City of Fitchburg, MA
Worcester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Fitchburg as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Fire Department — See Ch. 23.
Salaries — See Ch. 44.
Security alarms — See Ch. 140.
Enforcement of traffic regulations — See Ch. 169, Art. II.
[Adopted as §§ 16-1 through 16-20 of the 1965 Code]
[Amended 2-7-1967]
A. 
The Police Department shall consist of the following officers and members: one Chief, three Captains, four Lieutenants, 13 Sergeants and not fewer than 77 patrol members and such other members as the Mayor and the City Council shall from time to time determine. This composition shall be implemented in equal and proportionate increments within four years, notwithstanding any ordinance or Code provision to the contrary.
[Amended 12-7-1982 by Ord. No. 434-82; 4-19-1988 by Ord. No. 126-88; 2-19-1991 by Ord. No. 44-91]
B. 
The enactment of this section shall not in any way demote or change the status of any of the present officers of the Police Department, and vacancies in the Police Department caused or created by reason of death or retirement or any other cause of any officer of the Police Department shall not be filled so as to increase the number of officers to exceed 16 in total as set forth in the preceding subsection hereof as amended after the adoption of this section.
The members of the Police Department shall be appointed by the Mayor, subject to confirmation by the Council, in accordance with the Civil Service Act.
A. 
No person shall be a member of the Police Department who is less than 21 years of age or who is not at the time a resident of the city.
B. 
Every person appointed to the Police Department as either a permanent or reserve member shall qualify as such with the City Clerk within 30 days after notice of his or her appointment. He or she shall receive a certificate of his or her appointment, duly signed by the City Clerk, and present the same to the Chief of Police when he or she first reports for duty.
[Amended 6-3-2014 by Ord. No. 100-2014]
[Amended 6-3-2014 by Ord. No. 100-2014]
When any regular or reserve officer or member of the Police Department ceases to be a legal resident of the city, he or she shall resign from the Department, and failure so to resign shall be sufficient cause for his or her removal.
[Amended 7-28-1971 by Ord. No. 545-71; 9-5-1972 by Ord. No. 442-72]
A. 
The police, when on duty, shall wear such uniform, hat and badge as the Mayor shall determine.
B. 
Every police officer assigned to work a minimum average hourly week of 37 1/2 hours on a full-time basis or assigned to work hours in excess thereof on a full-time basis shall be allowed a sum of $175 per annum for such police uniform clothing items as shall be determined by the Chief of Police. Such allowance shall be made to each police officer as determined necessary by the Chief of Police.
C. 
Each patrolman or patrolwoman, upon appointment to the Department on a full-time basis, shall receive a special uniform allowance of $250 for the initial purchase of such uniform items as shall be determined by the Chief of Police.
[Amended 6-3-2014 by Ord. No. 100-2014]
D. 
Any police officer who has been employed by the City of Fitchburg Police Department for 20 years or more and who retires in good standing may, by written request made within six months of said retirement, purchase the weapon previously assigned to said officer from the City for $1, provided that the sale shall comply with all applicable laws of the commonwealth, a licensed dealer shall be used to facilitate the sale, and the purchaser is properly licensed to carry the weapon being purchased at the time of said sale. Any officer who retired between January 1, 2000, and the date this amendment is approved shall have six months from said approval date to make a written request as set forth above. The Council hereby declares all service weapons requested by retired officers to be surplus property and sales thereof, pursuant to this section, shall be exempt from any conflicting provisions of Chapter 14 of the Code of the City of Fitchburg.
[Added 3-5-2002 by Ord. No. 32-02]
Except as provided in §§ 35-2 to 35-7, the compensation to be paid to the members of the Police Department, whether regular or reserve, shall be in full for all services rendered by them in their respective offices and employments; regular police officers shall be entitled to compensation at the rates named only for days and periods of actual service, except when such officers are on their annual vacation and except as to their days off.
[Added 10-17-1967; amended 6-3-2014 by Ord. No. 100-2014]]
If a regular or permanent police officer in the service of the city shall be required to be on duty for any period in excess of his or her regular hours of duty as from time to time established, he or she shall be compensated for such period of overtime duty at a rate which shall be 1 1/2 times the hourly rate of his or her regular compensation for his or her average weekly hours of regular duty; provided, however, that in the event a police officer is required to be in attendance as a court witness after his or her regular tour of duty, such overtime pay shall not be paid until after the first three hours of such court attendance, and further provided that if any such police officer is on special service at the request of anyone other than the Chief of the Police Department, such officer shall not be entitled to overtime pay as hereinabove set forth.
