Town of Newton, NJ
Sussex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Newton 12-28-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-24.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Personnel — See Ch. 25.
Fees and costs — See Ch. 100.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Ch. 30, Police Department, adopted 6-8-1970 as Ch. 3 of the Revised General Ordinances; amended in its entirety 8-11-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-17. Ordinance No. 2011-24 stated that the establishment, maintenance, regulation and control of the municipal police department are provided for in N.J.S.A. 40A:14-118 et seq.

§ 30-1 Department established; composition.

The Police Department of the Town of Newton is hereby established and shall consist of a Chief of Police, a maximum of two police Lieutenants, a maximum of five police Sergeants, a maximum of 16 patrol officers, and such other special law enforcement officers, school crossing guards, and employees that the Town Manager shall from time to time appoint.

§ 30-2 Town Manager designated as appropriate authority.

The Town Manager is hereby designated as the "appropriate authority" as defined by N.J.S.A. 40A:14-118, with all powers enumerated therein, including the power to fix policies for the regulation and control of the Police Department. The Town Manager shall be responsible for the overall performance of the Police Department and shall adopt and promulgate rules and regulations for the government of the police force and for the discipline of its members.

§ 30-3 Chief of Police.

A. 
The head of the Police Department shall be the Chief of Police who shall be appointed by the Town Manager and who shall carry out such duties as the Town Manager shall assign to the Chief. The Chief of Police shall be directly responsible to the Town Manager for the efficiency and routine day-to-day operations of the Police Department and shall have the authority to assign day-to-day duties to members and other personnel of the Department. The Chief shall have full charge and control of the apparatus and equipment of the Department and its assignment and use, and shall be held responsible for its care, cleanliness, and safekeeping, and render a strict account thereof when called for by the Town Manager. The Chief of Police shall, pursuant to the policies established by the Town Manager:
(1) 
Administer and enforce rules, regulations, and special emergency directives for the disposition and discipline of the force and its officers and personnel;
(2) 
Have, exercise, and discharge the functions, powers, and duties of the force;
(3) 
Prescribe the duties and assignments of all subordinates and other personnel;
(4) 
Delegate such authority as he or she may deem necessary for the efficient operation of the force to be exercised under his or her direction and supervision;
(5) 
Report at least monthly to the Town Manager in such form as shall be prescribed by the Town Manager on the operation of the force during the preceding month, and make such other reports as may be requested by the Town Manager;
(6) 
Recommend to the Town Manager from time to time the purchase of new equipment or the repair or rearrangement of such old equipment as will increase the efficiency of the Department;
(7) 
Keep the records of the Police Department in such manner and form as may be prescribed by the Town Manager;
(8) 
Report, in writing, whatever information the Town Manager or the Chief of Police may deem necessary for the information of the Town Manager or Town Council or for the public benefit and the good of the Police Department; and
(9) 
Recommend to the Town Manager rules and regulations for the conduct and discipline of the members of the Police Department and amendments to the rules and regulations as necessary.
B. 
No person shall be appointed Chief of the Police Department unless, in addition to all statutory requirements, he or she has graduated high school with a diploma or equivalency, and has completed the municipal Police Academy course of the State of New Jersey or an acceptable equivalent course. He or she shall have a thorough knowledge of the criminal statutes and laws of the State of New Jersey and of the ordinances of the Town of Newton, and shall have the ability to prepare reports and direct and administer the Police Department.
C. 
In the event the Chief of Police is absent or goes on voluntary temporary leave, he or she shall, if the Chief deems it necessary for the efficient operation of the force, designate a member of the Police Department to act as Chief of Police until the Chief of Police returns to duty. In case of death, removal, suspension, incompetency or resignation of the Chief of Police, or if the Town Manager determines that the Chief of Police is incapable of making such designation, the Town Manager shall designate the person to act as Chief until the Chief of Police returns to duty or a successor is appointed. The person so designated shall be charged with and perform all the duties of the Chief of Police while so acting. Such temporary appointment shall not increase the compensation of the person so designated.

§ 30-4 Duties of the Department.

