Borough of Chester, NJ
Morris County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Chester as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 4-3-1980 as Sec. 2-8 of the 1980 Code]

§ 55-1 Establishment; appropriate authority.

[Amended 3-17-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-4]
A Police Department is hereby established in the Borough of Chester, County of Morris, and State of New Jersey. Within the context of N.J.S.A. 40A:14-118 and organizational structure of the Borough government, the "appropriate authority" shall mean the Borough Administrator, except within the context of promotions within the Police Department wherein the Mayor and Council shall be deemed the “appropriate authority” as more fully set forth in § 55-9 hereinbelow.

§ 55-2 Composition of Department.

[Amended by Ord. No. 83-19; Ord. No. 86-11; 7-7-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-9]
A. 
The Police Department shall consist of a Chief of Police and may include one Lieutenant, two Sergeants, a Corporal, and not more than 10 patrolmen, and such number of special patrolmen and chaplains, all as the Borough Council shall from time to time designate by resolution.
B. 
The Chief of Police shall have all of the powers set forth in N.J.S.A. 40A:14-118 and who shall be directly responsible to the Borough Administrator for the efficiency and routine day-to-day operations of the Police Department. The Chief of Police shall, pursuant to policies established by the Borough Council:
(1) 
Conduct and manage the day-to-day operations of the Police Department within the budget approved for the Department.
(2) 
Administer and enforce rules and regulations and special emergency directives for the disposition and discipline of the police force, its officers, and personnel.
(3) 
Have, exercise and discharge the functions, powers and duties of the police force.
(4) 
Prescribe the duties and assignments of all subordinates and other personnel.
(5) 
Delegate such of his authority as the Chief may deem necessary for the efficient operation of the police force to be exercised under the Chiefs direction and supervision.
(6) 
Report at least every two weeks, or more often if needed, to the Administrator and/or Mayor regarding the operations of the police force and public safety issues; and report promptly whenever there is an unusual event or occurrence within the Borough which may be of public interest.
(7) 
Report at least monthly at regular meeting(s) of the Borough, or by any such other forms as the Borough shall require, as to the operation of the police force during the preceding month; and make such other reports as may be requested by the Borough Council.
(8) 
In conjunction with the Mayor and Council, implement changes within the Police Department to meet or exceed the vision for the department as articulated by the Mayor and Council, as adopted by resolution from time to time.

§ 55-3 Appointment and salary.

The officers and members of the Police Department shall be appointed and designated by the Borough Council and shall receive such salary as the Borough Council may determine.

§ 55-4 Rules and regulations.

The Borough Council shall adopt, by resolution, rules and regulations for the government and discipline of the Police Department and members thereof. The rules and regulations shall fix and provide for the enforcement of penalties for the violation of such rules and regulations, and the members of the Police Department shall be subject to such rules, regulations and penalties.

§ 55-5 Appointment; qualifications.

[Amended by Ord. No. 83-17; 3-3-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-1]
To be eligible for appointment to the Police Department, an officer or member must meet the qualifications as set forth in the laws of the State of New Jersey and any ordinances and resolutions of the Borough.

§ 55-6 Term of employment; dismissal and discipline.

[Amended by Ord. No. 88-21]
A. 
The members of the Police Department shall severally hold their respective offices and continue in their respective offices and continue in their respective employment during good behavior and efficiency, and no person shall be removed from office or employment in the Police Department for political reasons or for any other cause than incapacity, misconduct or disobedience of the rules, regulations, orders and resolutions established or which may be established for the Police Department; provided, however, that any member of the Police Department who shall be absent from duty without just cause for a term of five days continuously and without leave of absence, shall be subject to dismissal from the Department.
B. 
In the event disciplinary charges are preferred against any member of the Police Department by the Chief of Police, such charges shall be referred to the Borough Administrator, who shall then refer the same to the governing body for disposition as hereinafter provided by law. Charges against the Chief of Police shall be forwarded directly to the governing body for disposition as hereinafter provided. The Chief of Police shall refer charges against any other member of the Police Department to the Borough Administrator, who in turn shall refer same to the governing body for disposition as hereinafter provided. The governing body shall have the power to conduct hearings on such charges and to discipline in accordance with the rules and regulations as provided under § 55-4.
C. 
The governing body in its discretion may appoint a hearing officer to conduct any hearings, including the Chief of Police for minor charges. Such officer shall file in writing his findings, together with recommendations to the governing body which shall have the power to follow such recommendations, modify or amend the same.

§ 55-7 Special Police Officers.

Special police officers, including men and women, may be appointed by the Borough Council for a term not exceeding one year. Any such appointment may be revoked at any time without notice and without hearing. Such special officers shall not be members of the Police Department, and shall not be entitled to any rights or privileges of a member of the Police Department.

§ 55-8 Police Chaplain.