All members and officers of the Department shall have the powers and duties of watchmen under general laws and all the powers of constables, except the power of serving and executing civil process.
[Amended 6-3-2014 by Ord. No. 100-2014]
The patrolmen and patrolwomen shall, during such hours as the rules and regulations of the Department prescribe, cover the rounds in and about such of the streets, lanes, principal inhabited places and other parts of the city as the Chief of Police shall direct. They shall prevent danger by fire and see that order is kept and that all disturbances and disorders are prevented and suppressed, and shall perform such other duties as the Chief of Police shall direct. They shall take notice of all obstructions, nuisances and defects in the streets and, if authorized, remove the same when practicable forthwith. They shall notice all streetlamps not lighted at proper times or not burning during proper hours or which are unclean or give insufficient light, and shall forthwith report thereon and also on any matter affecting the health or safety of the public to the Chief of Police. They shall faithfully execute and obey all orders of the Chief of Police or of the officer who, in his or her absence, shall be charged with his or her duties.
[Amended 6-3-2014 by Ord. No. 100-2014]
Police chauffeurs shall at all times have the same powers and the same duties as the regular patrolmen and patrolwomen and shall be subject to the same rules and regulations as regular patrolmen and patrolwomen.
[Amended 9-5-1972 by Ord. No. 443-72]
A. 
The minimum average weekly hours of work for all patrolman and patrolwomen, Lieutenants and Captains of the Police Department within the classified civil service shall be established at 37 1/2 hours, except for reserve patrolman or patrolwomen not devoting their entire working time to police duties.
[Amended 6-3-2014 by Ord. No. 100-2014]
B. 
Uniform patrolman or patrolwomen scheduled to work in a patrol function shall be scheduled on a four-and-two basis. Other employees of the Department set forth above shall be scheduled in a manner so as to provide that their minimum average hours of work shall not exceed 37 1/2 hours.
[Amended 6-3-2014 by Ord. No. 100-2014]
C. 
Days off falling within the vacation period shall be considered as a part thereof and shall not be made up outside that period.
D. 
Except as limited above, the time, manner and scheduling of work and relief from work shall be determined by the Chief of Police. An employee of the Police Department so relieved shall be exempt from duty and attendance at a police station or other place, but otherwise shall be subject to other portions of this chapter, all other ordinances, laws, rules and regulations and orders of or pertaining to the Police Department or members thereof.
E. 
The Chief or other officer in command of the Police Department may, in case of public emergency or of any unusual demand for the services of the police in this city, prevent any member of the Department from taking the days off at the time when he or she is entitled thereto or at the time he or she is assigned therefor, provided that such days off shall be granted to him or her as soon thereafter as is practicable, notwithstanding anything set forth herein.
[Amended 6-3-2014 by Ord. No. 100-2014]
[Amended 6-3-2014 by Ord. No. 100-2014]
It shall be the duty of all policemen and policewomen and regular employees of the Police Department to cause a written report to be made to the Chief of all injuries, both minor and major, and of all sickness arising from the duties of their employment. Such reports shall be made immediately after the injury is sustained. Cases of sickness shall be reported within seven days after the occurrence of the cause of the same.
There shall be appointed annually, in January, by the Mayor, a keeper of the lockup, who shall have charge of the lockup. The Chief or any other member of the Police Department may be appointed to this position.
[Amended 6-3-2014 by Ord. No. 100-2014]
The Mayor shall, from time to time, appoint, subject to confirmation by the Council, such number of special police officers, who need not be residents of the city, as he or she may deem necessary. All special officers shall be subject to the authority of the Mayor and the Chief of Police and may be assigned for duty in time of riot or emergency, and when so assigned, shall have all the powers and duties of regular police officers, and unless so assigned, shall not have such powers and duties. They shall not be entitled to receive pay from the city when not engaged in rendering service to the city. No special police officer shall exercise police power or authority of the police of the city for any private organization or individual unless he or she has first been assigned by the Chief of Police for duty for such organization or individual. The Chief shall keep a record of all assignments made by him or her under this section.
The reserve police officers shall perform such duties and at such times and places as shall be, from time to time, assigned them by the Chief of Police. While employed, they shall be subject to all rules and laws prescribed for the Police Department and receive such compensation as the Council shall, from time to time, determine.
[Amended 10-17-1972 by Ord. No. 572-72]
A. 
The Chief of Police may appoint, subject to the approval of the Mayor and the City Council, special female police officers, to be paid upon a monthly basis for each month from September to June of each school year. Their compensation shall be determined by the Mayor and the City Council. In the enforcement of Chapter 90 of the General Laws and all the ordinances relating to the operation, standing and use of vehicles only, such special police officers shall have all powers of a constable, except the power of serving and executing civil process. These female officers shall be known as the "Assistant School Traffic Supervisors" and shall obey all lawful orders of the Chief of Police and be subject to all rules and regulations of the Police Department not inconsistent with their authority and duties.
