Township of Chester, NJ
Morris County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Chester 9-15-1998.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Defense and indemnification — See Ch. 34, Art. 6.
Salaries and compensation — See Ch. 45.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also superseded former Ch. 41, Police Department, adopted 12-7-1993 by Ord. No. 8:13-93.

§ 41-1 Continuation of Department.

The Police Department shall be responsible for the following: to protect life and property; preserve the public peace; detect, arrest and assist in the prosecution of offenders of the laws of the United States of America and the State of New Jersey, the ordinances of the Township of Chester and such other laws as may fall under their jurisdiction; direct and control motor vehicle and pedestrian traffic; provide attendance and protection during emergencies; provide appearances in court; cooperate with other law enforcement agencies and judicial bodies; and provide training for the efficient operation of its officers and other members. The Township of Chester Police Department as has been heretofore established by ordinance and the applicable laws of the State of New Jersey is continued.

§ 41-2 Continuation of membership.

The members of the Township of Chester Police Department as presently constituted are hereby continued in their respective offices and/or positions, and the salaries established by the Salary Ordinance[1] now in effect shall prevail. Nothing contained herein shall be construed so as to adversely affect the status, rank, tenure or any rights or benefits heretofore acquired by any member of the existing Department.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 45, Salaries and Compensation.

§ 41-3 Control of Department by Police Committee.

[Amended 4-20-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-2; 6-1-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-8]
The Police Department shall be under the control of the governing body, acting through the Police Committee. The Mayor shall, each year, appoint a Police Committee composed of not more than two members of the governing body, one of whom shall be appointed as the Police Chair thereof, and shall be designated the "appropriate authority" as required by applicable statute. The Mayor may also appoint, with the Council's approval, a Civilian Police Director. The Police Committee Chair and Police Director, if appointed and confirmed, shall, after consultation with the Chief of Police and/or Officer in Charge, provide recommendations for the maintenance, regulation, control and good order of the Police Department for consideration by the Mayor and Council in accordance with applicable state laws.

§ 41-4 Powers and duties of Chief of Police and/or Officer in Charge.

[Amended 4-20-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-2; 6-1-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-8]
The Chief of Police and/or Officer in Charge shall report directly to the Police Committee Chair and shall direct the administration and operation of the Police Department and shall establish, within appropriate guidelines, and subject to review by the Police Committee, such policies and procedures deemed necessary or desirable without political intervention. The Chief of Police and/or Officer in Charge shall, at the request of the Police Committee Chair and/or the Mayor and Council, produce written reports pertaining to the actions of the Department and its members, including such information as is necessary to justify the actions and decisions taken.

§ 41-5 Organization; duties of Deputy Chief and Officer in Charge; use of police vehicle by Chief, Deputy Chief or Officer in Charge.

[Amended 2-5-2002; 4-7-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-3; 4-20-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-2; 6-1-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-8]
A. 
The Police Department may consist of:
(1) 
Chief of Police and/or Officer in Charge.
(2) 
Deputy Chief of Police.
(3) 
Up to two Lieutenants.
[Amended 2-7-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-1]
(4) 
Up to four Sergeants.
(5) 
Up to three Corporals.
[Amended 2-4-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-1]
(6) 
Patrolmen (as many as deemed necessary by the Mayor and Council, with the advice of the Police Chair and Chief of Police or Deputy Chief of Police or Officer in Charge).
(7) 
Part-time, sworn court officers, special officers and reserve officers (as may be deemed necessary or desirable by the Mayor and Council, with the advice of the Police Chair and Chief of Police or Officer in Charge).
(8) 
Certain civilian personnel and/or volunteers, to include such secretaries, clerks, matrons, chaplains, dispatchers and aides as may be deemed necessary or desirable by the Mayor and Council, with the advice of the Police Committee Chair and the Chief of Police, or Deputy Chief of Police or Officer in Charge, and the Civilian Police Director.
[Amended 2-4-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-1]
B. 
When there is a Deputy Chief of Police or an Officer in Charge in charge of the administration and operation of the Police Department, such Deputy Chief of Police or Officer in Charge shall have all the duties, responsibilities, obligations and authority the Chief of Police has set forth in Chapter 41 of the Chester Township Code.
C. 
The Mayor shall determine the scope of use of the Township police vehicle utilized by the Chief of Police or the Deputy Chief of Police or Officer in Charge.

§ 41-6 Detective Bureau.

