[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Washington as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 12-20-1971 as Ch. IV of the Revised General Ordinances]
[Amended 4-16-1973; 8-18-1975; 12-21-1981 by Ord. No. 47-81; 5-19-1986 by Ord. No. 17-86; 7-15-1991 by Ord. No. 21-91; 9-21-1998 by Ord. No. 29-98; 6-19-2000 by Ord. No. 16-00; 7-16-2001 by Ord. No. 21-01; 12-21-2015 by Ord. No. 14-15; 5-15-2017 by Ord. No. 08-17; 7-16-2018 by Ord. No. 10-18]
The Police Department of the Township of Washington is hereby established and shall consist of a Chief of Police, not more than two Captains, not more than four Lieutenants, not more than three Sergeants First Class, not more than 10 Sergeants, not more than eight Corporals, not more than 25 patrolmen and not more than 21 special officers.
The officers and members of the Police Department shall be appointed by the Township Committee to hold office as provided by law and shall receive such salary as the Township Committee may determine.
[Amended 8-18-1997 by Ord. No. 20-97]
The Township Committee shall serve as the appropriate authority, as the same is defined in N.J.S.A. 40A:14-118, to whom the Police Chief shall be directly responsible for the efficiency and routine day-to-day operations of the Police Department.
[Amended 8-18-1997 by Ord. No. 20-97]
The Mayor shall, each year as soon after the reorganization of the Township Committee as may be possible, select and designate two members of the Township Committee who shall constitute the Police Committee. The Mayor shall designate one of the members as Chairman of the Committee, who shall be known as the "Police Commissioner," and the second member as Vice Chairman, who shall be known as the "Deputy Police Commissioner." Subject to the direction of the Police Committee and further subject to the authority vested in the Township Committee, the Police Commissioner or, in the case of his/her absence from the Township for more than three days, the Deputy Commissioner shall oversee the operations of the Police Department.
The Township Committee shall establish by resolution and may from time to time amend and repeal by resolution such rules and regulations as it may deem necessary for the government and efficient working of the entire Department. When adopted, these rules and regulations shall be posted at police headquarters by the Police Commissioner within five days after their adoption, and a copy thereof shall be delivered to each member of the Department within five days after adoption.
[Amended 5-19-1986 by Ord. No. 17-86; 9-20-1993 by Ord. No. 26-93; 7-17-1995 by Ord. No. 23-95; 6-15-1998 by Ord. No. 21-98; 12-21-1998 by Ord. No. 40-98]
Each applicant for membership in the Police Department shall be a United States citizen and shall comply with all of the laws of the State of New Jersey pertaining thereto. On or after December 1, 2013, each applicant must have either an associate degree from an accredited college or university, have earned at least 60 college credits from an accredited college or university or have completed three years' active military service concluding with an honorable discharge.
[Amended 5-15-2000 by Ord. No. 12-00; 7-15-2002 by Ord. No. 26-02; 11-18-2013 by Ord. No. 19-13]
No person shall be given nor shall he/she accept a permanent appointment in the Township as a police officer unless such person has successfully completed a police training course at a school approved and authorized by the Police Training Commission in the Department of Law and Public Safety, pursuant to the Police Training Act, N.J.S.A. 52:17B-66 et seq.
A qualified person for the Township Police Department shall be given a probationary or temporary appointment as a police officer in the Township for a total period not exceeding one year for the purpose of enabling the person seeking permanent appointment to take a police training course as prescribed in the Police Training Act, N.J.S.A. 52:17B-66. et seq. However, the time period set forth above may exceed one year for those persons enrolled prior to the one-year limit in a police training course scheduled to end subsequent to the one-year limit, and for those persons who, prior to the one-year limit have been scheduled to attend a police training course which commences subsequent to the one-year limit. In no case shall any extension granted for the reasons herein listed exceed six months.
Upon successful completion of the police training course as set forth in Subsection C herein, the probationary or temporary appointment of the person shall continue for twelve months. The purpose of the additional twelve-month probationary or temporary appointment is to permit the Township to determine whether the person satisfactorily performs his/her duties as a Township police officer. The additional twelve-month probationary or temporary appointment period shall commence on the date of graduation from the police training course set forth above,
Each member of the Police Department shall, before entering upon the performance of his duties, take and subscribe an oath to bear true faith and allegiance to the government established in this 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 the duties of his office, which oath or affirmation shall be filed with the Clerk.