The Police Department shall:
A. 
Preserve the public peace, protect life and property, prevent crime, detect and arrest offenders against the penal laws and ordinances effective within the Town, suppress riots, mobs, and insurrections, disperse unlawful or dangerous assemblages, and preserve order at all elections, public meetings, and assemblages;
B. 
Administer and enforce laws and ordinances to regulate, direct, control, and restrict the movement of vehicular and pedestrian traffic and the use of the streets by vehicles and persons to protect the safety and facilitate the convenience of motorists and pedestrians;
C. 
Remove or cause to be removed all nuisances in the public streets, parks, and other public places, inspect and observe all places of public amusement or assemblage, and all places of business requiring any state or municipal license or permit, and report thereon to the appropriate department;
D. 
Provide proper police attendance and protection at fires and other emergencies;
E. 
Provide for the attendance of its members in court as necessary for the prosecution and trial of persons charged with crimes and offenses and cooperate fully with the law enforcement and prosecuting authorities of federal, state, county, and local governments; and
F. 
Operate a training program to maintain and improve the efficiency of the members of the Department, subject to the budgetary approval of the Town Council.

§ 30-5 Qualifications and appointment of members of Department.

A. 
Each applicant for a position in the Police Department shall possess the qualifications required by N.J.S.A. 40A:14-122. Except as otherwise provided by law, no person shall be appointed as a member of the Police Department unless he or she:
(1) 
Is a citizen of the United States;
(2) 
Is sound in body and of good health sufficient to satisfy the Board of Trustees of the Police and Firemen's Retirement System of New Jersey as to his or her eligibility for membership in the retirement system;
(3) 
Is able to read, write, and speak the English language well and intelligently;
(4) 
Is of good moral character, and has not been convicted of any crime or criminal offense involving moral turpitude; and
(5) 
Has successfully undergone physical and psychological testing that is required of all full-time police officers in the Town of Newton and approved by the New Jersey Police Training Commission.
B. 
The minimum age for appointment shall be 18 years, and the maximum shall be 35 years old, except as set forth in N.J.S.A. 40A:14-127.1. With the approval of the Town Manager, the Chief of Police may establish additional qualifications and requirements relating to level or nature of experience, training, or particular expertise for applicants for particular positions that the Police Department seeks to fill. All such additional qualifications shall be clearly specified in advertisements for the open position. Superior officers shall satisfy such additional qualifications as detailed hereafter. All appointments of new officers or employees of the Department and all promotions shall be made by the Town Manager, after receipt of reports or recommendations, if submitted, from the Chief of Police.

§ 30-6 Oath of office; term of office.

A. 
Each member of the Police Department shall, before entering upon the performance of his or her duties, take and subscribe an oath to bear true faith and allegiance to the government established in the state, to support the Constitutions of the United States of America and the State of New Jersey, and to faithfully, impartially, and justly discharge and perform all duties of his or her office, which oath or affirmation shall be filed with the Municipal Clerk within 10 days after appointment.
B. 
The term of the regular police officers employed in the Department shall be for the time that good behavior and efficiency is maintained. Every newly appointed regular officer shall serve a probationary period, which shall run until the later of 12 months from the start of employment as an officer; or six months of service after successful completion of the course at a New Jersey-certified police training academy unless otherwise required under applicable statute or regulation. No member shall serve as an officer or a member of the Department after attaining the age of 65 years. Probationary officers may be removed from employment by the Town Manager at any time during their probationary period or at its conclusion upon notice and an opportunity to be heard.

§ 30-7 Classification of applicants and order of appointment thereof.

