Borough of Oakmont, PA
Allegheny County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
A. 
Eligibility for examinations. In order to be eligible for participation in any examination for any full-time position with the Oakmont Borough Police Department, every applicant must submit a completed application form to the Commission or other offices or agencies designated by the Commission, before the deadline stated for that specific examination. The applicant must make an oath or affirmation that the application has been completed truthfully, and that the applicant is subject to the penalties of 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 4904 relating to unsworn falsification to authorities.
B. 
Discrimination. The Borough of Oakmont is an equal opportunity employer. It is the Borough Council and the Commission'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 Borough Council and the Commission will provide equal opportunities in employment.
C. 
Applications. Application forms shall be available to all interested persons in the office of the Borough Manager or his/her designee and from such other offices and officers that the Commission, from time to time, may choose to designate. Application forms must be picked up in person or obtained from the Borough website www.oakmontborough.com. However, applications must be submitted in person. No e-mail submissions or facsimiles will be accepted. The date and time of receipt of each application will be noted on the application.
D. 
Age and residency requirements. At the time of application no applicant for a position in the Police Department shall be less than 21 years of age. Police officers shall be required to obtain residency in the Borough within a twelve-month period after appointment.
E. 
General qualifications. At the time of application, every applicant for a position in the Police Department shall possess the following qualifications prior to application:
(1) 
Possess a diploma from an accredited high school or a graduate equivalency diploma (GED).
(2) 
Be Act 120 certified under the Municipal Police Officers Education and Training Act (Act 120), (MPOETC) 53 Pa.C.S.A. § 2161 et seq. or shall have successfully completed Act 120 training and successfully passed the final exam, thus being eligible for Act 120 certification once hired by the Borough.
(3) 
Obtained an associate's degree or higher, or have a minimum of two years of experience as a sworn police officer, or completed two years of military with an honor discharge.
(4) 
Be a United States citizen.
(5) 
Be physically and mentally fit to perform the full duties of a police officer.
(6) 
Possess a valid motor vehicle operator's license.
F. 
Public notice; notification.
(1) 
The Commission shall conspicuously post in the Oakmont Borough Building, the Borough website and other conspicuous locations, an announcement of the full-time police officer testing and set forth the time and place of every 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 those applications. For the position of police officer at least two weeks prior to each examination, publication of the notice shall be placed in at least one newspaper of general circulation in the Borough of Oakmont.
(2) 
The Borough Manager, or other designated person, shall give, in writing, to each applicant qualified for the next step in the examination process, a notice which shall include the date, time and place the applicant shall report for the next examination in the process. In the case of physical and psychological examinations, the Borough Manager shall notify the police officer candidate who has been conditionally offered a position in the Police Department by a written notice of the date, time and place of the examination as well as the name of the physical and psychological examiners.
(3) 
Every such notice shall be mailed or otherwise delivered at least seven days prior to the date fixed for examination. Only applicants receiving notices to report for any examination shall be permitted to participate in such examination, and each applicant shall present his or her notice to the examiner before he or she shall be examined. Failure to report for an examination in accordance with the instructions contained in the written notice shall disqualify the applicant, except that in the case of a physical or psychological examination, the physician and psychologist designated in the notice may fix another date or time for such examination; provided, however, that any such date or time shall be written within the period of at least seven days of the date and time established in the written notice.
G. 
Recording and filing applications.
(1) 
Applications for positions of full-time police officer shall be received at the Borough Office only after a police officer position has been properly advertised and before the deadline for receiving applications which must be set forth in the public advertisement. Applications will be received by the municipal official designated in the public advertisement or that official's designee. That person shall record the receipt of all applications and provide each applicant with notice of the time and place for the first portion of the testing procedure. 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.
(2) 
Penalty for false statement. The statements made by the applicant in the official application shall contain no falsification, omissions or concealment of material fact. Should any investigation disclose any material misstatement, falsification or concealment with respect to an application:
(a) 
The application shall be invalid and the applicant shall be disqualified from examination; or
(b) 
If the applicant shall have been examined, the name of such applicant shall be removed from the eligibility list; or
(c) 
If the applicant shall have been appointed, such material misstatement, falsification or concealment shall constitute grounds for dismissal from the Oakmont Police Department;
(d) 
No person who has made a material false application shall be permitted in the future to be an applicant for any position in the Oakmont Police Department.