[Amended 5-16-1977; 5-19-1986 by Ord. No. 17-86; 2-14-2018 by Ord. No. 02-18]
The Township shall appoint a Chief of Police, who shall have all the powers set forth in N.J.S.A. 40A:14-118 and who shall be directly responsible to the Township Committee, as the appropriate authority, for the efficiency and routine day-to-day operations of the Police Department. The Chief of Police shall, pursuant to policies established by the appropriate authority:
Administer and enforce rules and regulations and special emergency directives for the disposition and discipline of the force and its officers and personnel;
Have, exercise, and discharge the functions, powers and duties of the force;
Prescribe the duties and assignments of all subordinates and other personnel;
Delegate such of his authority as the Chief may deem necessary for the efficient operation of the force to be exercised under the Chief's direction and supervision; and
Report at least monthly to the Township Committee, as the appropriate authority, in such form as shall be prescribed by such authority on the operation of the force during the preceding month, and make such other reports as may be requested by the Township Committee.
The Chief of Police shall recommend to the Police Committee 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. He shall have full charge and control of all the apparatus and equipment of the Department and its assignment and use and shall be held responsible for its care, cleanliness and safekeeping.
The Chief of Police shall, at his discretion, assign members of the Washington Township Police Department to work assigned to these work functions, and the officers assigned within these functions may be changed from time to time as necessary to efficiently carry out the duties of the Department as mandated by § 27-9.
The Police Department, through its Chief, shall:
Preserve the public peace; protect life and property; prevent crime; detect and arrest offenders against the penal laws and ordinances effective within the Township; suppress riots, mobs and insurrections; disperse unlawful or dangerous assemblage; and preserve order at all elections and public meetings and assemblages.
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; and to make and enforce rules and regulations not inconsistent with the ordinances and resolutions of the Township for such purposes.
Remove or cause to be removed all nuisances in the public streets, parks and other public places of the Township and 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.
Provide proper police attendance and protection at fires.
Provide for the attendance of its members in court as necessary for the prosecution and trial of persons charged with crimes and offenses and shall cooperate fully with the law enforcement and prosecuting authorities of federal, state and county governments.
Operate a training program to maintain and improve the police efficiency of the members of the Department.
[Amended 7-16-2018 by Ord. No. 10-18]
There may also be appointed not more than seven Class One, seven Class Two and seven Class Three special law enforcement officers in accordance with N.J.S.A. 40A:14-146.8 et seq. Such special law enforcement officers shall meet the qualifications set forth in N.J.S.A. 40A:14-146.10 and be trained in accordance with the standards of the Police Training Commission. Such special law enforcement officers shall be under the instructions of the Chief of Police, be subject to such rules and regulations as applicable to the Police Department and shall be appointed for a term not exceeding one year, but may be appointed, reappointed or employed as the occasion demands. The Chief of Police may authorize special law enforcement officers when on duty to exercise the same powers and authority as regular members of the Police Department, subject to the certification and training requirements of N.J.S.A. 40A:14-146.11, including the carrying of firearms and the power of arrest. Such special law enforcement officers shall not be members of the Police Department. Their powers, rights and duties shall immediately cease and terminate at the expiration of the term for which they were appointed.
There shall be three classifications of special officers. The Police Training Commission shall prescribe by rule or regulation the training standards to be established for each classification. The classifications shall be based on the duties to be performed by the special law enforcement officer, as follows:
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 Township ordinances and violations of Title 39 of the Revised Statutes. The use of a firearm by an officer of this class shall be strictly prohibited. No Class One officer shall be assigned any duties which may require the carrying or use of a firearm.
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 only after the officer has been fully certified as successfully completing training as prescribed by the Police Training Commission.
Class Three. 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 while providing security at a public or nonpublic school or a county college on the school or college premises during hours when the public or nonpublic school or county college is normally in session or when it is occupied by public or nonpublic school or county college students or their teachers or professors. While on duty in the jurisdiction of employment, an officer may respond to offenses or emergencies off school or college grounds if they occur in the officer's presence while traveling to a school facility or county college, but an officer shall not otherwise be dispatched or dedicated to any assignment off school or college property. The use of a firearm by an officer of this class shall be authorized pursuant to the provisions of Subsection b. of Section 7 of P.L. 1985, c. 39 (N.J.S.A. 40A:14-146.14). An officer of this class shall not be authorized to carry a firearm while off duty unless the officer complies with the requirements set forth in Subsection I. of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-6 authorizing a retired law enforcement officer to carry a handgun.
[Amended 2-16-1972; 12-15-2008 by Ord. No. 19-08]
The hours of employment of uniformed members of the Police Department shall not exceed 12 consecutive hours in any one day nor 60 hours in any one week, provided that, in case of an emergency, the officer, board or other official having charge or control of the Police Department or the police system shall have full authority to summon and keep on duty any and all such members during the period of emergency.