A. 
Classification of applicants.
(1) 
The following classes are hereby established for appointment of all members of the Police Department of the Town of Newton:
[Amended 10-26-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-31; 12-28-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-37]
(a) 
Class 1: residents of the Town of Newton.
(b) 
Class 2: residents of other municipalities in the County of Sussex.
(c) 
Class 3: residents of any other county than Sussex in the State of New Jersey.
(d) 
Class 4: all other qualified persons.
(2) 
Within each of the aforesaid classes, duly qualified applicants who are veterans shall be accorded all veterans' privileges as are provided by law. Persons discharged from the military service within six months prior to making application for membership in the Police Department of the Town of Newton who fulfill the requirements of N.J.S.A. 40A:14-123.1, and who, thereby, are entitled to appointment notwithstanding their failure to meet the New Jersey residency requirements at the time of their initial application, shall be placed in Class 3.
(3) 
The classes of qualified applicants as defined above shall be considered as separate and successive lists of eligibles, and the New Jersey Civil Service Commission shall be informed thereof so that certifications from said Department when requested shall be made from said classes separately and successively.
(4) 
All applicants to be classified as Class 1 must be residents of the Town of Newton as of the date of application and must maintain continuous residence within the Town of Newton through the examination process, up to and including the date of appointment.
(5) 
The provisions of this section shall apply only to the initial appointments and not to promotional appointments of persons already members of the Police Department.
(6) 
In making temporary appointments, the Town Manager may utilize the classifications set forth in the subsections of this section, and shall classify accordingly all duly qualified applicants for the position to be temporarily filled.
B. 
Order of appointment. The Town Manager shall first appoint to membership in the Police Department persons qualifying in Class 1 provided in the preceding Subsection A herein, and then those in each succeeding class in the order listed in said foregoing Subsection A and shall appoint a person or persons in any such class only to a vacancy or vacancies remaining after all qualified applicants in the preceding class or classes have been appointed or have declined an offer of appointment.

§ 30-8 Qualifications, powers, and duties of superior officers, patrol officers, and special law enforcement officers.

A. 
Police Lieutenant. No person shall be appointed to the position of Lieutenant unless, in addition to all statutory requirements, he or she has completed the municipal Police Academy course of the State of New Jersey, or an acceptable equivalent. The person shall have served as a Police Sergeant in the Town of Newton Police Department. A Lieutenant shall have the following duties:
(1) 
Under supervision of the Chief of Police during an assigned tour of duty, has charge of a police division or performs specialized supervisory police duties and completes related work as required.
(2) 
Gives suitable police assignments and instruction to Sergeants and police officers; provides them with needed advice and assistance when difficult problems or maneuvers arise; checks their work to see that the proper procedures are followed; ensures that reasonable standards of workmanship, conduct, and output are maintained; and achieves desired police objectives as set forth by the Chief of Police.
(3) 
Directs criminal and noncriminal investigations, ensuring that proper police action is taken.
B. 
Police Sergeant. No person shall be appointed to the position of Sergeant in the Town of Newton Police Department unless, in addition to all statutory requirements, he or she has graduated high school with a diploma or equivalency, and has completed the municipal Police Academy course of the State of New Jersey or an acceptable equivalent course. The person shall have served as a patrol officer in the Town of Newton Police Department for at least three years. A Sergeant shall have the following duties:
(1) 
Under supervision of a Police Lieutenant during an assigned tour of duty, a Police Sergeant has charge of police activities intended to provide assistance and protection for persons, to safeguard property, to assure observance of the laws, and to apprehend law-breakers; and does related supervisory work as required.
(2) 
Gives suitable assignments and instructions to the patrol officers on duty all or part of the assigned tour of duty; provides them with advice and assistance when difficult and unusual situations arise; and checks their work to see that proper procedures are followed and that reasonable standards of workmanship, conduct, and output are maintained; and that desired police objectives are achieved.
(3) 
Establishes and maintains helpful and cooperative relations with civic and business organizations, school officers, recreation and other groups, court officers, and police authorities in other jurisdictions, and others interested in the maintenance of law and order.
(4) 
Notes conditions that are significant from a police standpoint, and takes appropriate action to ensure that persons and property are safeguarded and good order is maintained, and that patrol officers are doing their work properly.
(5) 
Sees that needed police protection is provided when there are fires, outbreaks, and other conditions which may result in disorder, and when large numbers of people congregate for any reason.
(6) 
Prepares and directs the preparation of reports.
(7) 
Directs criminal and noncriminal investigations and sees that appropriate police action is taken.
C. 
Patrol officer.
(1) 
A candidate for patrol officer must meet the minimum standards for eligibility set forth in § 30-5 above and is subject to such other age and probationary qualifications as set forth in this chapter.
(2) 
A patrol officer, during an assigned tour of duty, on foot, bike, or in an automobile or other motorized vehicle, patrols a designated area to provide assistance and protection for persons, to safeguard property, to assure observance of the law, to apprehend investigate criminal activity, and does related work as required or assigned.
D. 
Special Law Enforcement Officer.
(1) 
A "Special Law Enforcement Officer" means any person appointed pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:14-146.8, et seq., to temporarily or intermittently perform duties similar to those performed regularly by members of the Police Department of the Town of Newton, or to provide assistance to the Police Department during unusual or emergency circumstances.
(2) 
There shall be two classes of Special Law Enforcement Officers. The classifications shall be based upon the duties to be performed as follows:
(a) 
Class One: Officers of this class shall be authorized to perform routine traffic detail, spectator control and similar duties. Class One officers shall have the power to issue summonses for disorderly persons and petty disorderly persons offenses, violations of municipal ordinances, and violations of Title 39 of the New Jersey Statutes. The use of a firearm by an officer of this class shall be strictly prohibited, and no Class One officer shall be assigned any duties which may require the carrying or use of a firearm.
(b) 
Class Two: Officers of this class shall be authorized to exercise full powers and duties similar to those of a permanent, regularly appointed full-time police officer. The use of a firearm by an officer of this class may be authorized by the Chief of Police only after the officer has been fully certified as successfully completing training as prescribed by the New Jersey Police Training Commission. The number of Class Two Special Law Enforcement Officers shall not exceed 25% of the total number of regular police officers in the Town of Newton as required by N.J.S.A. 40A:14-146.17.
(3) 
Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:14-146.10, no person shall be appointed as a special police officer unless the person:
(a) 
Is a resident of the State of New Jersey during the term of appointment;
(b) 
Is able to read, write, and speak the English language well and intelligently and has a high school diploma or its equivalent;
(c) 
Is sound in body and of good health;
(d) 
Is of good moral character;
(e) 
Has not been convicted of any crime or criminal offense involving dishonesty or which would make him or her unfit to perform the duties of the office;
(f) 
Has successfully undergone the same physical and psychological testing that is required of all full-time police officers in the Town of Newton; and
(g) 
Has successfully completed a training course approved by the New Jersey Police Training Commission.
(4) 
Special police officers may be appointed for terms not to exceed one year. Nothing herein shall be construed to require reappointment upon the expiration of the term.