H. 
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 and regulations 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:
(1) 
Found to have furnished incomplete, inaccurate, misleading or false information on the official application or in response to any portion of the hiring process;
(2) 
Physically unfit for the performance of the duties of the position of which the candidate seeks employment;
(3) 
Illegally using a controlled substance, as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substance Act (Public Law 91-513, 21 U.S.C. § 802);
(4) 
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 of office;
(5) 
Affiliated with any group whose policies or activities are subversive to the forms of government set forth in the constitution and laws of the United States and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
I. 
Hearing for disqualified applicant.
(1) 
Any applicant or other persons who believe that they are aggrieved by the actions of the Commission, in refusing to examine or to certify them as eligible after examination, may request a hearing before the Commission, within 10 days of receiving written notice of what is perceived as the alleged error. Within 10 days after such request, the Commission shall designate a time and place for the hearing which shall be conducted pursuant to the procedures set forth in the Local Agency Law, 2 Pa. C.S.A. § 101 et seq., with or without counsel, at which time the Commission shall take testimony and review its refusal to provide examination or certification.
(2) 
The deliberations of the Commission, including interim rulings on evidentiary or procedural issues, may be held in the nature of a closed executive session. The Commission's disposition of the matter shall constitute official action which shall occur at a public meeting held pursuant to 65 Pa.C.S.A. Ch. 7 (relating to open meetings). The decision of the Commission shall be final.
A. 
General examination requirements.
(1) 
The examination for police officer shall consist of a physical agility test, written examination, oral examination, and background investigation and polygraph examination. The written examination and the oral examination will be graded individually on a one-hundred-percent scale. The written examination will represent 60% of the final score. The oral examination will represent 40% of the final score. The physical agility test and the background investigation will be graded pass/fail.
(2) 
The testing process will be as follows:
(a) 
Physical agility test. Those candidates passing the physical agility test, as outlined in § A208-18B, will qualify to take the written examination.
(b) 
Written examination. Those candidates passing the written test, as outlined in § A208-18C, will qualify for the oral examination.
(c) 
Oral examination. Those candidates passing the oral examination, as outlined in § A208-18D, will then be placed on the eligibility list, after those qualifying for veteran's preference points, as outlined in § A208-18E, have been awarded those preference points.
(d) 
Background investigation. Prior to being considered for appointment on the certified list of three, the applicant will undergo a complete background investigation as outlined in § A208-18F. Although a requirement, only a sufficient number of top scoring candidates necessary for consideration, as determined by the Civil Service Commission, will need to have a background investigation performed.
(e) 
Polygraph examination. Prior to being considered for appointment on the certified list of three, the applicant will undergo a complete polygraph examination as outlined in § A208-18G. Although a requirement, only a sufficient number of top scoring candidates necessary for consideration, as determined by the Civil Service Commission, will need to have a polygraph examination performed.
(3) 
Thus, any individual appearing on the initial eligibility list is subject to background investigation and a polygraph examination and no one will be certified as eligible on the certified list of three until they have successfully completed a background investigation and a polygraph examination and received a written recommendation that the applicant is appropriate for consideration in accordance with § A208-18F and G of these rules and regulations.
B. 
Physical agility testing.
(1) 
An applicant for the position of full-time police officer shall successfully pass (pass/fail) the physical agility requirements as listed below:
(a) 
Stretcher carry. Applicants will be paired off and required to carry a stretcher with a simulated patient weighing approximately 200 pounds over a distance of 100 feet. Those applicants failing on the first attempt will be allowed to retake the exercise with a person who has equally completed the exercise.
(b) 
Quarter-mile run. An applicant is required to run a distance of one-quarter mile on a premeasured course in less than 110 seconds.
(c) 
Body drag. An applicant is required to remove a simulated motor vehicle operator weighing approximately 200 pounds from behind the steering wheel of a motor vehicle and drag the simulated operator to a point 50 feet from the motor vehicle.