B. 
The Chief of Police may appoint, subject to the approval of the Mayor and the City Council, special part-time personnel to be known as "Assistant School Traffic Supervisors," to be paid at an hourly rate, to work in conjunction with the School Traffic Supervisors, with the same powers and subject to the orders of the Chief of Police and to the rules and regulations of the Police Department as set forth in the preceding subsection.
C. 
No more than 16 persons shall be employed at any one time in the aggregate under either job title above.
Except as otherwise provided, all fees, penalties, witness fees, moneys or compensation received by members of the police force, other than their salary, for any service rendered in their official capacity, except money or compensation received by them for special services, shall be paid by them monthly into the city treasury by the officer receiving the same. Members of the Department shall be entitled to retain such witness fees as may be paid to them under the provisions of MGL c. 262, § 53, and actual expenses paid them by the county in accordance with MGL c. 262, § 50.
The members of the police force shall immediately make a careful examination of every case of accident or injury to person or property coming within their notice and procure the names of all witnesses thereto and make a full report thereof to the Chief of Police.
The members of the Police Department shall, in such manner as the Chief Engineer of the Fire Department may direct, aid the Fire Department by giving alarms in case of fire, by clearing the streets or grounds in the immediate vicinity of a fire or performing other police service so that the members of the Fire Department may not be hindered or obstructed in the performance of their duties.
In case of a riot, conflagration or other emergency, the Mayor or Chief of Police shall have full authority to summon and keep on duty any and all permanent members of the Police Department while such riot, conflagration or other emergency shall continue.
No gambling shall be allowed in any building occupied by the Police Department, nor shall any spirituous liquors be used therein.
[Adopted as §§ 16-21 through 16-30 of the 1965 Code]
The Police Department shall be under the supervision of the Chief of Police.
[Amended 5-7-2002 by Ord. No. 64-02]
A. 
The Chief of Police shall be appointed by the Mayor, subject to confirmation by the Council. Such appointment shall be for a term of not less than three years and not more than five years, including any renewals or extensions, and shall be exempt from the provisions of Chapter 31 of the General Laws in accordance with Chapter 105 of the Acts of 2002.
B. 
Upon a vacancy in the position of Police Chief, the Mayor shall, within 14 days of such vacancy, appoint a suitable person as a temporary Police Chief, without confirmation by the Council. Such appointment shall be for a period of six months and may be extended from month to month thereafter not to exceed six such extensions, until the position of Police Chief is filled as set forth herein.
C. 
Upon a vacancy in the position of Police Chief, the Mayor shall, within 14 days of such vacancy, appoint a Police Chief Search Committee which shall consist of no less than seven members and no more than 11 members, and in any event shall be an odd number, and shall include the following: the Human Resource Director; the President of the City Council or his or her designee who shall be a City Councilor; the Chair of the Public Safety Committee; the President of the Patrolmen's and Patrolwomen's Union; a police officer who has attained the rank of Sergeant or above and who is currently employed in police work or related teaching and who is not employed by the City of Fitchburg Police Department; and, a resident of the City who is not a municipal employee of the City as that term is defined by MGL c. 268A, § 1(g).
[Amended 6-3-2014 by Ord. No. 100-2014]
D. 
Said Police Chief Search Committee shall meet regularly, but not less than once a month, and shall solicit and review applications, interview qualified applicants and make recommendations to the Mayor concerning the appointment of a Police Chief
[Amended 9-19-1996 by Ord. No. 411-96; 5-7-2002 by Ord. No. 64-02]
A. 
Compensation for the Chief of Police shall be determined by the Mayor and approved by the City Council.
B. 
The regular compensation of the Police Captains shall be fixed by the City Council, with approval of the Mayor, in accordance with the provisions of this section, the provisions of the Civil Service Act and other applicable Massachusetts General Laws.
C. 
Notwithstanding any General Law or City ordinance to the contrary, the permanent full-time Police Captains of the Fitchburg Police Department shall receive an annual base rate of compensation which shall not be less than a ration of 1.6 of the highest annual rate of compensation of a permanent full-time Fitchburg police officer.
D. 
Further, such Police Captains shall receive such benefits and additional compensation at a level and rate of not less than the highest annual level and rate of benefits and additional compensation of a permanent full-time police officer in the Fitchburg Police Department and as further provided for by General Law and City ordinance.
E. 