A. 
There is hereby established within the Police Department of the Township of Chester a branch or division which shall be known as the "Detective Bureau."
B. 
This Bureau shall consist of such supervisory officers and patrolmen who are members of the Police Department as may be necessary for the efficient operation of the Bureau.
C. 
Members of the Police Department may be assigned to and reassigned from the Detective Bureau at the discretion of the Chief of Police or Deputy Chief of Police or Officer in Charge. No person shall be assigned to the Detective Bureau unless such person has a minimum of three years of law enforcement experience, except that the Council shall have the right, in the event of an emergency or other existing circumstance, based upon the recommendation of the Police Committee Chair and the Chief of Police, or in his absence the Deputy Chief of Police or Officer in Charge, to waive the requirements of this section. Law enforcement experience is defined as the time earned while working in the position of a full-time Class II special officer, corrections officer, sheriff’s officer, or regular police officer. Three years of law enforcement experience includes all time while in attendance at a New Jersey State Police Training Commission certified academy as well as time working as a Class II special officer, corrections officer or regular police officer.
[Amended 4-20-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-2; 6-1-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-8; 2-7-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-1; 2-4-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-1]
D. 
Assignment to and reassignment from the Detective Bureau shall in no way affect the existing status, title, seniority and rights of such members of the Police Department as may be so assigned or reassigned.
E. 
The Detective Bureau shall be responsible for investigative activities of the Police Department, under the Chief of Police, Deputy Chief of Police or Officer in Charge, and shall be responsible to, and receive orders only from, the Chief of Police, or Deputy Chief of Police or Officer in Charge, of the Department.
[Amended 4-20-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-2; 6-1-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-8]

§ 41-7 Patrol Bureau.

A. 
There is hereby established within the Police Department of the Township of Chester a branch or division which shall be known as the "Patrol Bureau."
B. 
This Bureau shall consist of such supervisory officers and patrolmen who are members of the Police Department as may be necessary for the efficient operation of the Bureau.
C. 
Members of the Police Department may be assigned to and reassigned from the Patrol Bureau at the discretion of the Chief of Police.
D. 
Assignment to and reassignment from the Patrol Bureau shall in no way affect the existing status, title, seniority and rights of such members of the Police Department as may be so assigned or reassigned.
E. 
The Patrol Bureau shall be under the supervision of an officer holding the rank of Sergeant or above, assigned to said Bureau, who shall supervise, direct and execute the activities of the Bureau and who shall have the command and control of other members of the Department assigned thereto, subject to the direction of the Chief of Police, or Deputy Chief of Police or the Officer in Charge, of the Department.
[Amended 4-20-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-2; 6-1-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-8; 2-4-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-1]

§ 41-8 Other assignments.

[Amended 4-20-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-2; 6-1-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-8]
A. 
The Chief of Police, or the Deputy Chief of Police or the Officer in Charge, may, with the approval of the Mayor and Council, create and staff additional bureaus, such as Community Services/Crime Prevention, Traffic Safety and Drug Education, as may be deemed necessary.
B. 
The establishment of such bureaus shall be accompanied by a charter, written by the Chief of Police, or the Deputy Chief of Police or Officer in Charge, with the advice of the Civilian Police Director and the Police Committee Chair and shall be approved by the Mayor and Council. The charter shall specify the mission of the bureau, the level of staffing and the officer to whom the senior officer of the bureau shall directly report.
[Amended 2-4-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-1]
C. 
Officers may be assigned to and reassigned from such specialized bureaus at the discretion of the Chief of Police, or Deputy Chief of Police or Officer in Charge, with notification to the Police Committee Chair.
D. 
Assignment to and reassignment from such bureaus shall in no way affect the existing status, title, seniority and rights of such members of the Police Department as may be so assigned or reassigned.

§ 41-9 Brevet positions.

The officers and other members of the Police Department shall be appointed and designated as to rank and/or title by the Mayor and Township Council and shall receive such salary and benefits as the governing body may provide by means of contract, resolution and/or ordinance.
A. 
The Chief of Police, or Deputy Chief of Police or the Officer in Charge, may, upon demonstrating cause to the Police Committee Chair, name an officer of a subordinate rank to a temporary brevet or acting position equivalent in authority and responsibility to the next superior rank.
[Amended 4-20-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-2; 6-1-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-8]
B. 
Such a brevet position shall have no effect on the remuneration or benefits received by the officer so named, unless specified by salary ordinance or contract.
C. 
No officer shall be required to accept such a brevet position, nor shall negative consequences result from an officer's declining the position.
D. 
The purpose of the brevet designation is to establish elevated authority over an extended period of time, not less than one month nor more than one year. Nothing in this section shall inhibit the Chief of Police or other superior officers from assigning work or delegating responsibility on an as-needed basis.