(d) 
Window climb. An applicant is required to climb through a six-foot-high level window without assistance on to a three-foot level platform on the other side of the window, and then to the ground. Applicants then circle around a marker 20 feet beyond the window and return up the three-foot-high platform and out the window onto the ground below.
(e) 
Thirty-second trigger pull. Within a thirty-second time limit, the applicant is required to repeatedly pull 15 times with his weak hand and 30 times with his strong hand the trigger of a double-action nonfunctional weapon with arms horizontally extended.
(2) 
Applicants who have successfully passed or failed the physical agility test will be so notified at the completion of the physical agility test or within 30 days, by the Commission.
C. 
Written examination. The written examination shall be graded on a one-hundred-point scale, and an applicant must score 75% or higher and receive one of the top 10 highest scores, or a lesser number who may have passed the written test, including ties, in order to continue in the application process. Applicants scoring less than 75% or not receiving one of the top 10 highest scores or a lesser number who may have passed the written test shall be rejected. The written test shall be a validated test administered by an experienced test administrator. Within 30 days after the administration of the written examination, all applicants shall be given written notice of their test results and passing applicants shall be scheduled for an oral examination appointment.
D. 
Oral examination. Every applicant who scored 75% or higher on the written test and receives one of the top 10 highest scores, or a lesser number who may have passed the written test, including ties, on the written examination shall be given an oral examination. The oral examination will be graded on a one-hundred-point scale with a score of 75% 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.
E. 
Veterans' preference points. Pursuant to the Veterans' Preference Act, any applicant for the position of police officer who qualifies as a military veteran under this Act shall receive an additional 10 points on top of his/her final score if that applicant qualifies under § A208-18B, C, and D of these rules and regulations. Applicants claiming veteran's preference shall have submitted satisfactory proof of service and honorable discharge therefrom with their application form.
F. 
Background investigation.
(1) 
At the discretion of the Civil Service Commission, the background investigation may be conducted by the Chief of Police or by an independent investigator, on the top scoring eligible applicants, as determined by the Civil Service Commission, prior to inclusion on the certified list of three of those eligible as set forth in § A208-19C of these rules and regulations.
(2) 
The background investigation must be consistent for each applicant and shall meet, at a minimum, all the specific requirements of the MPOETC, as required by law. The applicant may be interviewed directly when the information collected requires clarification or further explanation. The appointed investigator may use his/her discretion in the expansion or contracting of these items and time frames.
(3) 
After the background investigation is completed, the appointed investigator shall make a written recommendation to the Commission on whether the applicant is appropriate for consideration for appointment as a police officer for the Borough of Oakmont.
(4) 
The recommendation by the investigator shall be based on the criteria set forth in § A208-17H of these rules and regulations and on any other relevant information developed during the background investigation. This report to the Commission shall be in writing and in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and must not include any physical history information on a candidate. If the recommendation is to disqualify, then a detailed, written explanation of the reasons for disqualification must be included. The Commission shall then make a final determination on whether additional information is required or if the information collected and reported warrants acceptance or rejection of the candidate.
(5) 
Within 30 days after the Commission considers the recommendation based on the background investigation, each applicant shall be notified as to whether they have passed or failed this portion of the examination process.
G. 
Polygraph examination.
(1) 
The Commission shall designate a qualified polygraph examiner to conduct a polygraph examination on the top scoring eligible applicants, as determined by the Civil Service Commission, prior to inclusion on the certified list of three of those eligible as set forth in § A208-19C of these rules and regulations.
(2) 
Every applicant for the position of police officer shall fill out a personal data questionnaire and undergo a polygraph examination. The Commission shall furnish each polygraph examiner with forms upon which the examiner shall state whether any of the applicant's responses to questions from the applicant's personal data questionnaire are deceptive. The report on each examination shall be submitted to the Commission within five days after the date of the examination.
(3) 
The examiner shall ask questions based on the information contained in the personal data questionnaire. Before administering the test, the examiner shall ask each applicant whether there is any more information related to the personal data questionnaire which the applicant would like to provide. There shall also be a post-test review, during which the examiner shall again ask the participant, if deception is indicated, whether there is any information which the applicant is withholding.