§ 30-9 Adult school crossing guards.

A. 
Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:9-154.1, the Town Manager may, in his discretion, appoint persons at least 18 years of age as school crossing guards in such numbers as the Town Manager may deem appropriate. No person shall be appointed as a school crossing guard unless such person:
(1) 
Is a citizen and resident of the State of Jersey;
(2) 
Is sound in body and of good health;
(3) 
Is of good moral character;
(4) 
Has not been convicted of any criminal offense involving moral turpitude; and
(5) 
Has been certified as eligible by the Chief of Police.
B. 
School crossing guards shall be appointed for terms not to exceed one year. The Town Manager may revoke such appointment for cause subject to the provisions of the New Jersey Civil Service Act. The powers and duties of a school crossing guard shall cease at the expiration or termination of the term which the guard was appointed. The Town Manager may choose not to reappoint an individual to the position of School Crossing Guard without notice or cause.
C. 
School crossing guards shall not be members of the Police Department, but shall be under the supervision and direction of the Chief of Police and shall comply with the rules and regulations applicable to the conduct and decorum of regular police officers. They shall perform their duties only in the Town of Newton.
D. 
School crossing guards are not authorized to carry or use firearms and shall not have the power of arrest.
E. 
Every school crossing guard shall receive such training and uniform as provided by law.

§ 30-10 Rules and regulations.

The Town Manager, as appointing authority, shall, from time to time as may seem necessary in his judgment, and pursuant to the authority of N.J.S.A. 40A:14-118, adopt and amend the rules and regulations for the conduct and discipline of the Police Department and members thereof. The Town Manager shall distribute copies of any newly adopted rule, regulation, or amendment promptly after its adoption to the Chief of Police. Any such rule, regulation, or amendment shall take effect 30 days after adoption unless the Town Manager shall declare in his adoption that an emergency exists which requires a rule, regulation, or amendment to take effect immediately. Said rules and regulations may fix and provide for the enforcement of such rules and regulations and the enforcement of penalties for any violations. All members and employees of the Police Department shall be subject to such rules, regulations, and penalties.