§ 41-10 Rules and regulations.

[Amended 4-20-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-2; 6-1-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-8]
The Mayor and Council shall adopt, by resolution, rules and regulations for the government and discipline of the Police Department and the members thereof upon recommendation by the Chief of Police or Deputy Chief of Police or Officer in Charge. Such 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. Full and current copies of said rules and regulations as well as one current copy of police policies and procedures shall be kept on file in the office of the Municipal Clerk in the municipal building. Any changes thereto shall be provided to the Municipal Clerk, in writing, so that they can be filed at the time the changes are made.

§ 41-11 Probationary and permanent appointments.

A. 
To be eligible for probationary appointment to the Police Department, a prospective candidate for appointment must meet any and all qualifications set forth in the laws of the State of New Jersey and in the ordinances and resolutions of the Township of Chester; must be a citizen of the United States of America and a resident of the State of New Jersey; must possess an Associate's Degree (or more advanced degree) from an accredited college or university; must be able to speak, read and write in the English language fluently; must possess a valid New Jersey driver's license; must successfully complete such oral, written, psychological and physical examinations as may be required; and must possess current New Jersey Police Training Commission certification and current New Jersey Emergency Medical Technician certificate. However, should an otherwise eligible candidate for probationary status not possess an EMT certification, then said certification must be successfully completed during the probationary period described below.
[Amended 6-5-2001; 2-4-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-1]
(1) 
A waiver of an Associate’s Degree requirement is permitted when a candidate has served in the United States military for four years and has received an honorable discharge.
B. 
Permanent appointment.
(1) 
Permanent appointment to the Police Department shall require that the probationary officer, if not already so certified, successfully complete EMT training and maintain EMT certification.
[Amended 4-5-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-3]
(2) 
Permanent appointment to the Police Department shall further require that the probationary officer successfully complete a probationary period of one year, regardless of the step/salary at which hired, during which time the Mayor and Council may, upon consultation with the Chief of Police, or Deputy Chief of Police or Officer in Charge, dismiss the probationary officer without cause or hearing. Probation may be extended for an additional period, not to exceed one year, at the discretion of the Chief of Police, or Deputy Chief of Police or Officer in Charge, and Police Committee Chair and with the approval of the Mayor and Council.
[Amended 4-20-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-2; 6-1-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-8; 2-4-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-1]
(3) 
An extension of the probationary period will result in the extension of compensation at the step/salary at which hired. However, such extension will not change the officer’s hire date relating to terms of tenure nor future pay step increases if the probationary officer’s employment is continued.
[Added 2-7-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-1; amended 2-4-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-1]
C. 
Upon permanent appointment to the Township of Chester Police Department, all time served by any member during such probationary period shall be considered as full service with the Department and shall be applied toward any required tenure which may be a qualification for promotion or assignment.
D. 
All officers will be required to maintain their status as Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT's) as a condition of their continued employment. Officers will ensure that they will complete all required coursework to maintain their certifications as prescribed by the State of New Jersey.
[Added 2-4-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-1]

§ 41-12 Promotions.

A. 
All promotions to superior ranks shall be made from the membership of the Chester Township Police Department, provided that qualified persons may be found within such membership. In evaluating qualifications of members proposed for promotion, primary consideration shall be given to the performance of the member, the merit of his or her service and his or her educational level. Seniority in service, while a factor to be considered, shall only be determinant in the case where two or more members of the Department have otherwise equal qualifications. In the event that no members of the Department meet the qualifications set forth by the Mayor and Council, promotion to superior rank may be made from outside the membership of the Department.
B. 
The Mayor and Council may require that Department members proposed for promotion complete such examinations deemed necessary or desirable to aid in the determination of merit service. Said examinations shall be listed in the Police Policy and Procedures Manual and are subject to periodic review by the Police Committee and Chief of Police, or Deputy Chief of Police or Officer in Charge, with the review and advice of the Civilian Police Director.
[Amended 4-20-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-2; 6-1-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-8]
C. 
Unless circumstances so warrant and with the exception of the rank of Chief of Police, no member of the Township of Chester Police Department shall be promoted to a superior rank unless he/she has served in the next lower rank. For promotion to Lieutenant, the next lower rank is Sergeant, for promotion to Sergeant, the next lowest rank is patrolman and/or Corporal. For promotion to Corporal, the next lower rank is patrolman. An officer must have a minimum of three years of law enforcement experience, as defined in § 41-6C, to be considered eligible for promotion to the rank of Sergeant, except the Council shall have the right, in the event of emergency or other existing condition, based upon the recommendation of the Police Committee Chair and the Chief of Police, or in his absence the Deputy Chief of Police, the Officer in Charge and/or the Civilian Police Director, to waive the requirement of this section.
[Amended 12-15-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-20; 2-7-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-1; 2-4-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-1]
D. 
Promotion to Chief of Police shall require that the officer proposed for promotion have at least 10 years' experience in law enforcement and supervisory and administration experience at the rank of Sergeant or above. In addition, candidates for promotion to Chief must possess a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university or serve in the capacity of Deputy Chief of Police for not less than six months, to the satisfaction of the Mayor and Council of the Township.
[Amended 11-5-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-13; 12-15-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-20]

