfeiture and withholding of salary or compensation for a specified period not exceeding 20 days;
By extra tours or hours of duty during a specified period not exceeding 20 days;
By suspension from duty for a specified time not exceeding 20 days and withholding of salary or compensation during such suspension; or
By dismissal from the Police Department.
No member of the Police Department who shall have been dismissed pursuant to these rules and regulations shall be reinstated unless he shall, within 12 months of his dismissal, file with the Town Board a written application for a rehearing of the charges upon which he was dismissed. The Town Board shall have the power to rehear such charges and, in its discretion, may reinstate a member of the Police Department after he has filed such written application therefor.
The conviction of a member of the Police Department shall be subject to review by the Supreme Court, Erie County, in the manner provided by Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules, provided that the proceeding is commenced within 30 days from the determination of such conviction.