§ 30-11 Disciplinary action.

Departmental discipline is to be administered in accord with the rules and regulations of the Department as promulgated by the Town Manager and in accord with N.J.S.A. 40A:14-147, relevant provisions of the New Jersey Civil Service Act and regulations related thereto, and applicable court decisions.

§ 30-12 Hours of employment.

The regular hours of employment of uniformed members of the Police Department shall not exceed 12 consecutive hours in one day, nor 48 hours in any one pay period; provided that in the case of an emergency, the Chief of Police or his designee shall have full authorization to summon and keep on duty any and all such members during the period of emergency or staffing shortage.

§ 30-13 Uniforms and equipment.

A. 
Duty firearms, holsters, and magazine holders for members of the Police Department authorized to have such equipment shall be furnished by the Town and remain its property. The expense of obtaining all other required uniforms and equipment shall be borne by each officer. Only Special Law Enforcement Officers shall be furnished uniforms and related equipment by the Town, to be issued by the Chief of Police. Upon issuance of property to a member of the Department, the Chief of Police shall take a receipt from the member obtaining the property. Members receiving property from the Department shall be responsible for same and upon leaving the service for any cause shall turn in to the Chief of Police all property belonging to the Town. The reasonable value of any property, including uniforms and equipment not returned, shall be deducted from the amount of salary or wages due each member.
B. 
The members of the Police Department shall, when on duty, wear such uniforms and equipment as shall be prescribed from time to time by the Chief of Police and shall at all times present a neat, clean, and respectable appearance.

§ 30-14 (Reserved)

§ 30-15 Contracted off-duty employment.

A. 
Purpose. For the convenience of those persons and entities which utilize the services of off-duty law enforcement officers of the Newton Police Department and to authorize the outside employment of Town police while off duty, the Town hereby establishes a policy regarding the use of said officers.
(1) 
Members of the Police Department shall be permitted to accept police-related employment from 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 duty for the Town.
(2) 
Any person or entity wishing to employ off-duty police shall first obtain the approval of the Chief of Police, which approval shall be granted if, in the opinion of the Chief, 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.
B. 
Escrow accounts.
(1) 
Any person or entity requesting the services of an off-duty law enforcement officer in the Newton Police Department shall estimate the number of hours such law enforcement services are required, which estimate shall be approved in writing by the Chief of Police, and shall establish an escrow account with the Town Treasurer by depositing an amount sufficient to cover the rates of compensation and administrative fees set forth in § 30-15D for the total estimated hours of service.
(2) 
Prior to posting any request for services of off-duty law enforcement officers, the Chief of Police or his 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. The Chief of Police shall not post a request for services from any person or entity unless all fees and compensation required in the manner described above have been deposited with the Town Treasurer. No officer shall provide any such services for more hours than are specified in the request for services.
(3) 
In the event the funds in such an escrow account should be depleted, services of off-duty law enforcement 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.
(4) 
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 in service.
C. 
Requests for services. All requests to the Town for the services of off-duty law enforcement officers in the Newton Police Department for a period of one week or longer shall be forwarded to the Chief of Police for posting at least 10 days before such services are required. Any law enforcement officers, when so employed by the Town, shall be treated as an employee of the Town; 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.
D. 
Rates of compensation; administrative fee.
(1) 
Rates of compensation for contracting the services of off-duty law enforcement officers shall be based on a rate of time and one-half of top step patrolmen as currently established by contract.
(2) 
An additional per-hour fee is established to cover administrative costs, overhead, and out-of-pocket expenses of the Town of Newton in accordance with the hourly rate as currently set forth in the Town of Newton Fee Schedule.

§ 30-16 Repealer; severability.

All ordinances, codes or parts thereof inconsistent with any provisions of this new chapter are hereby repealed to the extent of such inconsistency. If any section or provision of this chapter shall be held invalid by any court of competent jurisdiction, the same shall not affect the other sections or provisions of this chapter, except so far as the section or provision so declared invalid, which shall be inseparable from the remainder of any portion thereof.