§ 41-13 Contracted off-duty employment.

[Added 12-19-2000]
For the convenience of those persons and entities which utilize the services of off-duty law enforcement officers of the Chester Township Police Department and to authorize the outside employment of police officers while off duty, the Township 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 only during off-duty hours and at such time as will not interfere with the efficient performance of regularly scheduled or emergency duty for the Township.
B. 
Any person or entity wishing to employ off-duty police shall first obtain the approval of the Chief of Police, Deputy Chief of Police or the Officer in Charge or their designee, which approval shall be granted if such employment would not be inconsistent with the efficient functioning and good reputation of the Police Department and would not unreasonably endanger or threaten the safety of the officer or officers who are to perform the work.
[Amended 4-20-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-2; 6-1-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-8; 2-4-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-1]
C. 
Any person or entity requesting the services of an off-duty law enforcement officer shall estimate the numbers of hours such services are required, which estimate shall be approved, in writing, by the Chief of Police, or Deputy Chief of Police or the Officer in Charge or their designee, and shall establish an escrow account with the Township Treasurer by depositing an amount sufficient to cover the rates of compensation and administrative fees set forth in Subsection H for the total estimated hours of service.
[Amended 4-20-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-2; 6-1-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-8; 2-4-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-1]
D. 
Prior to posting any request for services of off-duty officers, the Chief of Police, or Deputy Chief of Police or Officer in Charge or their designee, shall verify that the balance in the escrow account of the person or entity requesting services is sufficient to cover the compensation and fees for the number of hours specified in the request for services. No service shall be performed unless all fees and compensation required in the manner described above have been deposited with the Treasurer. No officer shall provide any such services for more hours than are specified in the request for services.
[Amended 4-20-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-2; 6-1-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-82-4-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-1]
E. 
In the event that the funds in such an escrow account should become depleted, services of off-duty officers shall cease, and requests for further or future services shall not be performed or posted until additional funds have been deposited in the escrow account in the manner prescribed above.
F. 
The person or entity requesting such services shall be responsible for ensuring that sufficient funds remain in the escrow account in order to avoid any interruption of services
G. 
All requests for the services of off-duty law enforcement officers in the Chester Township Police Department for a period of one week or longer shall be forwarded to the Chief of Police, or Deputy Chief of Police or Officer in Charge or their designee, at least 10 days before such services are required, whenever possible. Any officers, when so employed by the Township, shall be treated as an employee of the Township; provided, however, that wages earned for 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.
[Amended 4-20-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-2; 6-1-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-8; 2-4-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-1]
H. 
Rates of compensation for contracting the services of off-duty officers shall be at a rate of $75 per hour with a minimum of four hours, plus an additional 20% of such rate to cover administrative costs and payroll expenses. When a patrol car is deemed necessary by the Chief of Police, or Deputy Chief of Police or Officer in Charge, or his or her designee, a charge of $50 per day shall be made.
[Amended 4-20-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-2; 5-18-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-7; 6-1-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-8; 2-4-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-1; 12-6-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-13]

§ 41-14 Civilian Police Director.