[Amended 3-3-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-2]
The Borough Council hereby establishes the rank of police chaplain within the Police Department. No person shall be qualified to serve in the position of chaplain unless he shall be an ordained member of the clergy in good standing in the religious body from which he is selected. The position of chaplain shall be an annual appointment by the Borough Council, which may include a stipend to be determined by the Borough Council at the time of appointment. It shall be the function of the chaplain to be the special assistant to the Chief of Police and the adviser to all members of the Police Department. The chaplain shall not be in the order of the seniority or supervision of the Police Department. The chaplain shall, in addition to the duties described above, perform such special assignments as may be reasonably requested of him by the Mayor, members of the Borough Council, Chief of Police or members of the Police Department.

§ 55-9 Promotions.

[Added by Ord. No. 91-5]
A. 
General requirements.
(1) 
Intent. It is the intent of this section that all promotions to superior positions within the Borough of Chester Police Department be made in accordance with the requirements of the laws of the State of New Jersey as established by statute, case law and such other rules, regulations and decisions as provided by law. A promotion of any member of the Police Department to a superior position of Sergeant, Lieutenant or Chief of Police shall be made from the membership of the Department, when possible. Due consideration shall be given to the officer so proposed for the promotion, to the length and merit of his service, and preference shall be given according to seniority in service.
(2) 
Examinations. Final decision as to all promotions to superior positions within the Police Department shall rest with the Borough Mayor and Council. The Mayor and Council are deemed to be the appropriate authority of the Police Department pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:14-118. In order to assist the Mayor and Council in evaluating all candidates for promotions to superior positions within the Police Department, they may require that such candidates submit to various types of examinations and tests as the Mayor and Council deems necessary and proper in order to ascertain who is best qualified for any promotion within the Department.
(3) 
Eligibility. In order to be eligible for promotion and participation in any testing procedures, candidates must meet all the criteria and requirements established for such promotion on the date the examination and testing procedures begin.
B. 
Promotion to the rank of Sergeant.
(1) 
Any candidate for promotion to the rank of Sergeant:
(a) 
Must have completed a total of three years in the rank of patrolman within the Chester Borough Police Department in order to become eligible to test for such promotion.
(b) 
Must have knowledge of Department rules and regulations, policy and procedure, borough ordinances which require police action and the New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice.
(c) 
Must demonstrate the willingness and ability to carry out administrative duties, supervise and direct subordinates and respond appropriately to emergency situations.
(d) 
The candidate may be required to participate in and satisfactorily perform all testing and examination requirements for promotion as set forth in this subsection and such other tests and examinations as required by the Mayor and Council as part of the selection process in evaluating candidates for promotion to the rank of Sergeant.
C. 
Promotion to the rank of Lieutenant.
(1) 
Any candidate for promotion to the rank of Lieutenant:
(a) 
Must have completed one year in the rank of Sergeant in the Chester Borough Police Department. This one-year requirement shall not include any time spent by a candidate as Acting Sergeant.
[Amended 2-19-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-6]
(b) 
Must successfully complete a law enforcement First Line Supervision Course approved by the Mayor and Council.
[Amended 2-19-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-6]
(c) 
Must demonstrate the willingness and ability to carry out administrative duties, supervise and direct subordinates and respond appropriately to emergency situations.
(d) 
May be required to participate in and satisfactorily perform all testing and examination requirements for promotion as set forth in this subsection and such other tests and examinations as required by the Mayor and Council as part of the selection process in evaluating candidates for promotion to the rank of Lieutenant.
(2) 
If there are not officers eligible under this Subsection C or if all officers fail this testing procedure, the Mayor and Council may seek outside qualified candidates that are certified by the State of New Jersey as police officers for the position.
[Amended 2-19-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-6[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also deleted former Subsection C(2), regarding eligibility through an additional set of tests and examinations. Former Subsection C(3) was renumbered as Subsection C(2) at the direction of the Borough.
D. 
Chief of Police.
(1) 
Any candidate for promotion to the rank of Chief of Police:
(a) 
Must have proven ability to plan and direct the activities of a Police Department.
(b) 
Must have proven ability to meet and deal with the public in courteous, tactful and efficient manner.
(c) 
Must demonstrate the willingness and ability to carry out administrative duties, supervise and direct subordinates and respond appropriately to emergency situations.
[1] 
They must be members, who are full-time sworn officers having at least eight years as a certified police officer in this state.
[2] 
If there are not officers eligible under this subsection or if all officers fail the testing procedures, the Mayor and Council may seek qualified candidates that are from outside the Department and are certified by this state to compete for this position.
(d) 
Must be a member of the Police Department, having at least eight years as a certified police officer in this state.
[Added 2-19-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-6]
(e) 
If there are not officers eligible under this Subsection D or if all officers fail the testing procedures, the Mayor and Council may seek qualified candidates that are from outside the Department and are certified by this state to compete for this position.
[Added 2-19-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-6]
(2) 
Testing; examinations; investigations; additional considerations.
[Added 2-19-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-6]
(a) 
In order to assist them in evaluating candidates for promotion to the position of Chief of Police, the Mayor and Council may require that all candidates who have met all other eligibility requirements submit to and satisfactorily complete any of the following tests and examinations in the order and/or combination determined by the Mayor and Council:
[1] 
Written examination and/or assessment center methodology testing.
[a] 
If employed by the Mayor and Borough Council, written examinations shall be conducted by a committee, organization, agency, or consultant qualified to conduct said examinations and selected by the Mayor and Council. The minimum passing score on the written test shall be determined by the Mayor and Council in consultation with the examiner and before the test is administered.
[b] 