Each regular police officer shall hold his office and continue in employment during good behavior and efficiency, and no person shall be removed from office or employment for any other causes than incapacity, misconduct, neglect of duty, conduct unbecoming a police officer, disobedience of the rules and regulations established or hereafter established for the Department or absence from duty without just cause for five days or more.
Any member of the Department may be suspended, removed, fined or reduced from his office or employment for just cause upon due notice and service of written charges and a hearing.
All members of the Police Department shall provide and maintain in clean and serviceable condition such wearing apparel and equipment as is prescribed by the Police Commissioner. The first uniform shall be furnished at the expense of the Township.
All firearms shall be provided by the Township, shall remain the property of the Township and shall be subject to recall by the Township Committee.
[Amended 6-17-1991 by Ord. No. 14-91; 8-19-1991 by Ord. No. 24-91; 9-20-1993 by Ord. No. 26-93; 7-17-1995 by Ord. No. 23-95; 8-18-1997 by Ord. No. 20-97; 10-20-1997 by Ord. No. 23-97; 3-16-1998 by Ord. No. 3-98; 5-15-2000 by Ord. No. 12-00; 6-19-2000 by Ord. No. 16-00; 7-15-2002 by Ord. No. 26-02; 12-15-2008 by Ord. No. 19-08; 11-18-2013 by Ord. No. 19-13; 4-21-2014 by Ord. No. 04-14; 5-15-2017 by Ord. No. 08-17; 2-14-2018 by Ord. No. 02-18; 6-15-2020 by Ord. No. 07-20]
Promotion policy. Promotion denotes vertical movement in the organization hierarchy from one rank classification to another, accompanied by increases in salary as may be provided for by salary ordinance or applicable collective negotiations agreement. An effective promotional process can be accomplished only through clear, concise procedures. A promotional process has been developed to identify employees who possess the ability to assume greater responsibilities combined with the necessary skills and knowledge to perform competently at a higher organizational level. This policy is established for the positions of Corporal, Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain and Chief of Police. The Police Promotional Committee is responsible for the implementation of the promotional process.
A patrolman/woman of the Department shall be eligible to participate in the promotional process to the rank of Corporal, provided that he/she has completed five years of service, including probation, with the Washington Township Police Department, with a minimum of two consecutive evaluations from the candidate's first-line supervisor that meet or exceed performance standards for the two consecutive years immediately preceding the date of announcement of the promotional opportunity, and the candidate must have no suspensions, fines, or demotions on his or her record in the two years preceding the date of announcement of the promotional opportunity. The patrolman/woman shall have demonstrated consistent performance meeting the minimum performance requirements on all previous duty assignments. All candidates for promotion to the rank of Corporal must possess at least an associate's degree to be eligible for said promotion.
A patrolman/woman or Corporal of the Department shall be eligible to participate in the promotional process to the rank of Sergeant, provided that he/she has completed five years of service, including probation, with the Washington Township Police Department, with a minimum of two consecutive evaluations from the candidate's first-line supervisor that meet or exceed performance standards for the two consecutive years immediately preceding the date of announcement of the promotional opportunity, and the candidate must have no suspensions without pay, fines, or demotions on his or her record in the two years preceding the date of announcement of the promotional opportunity. The patrolman/woman or Corporal shall have demonstrated consistent performance meeting the minimum performance requirements on all previous duty assignments. All candidates for promotion to the rank of Sergeant must possess at least an associate's degree to be eligible for said promotion.
Sergeants shall be eligible for promotion to the rank of Lieutenant. Lieutenants shall be eligible for promotion to the rank of Captain. All candidates must have no suspensions without pay, fines, or demotions on his or her record in the two years preceding the date of announcement of the promotional opportunity. The candidate shall have demonstrated consistent performance meeting the minimum performance requirements on all previous duty assignments. In the event that a suitable candidate for Captain does not exist based upon the eligibility requirements, Sergeants shall become eligible. All candidates must possess at least a bachelor's degree to be eligible for said promotion.
Lieutenants and Captains shall be eligible for promotion to Chief of Police. All candidates must have no suspensions without pay, fines, or demotions on his or her record in the two years preceding the date of announcement of the promotional opportunity. The candidate shall have demonstrated consistent performance meeting the minimum requirements on all previous assignments. In the event that a suitable candidate for Chief does not exist based upon the eligibility requirements, Sergeants shall become eligible. All candidates must possess at least a bachelor's degree to be eligible for said promotion.
All prerequisites for eligibility for promotions, including educational degree requirements and years of service, must be met as of the date the notice of a promotional examination is posted. There shall be no exceptions to this requirement. A candidate who commits a disciplinary violation during the pendency of the promotional examination process shall be disqualified from promotion if the disciplinary violation results in a suspension without pay, fine or demotion.