(4) 
If the examiner shall deem any of the applicant's responses to be deceptive, the examiner must tell the applicant immediately and give the applicant an opportunity to explain, deny or admit the deception. If the applicant denies being deceptive or if the explanation is found unsatisfactory by the examiner, the applicant will be given the opportunity to retake the test with a second examiner. Notice of the opportunity to retest shall be given in writing to the applicant. The second examiner will not have access to the results of the first test prior to readministering the polygraph. If the second examiner finds no deception, the applicant will be considered as having passed the polygraph. If the second examiner also finds the applicant deceptive, the applicant will be considered as having failed the examination.
(5) 
An applicant who has failed both tests may appeal to the Civil Service Commission for a third examination, and the decision to give the applicant an opportunity to take a third test resides solely within the discretion of the Commission. If the applicant is awarded an opportunity to take a third test and passes, then the applicant will be considered as having passed the polygraph test. If the applicant is found deceptive on a third test, the applicant will be rejected.
(6) 
If the applicant is finally rejected because of the failure of the polygraph examination, as described above, or the applicant passes the polygraph examination, as described above, within 30 days after the final determination, the Commission shall notify the candidate as to whether he or she has passed or failed this portion of the examination process.
A. 
Creation of eligibility list.
(1) 
At the completion of the examination requirements set forth in § A208-18B, C, and D, the physical agility test, the written examination and the oral examination, the Commission shall rank all passing candidates on the eligibility list. The applicants having received the highest score shall be at the top of the list, with all other candidates being listed in descending order of their scores. Applicants who qualify for veteran's preference points, as outlined in § A208-18E, shall have those 10 points added to their final score prior to being ranked on the eligibility list.
(2) 
In the case of tied scores, the tie will be broken by giving preference to the applicant who received the highest score on the written test. In the event the qualifying applicant received identical scores, the order of listing shall be determined by the earliest application received.
(3) 
Any individual appearing on the eligibility list is subject to a background investigation and polygraph examination and no one will be certified in accordance with § A208-19C of these rules and regulations until they have successfully completed a background investigation and polygraph examination and received a written recommendation that the applicant is appropriate for consideration in accordance with § A208-18F and G of these rules and regulations.
B. 
Duration of eligibility list. The original eligibility lists for full-time police officers will be valid for a period of one year from the date the Commission formally adopts the eligibility list. Prior to expiration of the one-year period, the Commission may extend the validity of the eligibility list for up to an additional 12 months by a majority vote of the Commission, at a duly authorized Commission meeting. In the absence of a lawful extension by the Commission, the list shall expire.
C. 
Appointment procedure.
(1) 
Furloughed police officers shall be given first consideration for reemployment, prior to any other hiring procedure, and shall be reinstated in order of their seniority as outlined in § A208-28 of these rules and regulations.
(a) 
Except as provided above, every initial position of full-time police officer, for employment in the Police Department, shall be filled only in the following manner: The Borough Council shall notify the Commission of any vacancy which is to be filled and shall request certification of three names from the eligibility list.
(b) 
If three names are not available, then the Commission shall certify the name(s) remaining on the list.
(c) 
The Borough Council shall make an appointment from one of the three names certified, or a lesser number certified, with reference to the merits and fitness of the candidates. However, for the initial appointment to the position of full-time police officer, when one of the three applicants on the certified list is a veteran, that applicant shall be selected. If two or more of the names on each of the certified lists of three are veterans, the Borough Council shall have the discretion to appoint the veteran they deem most qualified.
(2) 
The Borough Council may object to one or more of the persons certified for the reasons set forth in § A208-17H of these rules and regulations. If the candidate to whom the Borough Council objects or fails to timely exercise the rights of appeal under § A208-19C, or if the Commission declines to uphold the appeal, the Commission shall strike that name from the eligibility list and certify the next highest name for inclusion on the certified list of three candidates for each name stricken off the certified list of three.
D. 
Physical and psychological medical examinations.