In lieu of a written examination, or in addition thereto, the Mayor and Council may authorize that an assessment center evaluation be performed by a qualified committee, organization, agency, or consultant. The use of this methodology shall be designed to test candidates in those areas which commonly reflect the day-to-day activities, duties and functions of the position of Chief of Police.
[2] 
Written essay. If and when requested, candidates shall submit an original essay on a topic or topics selected by the Mayor and Council. The minimum passing score on the written essay shall be determined by the Mayor and Council before the written essay is requested.
[3] 
Written responses. If and when requested, candidates shall submit written responses to questions posed by the Mayor and Council. The minimum passing score on the written responses shall be determined by the Mayor and Council before the questions are posed.
[4] 
Oral interview. The Mayor and Council may interview candidates or request that candidates be interviewed by a committee, agency or consultant selected by the Mayor and Council.
[5] 
) Medical examination. If and when requested, candidates shall submit to a medical examination by qualified medical personnel, and a recommendation shall be given to the Mayor and Council as to whether the candidate is deemed to be medically and physically fit and able to satisfactorily perform the duties of the position of Chief of Police.
[6] 
Psychological examination. If and when requested, candidates shall submit to a psychological examination by a qualified psychologist, and a recommendation shall be given to the Mayor and Council as to whether the candidate is deemed to be psychologically fit and able to satisfactorily perform the duties of the position of Chief of Police.
[7] 
Background investigation. If and when requested, candidates shall consent to and authorize an investigation by a reputable law enforcement officer, or such other type of investigator designated by the Mayor and Council, in order to determine if there are any events in the officer's personal background which would interfere with or have any bearing upon his fitness and ability to perform the duties of the position of Chief of Police.
(b) 
Eligibility for any of the foregoing tests or examinations may be based upon the candidate’s successful completion of any of the other foregoing test(s) or examination(s) identified by the Mayor and Council as a prerequisite prior to the commencement of the testing and evaluation process.
(c) 
In addition to the foregoing tests and evaluations, the governing body may give due consideration to any of the following:
[1] 
Length and merit of service;
[2] 
Seniority of service;
[3] 
Military service;
[4] 
Educational background;
[5] 
Personnel file;
[6] 
Disciplinary record; and
[7] 
First responder experience.
E. 
Evaluation and testing for the ranks of Sergeant and Lieutenant. In order to assist them in evaluating all candidates for promotion to the positions of Sergeant and Lieutenant within the Police Department, the Mayor and Council may require that all candidates who have met all other eligibility requirements submit to and satisfactorily complete any of the following tests and examinations:
[Amended 2-19-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-6]
(1) 
Written examination or assessment center methodology testing.
(a) 
If employed by the Mayor and Borough Council, written examinations shall be conducted by a personnel consultant with established qualifications to conduct said examinations. The minimum passing score on the written test shall be determined by the Mayor and Council, on the basis of the recommendation of the consultant, and before the Mayor and Council has learned the identity of any candidate. Each candidate must pass the written test in order to be permitted to compete in the oral interview.
(b) 
In lieu of a written examination, the Mayor and Council may authorize that an assessment center evaluation be performed by a qualified personnel consultant. The use of this methodology shall be designed to test all candidates in those areas which commonly reflect the day-to-day activities, duties and functions of the particular position for which the testing is being given.
(2) 
Oral interview. The Mayor and Council may contract individuals having skill and experience in the field of law enforcement to interview all candidates who have successfully passed the written examination or assessment center methodology testing. During the course of the oral interview, the personnel record of the candidate shall be reviewed and due consideration shall be given to the merit of his service.
(3) 
Seniority. The seniority of any candidate shall be given due consideration, and credit shall be given for up to 15 years of service in police work as hereinafter set forth.
(4) 
Medical examination. Each candidate shall submit to a medical examination by qualified medical personnel, and a recommendation shall be given to the Mayor and Council as to whether the candidate is deemed to be medically fit and able to satisfactorily perform the duties of the particular position for which the testing is being given.
(5) 
Psychological examination. Each candidate shall submit to a psychological examination by a qualified psychologist and a recommendation shall be given to the Mayor and Council as to whether the candidate is deemed to be psychologically fit and able to satisfactorily perform the duties of the particular position for which the testing is being given.
(6) 
Background investigation. Each candidate shall consent to and authorize an investigation by a reputable law enforcement officer, or such other type of investigator designated by the Mayor and Council in order to determine if there are any events in the officer's personal background which would interfere with or have any bearing upon his fitness and ability to perform the duties of the particular position for which the testing is being given.
(7) 
Point system of testing. The Mayor and Council shall utilize a point system in assisting them in evaluating each candidate based upon the aforementioned test given. Substantial reliance shall be placed upon the medical and psychological examinations and background investigation and each shall have a significant effect upon all considerations for promotion. In addition to these tests the following point allocation shall apply to such other tests given and factors considered:
(a) 
Written examination or assessment center methodology testing: maximum point score, 80 points.
(b) 
Oral examination: maximum point score, 50 points.
(c) 
Seniority. Credit shall be given for one point for each year of full-time service with any Police Department. Maximum point score: 20 points.
(d) 
A total minimum score of 90 points is required for consideration to be evaluated to the position for which the testing is being given. Minimum score total is based upon receiving a 60% per performance of total maximum scores as listed above or as recommended by the testing agency.
(8) 
Final selection. All forms and types of testing shall be deemed to be evaluative aids for the Mayor and Council in the decisionmaking process of evaluating all candidates for promotion to a particular position. Final decision for all promotions shall rest with the Mayor and Council.
(9) 
Promotion list. The list of applicants eligible for promotion shall remain in effect for one year from the date of the final evaluating, and promotions to be made for comparable positions within this time period shall be made from this list.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection F, Educational requirements, which immediately followed this subsection, was repealed 2-19-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-6.
[Adopted by Ord. No. 98-07]