[Added 4-20-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-2; amended 6-1-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-8]
A. 
The position of a full-time Civilian Police Director may be appointed by the Mayor, with the advice and consent of the Council. The Civilian Police Director shall serve at the pleasure of the Mayor and Council. The person appointed as Civilian Police Director shall be qualified by law enforcement training and have a minimum of 10 years' experience in law enforcement.
B. 
The Civilian Police Director shall report directly to the Mayor and the Police Committee Chair.
C. 
The duties of the Civilian Police Director shall include, but not be limited to:
(1) 
Recommend to the Mayor and Council efficiencies as to supervisory functions of the Police Department limited to civilian administrative tasks.
(2) 
Recommend to the Mayor and Council employment policies and adoption of special emergency directives and ordinances to assist in the governance and management of the Police Department.
(3) 
Provide written monthly reports by the first Council meeting of each month concerning his/her activities for the prior month.
(4) 
Review and advise the Mayor and Council as to manpower allocations, overtime, vacation, sick and compensatory time accumulations and usage and schedules for all police personnel.
(5) 
Review and advise the Mayor and Council as to all bills and expenses of the Police Department.
(6) 
Keep and maintain an administrative record of all appointments, dismissals, removals and resignations of officers as they take place, with such other information as may be necessary.
(7) 
Develop and recommend to the Mayor and Council the annual budget for the Police Department and review all expenditures and all purchases of the Police Department.
(8) 
Analyze crime trends and statistics.
(9) 
Evaluate effectiveness of work programs and procedures of all units and bureaus within the Police Department and make recommendations to the Mayor and Council as to suggested changes.
D. 
The term of office of the Civilian Police Director shall not exceed one year, unless approved by the Mayor and Council.
E. 
The position of Civilian Police Director shall be that of a full-time employee of the Township.
F. 
The salary of the Civilian Police Director shall be set forth in the Township's Salary Ordinance.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 45, Salaries and Compensation.
G. 
The Mayor and Council shall determine the Civilian Police Director's sick leave, holidays, vacation, bereavement leave and reimbursement of expenses.
H. 
Outside employment of the Civilian Police Director shall not be permitted without the consent of the Mayor and Council.
I. 
This section of Chapter 41, pertaining to the position of Civilian Police Director, shall expire on May 1, 2011, unless extended by a vote of the Mayor and Council held at a public meeting.
[Added 5-18-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-6; amended 6-1-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-8]
J. 
There shall not be both a Chief of Police and Civilian Police Director serving at the same time for more than 30 days.
[Added 5-18-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-6; amended 6-1-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-8]

§ 41-15 Stipend of Officer in Charge.

[Added 10-7-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-13]
A. 
Pursuant to §§ 41-3 and 41-5, the Mayor and Council may appoint an officer to the position of Officer in Charge. The powers and duties of an Officer in Charge are set forth in § 41-4.
B. 
An officer appointed as the Officer in Charge shall receive a stipend of $100 per week for each week or part thereof that the officer shall serve in the capacity of the Officer in Charge.
C. 
The stipend shall not be calculated toward the officer's pension.

§ 41-16 Police services provided pursuant to an interlocal services agreement.

[Added 12-20-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-14]
The Township may provide police services to the Borough on a contract basis pursuant to an interlocal services agreement only with the Borough.

§ 41-17 Name of Police Department.

[Added 12-20-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-14]
The name of the "Township of Chester Police Department" is changed to the "Chester Police Department."

§ 41-18 Control of Police Department.

[Added 12-20-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-14]
The control of the Police Department shall be governed by § 41-3 as well as the provisions of the Interlocal Services Agreement.

§ 41-19 Probationary and permanent appointments.

[Added 12-20-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-14]
Probationary and permanent appointments as governed by § 41-11 shall be governed by the Interlocal Services Agreement.

§ 41-20 Promotions.

[Added 12-20-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-14]
Promotions shall not be governed by § 41-12. Promotions shall be governed by the Interlocal Services Agreement.

§ 41-21 Committees.

[Added 12-20-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-14]
Pursuant to the Interlocal Services Agreement, the Township hereby creates a Public Safety Committee consisting of members all of whom are to be appointed by the Mayor with the advice and consent of a majority of the members of the Council. The Committee members shall consist of two members of the Council and one additional member. The Public Safety Committee shall perform its duties with the Joint Police Safety Committee pursuant of the Interlocal Services Agreement.

§ 41-22 Seniority.

[Added 12-20-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-14]
The Seniority rights and status of the officers from the Borough shall be governed by the Interlocal Services Agreement.

§ 41-23 Conflicts.

[Added 12-20-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-14]
Any conflicts between § 41-18 through § 41-22 and § 41-1 through § 41-17 shall be resolved by § 41-18 through § 41-22 and the Interlocal Services Agreement, both being controlling over § 41-1 through § 41-17.