(1) 
After the Borough Council selects a candidate from the certified list of three for appointment to the vacant position, that candidate shall receive a conditional offer of employment. The offer of employment shall be conditioned upon the conditional appointee undergoing a physical and psychological medical examination and a determination that the conditional appointee is capable of performing all the essential functions of the position. Physical medical 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.
(2) 
The physician or other qualified medical professional and the psychiatrist or psychologist shall be appointed by the Council 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.
(3) 
The physical and psychological exams will be conducted in compliance with the MPOETC regulations. The completion of the required MPOETC physical and psychological forms will be provided by the Borough. Drug testing shall be included as one component of the requirements. In addition, the respective examiners will be given a copy of the job description and the "Essential Functions of the Job" for performing the duties of police officer. The completed forms will be certified by the examining physician(s) indicating that the candidate is physically or psychologically fit, as the case may be, to perform the duties of a police officer. The completed forms shall be confidential and submitted to the appropriate Borough official for disposition.
(4) 
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 Borough Council 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.
(5) 
If, at the conclusion of the interactive discussion, the Borough determines that the conditional appointee is not qualified, the Borough Council shall give written notice to the conditional appointee and the Commission.
(6) 
The rejected candidate may appeal this decision under § A208-17I of these rules and regulations. If the candidate fails to timely exercise the rights of appeal, or if the Commission declines to uphold the appeal, the Commission shall strike the name from the eligibility list and certify the next highest name for inclusion on the certified list of three.
E. 
Probationary period.
(1) 
Every successful applicant for the position of police officer shall serve a twelve-month probationary period. For newly hired police officers, the probationary period will begin on the first day the new officer reports for work. During this probationary period, a newly hired police officer may only be dismissed for cause for the reasons set forth in § A208-17I of these rules and regulations, or because of incapacity for duty due to the use of alcohol or drugs. In addition, a probationary police officer may be dismissed, if the probationary police officer does not meet the requirements, expectations, of the position and documentation is accurately noted.
(2) 
The Chief of Police shall submit a final probationary report, not less than 10 days nor more than 15 calendar days before the next regular meeting of the Borough Council, immediately preceding the end of the probationary period. Each report shall be submitted in writing to the Borough Council. Within five calendar days after receiving a probationary report from the Chief of Police, if the conduct of the probationer has not been satisfactory to the Borough Council, the probationer shall be notified in writing by the Borough Council that the appointment will not be permanent. Following receipt of this notification by the probationer, a newly hired police officer's employment shall end. Any probationer who is notified in writing by the Borough Council, prior to completion of the 12th month probation period, that his appointment will not be made permanent, has no rights of appeal under these rules and regulations.
(3) 
The Borough Manager shall notify the Commission, in writing, of its decision to retain or remove the probationer of such decision within five calendar days and in no event beyond the last day of the probationary period.
F. 
Optional provision. The Borough Council may fill a vacancy in an existing position in the Police Department which occurs as a result of retirement, resignation, disability or death by the reappointment or reinstatement of a former employee of the Police Department who had previously complied with the Civil Service Rules and Regulations. The officer's reappointment is subject to any recertification requirements prescribed by the MPOETC. In addition, the officer shall successfully pass a physical agility test, background investigation, and a psychological and medical examination.
G. 
Provisional appointment. Whenever there are urgent reasons for the filling of a vacancy in any position in the Police Department and there are no names on the eligibility list, for such appointment, the Borough Council may nominate a person to the Commission for a noncompetitive examination. Such nominee may be certified by the Commission after the nominee successfully passes such noncompetitive examination. However, prior to being subject to a noncompetitive test, the provisional appointee shall be subject to any recertification requirements prescribed by the MPOETC. In addition, the officer shall successfully pass a physical agility test, background investigation, and a psychological and medical examination, as required by the MPOETC. He may then 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 an eligibility list, and a regular appointment shall then be made from the name or names submitted by the Commission, as provided for in § A208-19B of these rules and regulations. Nothing in this section shall prevent the appointment, without examination, of persons temporarily assigned the full duties of a police officer for the Borough of Oakmont in cases of riots or other such emergencies.