§ 55-10 Purpose.

For the convenience of those persons and entities which utilize the services of off-duty law enforcement officers of the Chester Borough Police Department and to authorize the outside employment of borough police while off-duty, the borough hereby establishes a policy regarding the use of said officers.
A. 
Members of the Police Department shall be permitted to accept police related employment for private employers or school districts only during off-duty hours and at such times as will not interfere with the efficient performance of regularly scheduled or emergency duties for the borough.
B. 
Any person or entity wishing to employ off-duty police shall first obtain the approval of the Chief of Police or his designee, which approval shall be granted if in the opinion of the Chief, such employment would not be inconsistent with the efficient functioning and good regulation of the Police Department, and would not unreasonably endanger or threaten the safety of the officer or officers who are to perform the work.
C. 
The policy of the Borough shall be to comply with requests to the Borough of Chester for the services of off-duty law enforcement officers when practicable. In the event that the Chief of Police or his designee denies a request for the services of off-duty law enforcement officers from the ranks of the Chester Borough Police Department or other police departments, any person or entity making such request may petition the governing body of the Borough to obtain approval to directly employ the services of off-duty certified law enforcement officers from outside the Borough Police Department. Such petition shall include a full and complete description of the law enforcement services to be met from such outside officers, and present proof of adequate workers’ compensation insurance and public liability insurance to satisfy the Borough’s Risk Manager. All outside officers approved by the Borough and employed by the petitioner shall be subject to the direction of the Borough Chief of Police. As a condition of any approval that may be given, the petitioner shall agree to defend, indemnify, and hold the Borough harmless against any claims asserted by, against, or as a result of the petitioner’s use and employ of police officers from outside of the Chester Borough Police Department.
[Added 6-19-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-11]

§ 55-11 Requests for services.

A. 
All requests to the Borough of Chester for the services of off-duty law enforcement officers in the Chester Borough Police Department shall be forwarded to the Chief of Police or his designee, for assignment at least two work days before such services are required.
B. 
Any law enforcement officers, when so employed, shall be treated as an employee of the borough; provided, however, that wages earned from outside employment shall not be applied toward the pension benefits of law enforcement officers so employed, nor shall hours worked for outside employment be considered in any way compensable as overtime.

§ 55-12 Rates of compensation; administrative fee; payment for services.

A. 
Rates of compensation for contracting the services of off-duty law enforcement officers shall be established from time to time by the Borough Council, as reflected in Chapter 127, Fees, of the Code of the Borough of Chester.
B. 
An additional fee is hereby established to cover administrative costs, overhead and out-of-pocket expenses of the Borough of Chester. The amount of said fee shall be as reflected in Chapter 127, Fees, of the Code of the Borough of Chester.
C. 
Payment to off-duty law enforcement officers for outside employment shall be made through the borough's payroll process.
D. 
Payment for a patrol vehicle utilized during off-duty law enforcement services will be in an amount as shown in Chapter 127, Fees, of the Code of the Borough of Chester.