Whereas it is the intent of the Council to establish a consistent rate of compensation among ranks in the Police Department; and whereas the present rate of compensation for the Captain salary is 20% greater than the rate of a Lieutenant salary as compared to the fifteen-percent compensation difference between patrolman or patrolwoman to sergeant and sergeant to Lieutenant; now, therefore, the rate of the Deputy Chief shall be 10% greater than the present Captain salary. If and when the present Captain either retires or promotes the salary for a captain shall be reduced to 15% greater than the present Lieutenant salary. As a result, the established rate of compensation for Deputy Chief shall then equal 15% greater than the new Captain.
[Added 4-20-2010 by Ord. No. 025-10; amended 6-3-2014 by Ord. No. 100-2014]
The Chief of Police shall not engage in any other business or occupation.
[Amended 4-20-2010 by Ord. No. 025-10; 6-3-2014 by Ord. No. 100-2014]
A. 
The Chief of Police shall have the entire control of the Police Department and officers and members, whether regular or reserve, and all constables and officers engaged in its service, and may, subject to the approval of the Council and Mayor, establish rules and regulations for its government and discipline. He or she shall assign members of the police force, either regular or reserve, to do such duties as he or she shall determine. The Mayor as appointing authority under the Civil Service Act may, subject to the provisions of MGL c. 31, appoint a Deputy Chief whose job duties and authority shall be as assigned by the Chief of Police and as established by the Human Resources Division of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
B. 
He or she shall devote his or her time to the maintenance and preservation of peace, order and cleanliness of the city. He or she shall aid in the enforcement of all general and special laws relating to the city and the ordinances thereof and shall enforce all orders of the Mayor and Council relating to the business and duties pertaining to the Police Department. He or she shall take notice of all nuisances in streets and public places in the city and remove the same or take action in relation thereto.
C. 
He or she shall have, under the direction of the Committee of Public Safety, general charge of all rooms and buildings belonging to the Police Department and shall make his or her quarters at the central police station. He or she shall require the officers to report to the officer in charge at their respective stations as frequently as he or she may designate, but at least once in each day that they are on duty, and shall then communicate to them such orders and instructions as he or she may deem proper.
D. 
He or she shall, insofar as possible, assign regular members to their preferences for reliefs of duty on the basis of seniority of service, to be computed in accordance with MGL c. 31, § 15D.[1] All preferences must be written, signed and submitted to the Chief of Police by December 20 of each year and shall be in effect only for the following year.
[1]
Editor's Note: See now MGL c. 31, § 33.
[Amended 3-20-1979 by Ord. No. 125-79; 6-3-2014 by Ord. No. 100-2014]
The Chief of Police, at the request of the City Solicitor, with the approval of the City Council, shall designate an officer of the Police Department to assist the City Solicitor in obtaining evidence, summoning witnesses and such other service as may be necessary in the preparation for trial of cases in which the city is interested or in claims against the city for damages by reason of injuries to person or property. Such services shall be rendered without additional compensation. When a police officer is required for investigative purposes, said officer shall conduct the investigation in conjunction with his or her ordinary duties as a police officer.
[Amended 6-3-2014 by Ord. No. 100-2014]
The Chief of Police shall keep a record of the duties performed by each member of the Police Department. He or she shall note all absences from duty and the causes of the same.
The Chief of Police shall, on or before the end of each month, present all bills to the Committee on Public Safety for its approval.
[Amended 6-3-2014 by Ord. No. 100-2014]
In case of sickness, absence or other disability of a Captain, Lieutenant or Sergeant, the Chief of Police may assign a patrolman or patrolwoman to perform his or her duties. In case of sickness, absence or other disability of a patrolman or patrolwoman, the Chief of Police may assign a reserve police officer to perform his or her duties.
[Amended 6-3-2014 by Ord. No. 100-2014]
The Chief of Police shall, as often as need be, recommend to the Mayor all needful special police officers, reserve officers, regular patrolman or patrolwomen and ranking officers for appointment according to the provisions of law.
[Added 9-7-1993 by Ord. No. 262-93]
A. 
The Mayor may, at the recommendation of the Chief of Police, and subject to confirmation by the City Council, appoint such number of civilian police dispatchers as required by the Chief of Police.
B. 
All civilian police dispatchers will be members of the Police Department, subject to the authority of the Mayor and the Chief of Police, or the designee of the Chief of Police. No civilian police dispatcher shall exercise police power or authority. They shall be under the direction and control of the Chief of Police and be subject to all rules, regulations, policies, procedures, orders or directions prescribed by the Chief of Police. They shall receive such compensation as the City Council shall, from time to time, determine.