All promotions to the level of Chief of Police, Captain, Lieutenant, Sergeant and Corporal shall be made from the membership of the Washington Township Police Department, provided that the candidate meets the eligibility requirements of this article and successfully completes the process, as contained herein.
There shall be no written examination requirements for promotions. The selection processes shall be conducted through a series of departmental interviews by ranking members of the Department and the Township Committee.
Posting of notice.
At least 60 days prior to the date of testing, a notice shall be posted at the Police Department that shall set forth:
All officers wishing to participate in the process shall submit their desire to do so in writing.
For Corporal and Sergeant promotions, the process shall consist of three departmental oral examination panels. The first panel shall consist of a Sergeant's panel, the second panel shall consist of an administrative panel, and the third panel shall consist of the Chief of Police, Mayor, Police Commissioner and, at the option of the Mayor, a fourth person selected by the Mayor, such fourth person being an individual experienced and knowledgeable in law enforcement from outside of Township government (Police Promotional Committee). Based upon its promotional needs, the department may, on a case-by-case basis and at its discretion, initiate this promotional testing/selection process for promotion to the rank of Sergeant only, for the promotion to the rank of Corporal only, or for promotion to both ranks.
For the position of Lieutenant, the process shall consist of two departmental oral examination panels. The first panel shall consist of an administrative panel, and the second panel shall consist of the Chief of Police, Mayor, Police Commissioner and, at the option of the Mayor, a fourth person selected by the Mayor, such fourth person being an individual experienced and knowledgeable in law enforcement from outside of Township government (Police Promotional Committee).
For the positions of Captain and Chief of Police, the process shall consist of an oral examination panel (Police Promotional Committee) consisting of the Chief of Police, Mayor, Police Commissioner and, at the option of the Mayor, a fourth person selected by the Mayor, such fourth person being an individual experienced and knowledgeable in law enforcement from outside of Township government (Police Promotional Committee). For the positions of Captain and Chief of Police, the Township may require an independent review of the candidate's credentials for eligibility by an outside party, qualified by law enforcement experience and expertise to conduct such a review.
The questions asked in the interviews shall be based upon leadership skills, supervisory knowledge, departmental policies, rules and regulations, standard operating procedures, Attorney General guidelines, problem solving, law enforcement theory appropriate to the rank in question, and general knowledge pertaining to the overall function of the department.
The oral examinations shall consist of a series of four detailed examination questions to which the candidate must provide oral answers, and an interview. The four examination questions may be based on hypothetical situations. All candidates shall be questioned and interviewed by the same panel member and shall receive the same questions. The questions shall be appropriate for the level of authority and level of policy implementation expected of officers holding the rank for which the candidates are being interviewed. The candidates' oral answers to the questions asked shall be evaluated by the interviewers with emphasis placed upon the candidates' practical application of acceptable police operating procedures. Each member of the interview panel shall score each oral answer and shall also score the candidate's performance during the interview. Each question is worth 20%, and the interview itself is worth 20%, with 100% being the maximum attainable score. The candidate's overall score for the specific oral examination panel shall be the average of the combined scores from each member of the applicable oral examination panel.
The interview portion shall address the candidate's past performance and evaluations, and shall represent 20% of the candidate's overall score as stated in Subsection C(7). Each candidate shall also have the opportunity to make a personal statement during all of the interview panels.
Other factors considered in scoring the interview and oral examination questions shall be:
The candidate's performance and leadership skills.
The candidate's initiative.
The candidate's breadth of knowledge.
The candidate's educational background.
The candidate's training.
The candidate's career development.
The candidate's supervisory knowledge.
The candidate's supervisory experience.
Appearance and demeanor.
Seniority shall be assessed as the final stage of the promotional process for all candidates for all ranks and shall be worth an additional 1/4 of a percentage point for every year of service with the Washington Township Police Department. Seniority shall be determined by the number of years of service completed as of the date of notice of the promotional exam process.
Upon completion of all oral examinations and interviews, the rankings shall be forwarded to the Chief of Police, who shall review the rankings, add in seniority [Subsection C(10)], and establish a final recommendation for promotion. A list of candidates shall be generated depending on final ranking. The overall examination score shall be calculated as the average of all the panels plus seniority, based on a maximum score of 100%.
Candidates who successfully complete the promotional process but do not receive a promotion at the conclusion of the process shall be placed on a promotional list for the same rank for which the candidates were tested.
Promotional lists shall remain active for two years from the date of final results being published. A candidate on the list may be recommended for promotion to the appropriate rank without further examination within the two-year time period. The establishment of a list shall be made upon recommendation of the Chief of Police or the Police Promotional Committee (for Captain and Chief promotions), to the Mayor and Township Committee, and upon the adoption of a resolution establishing the list by the Township Committee. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Corporal list shall expire one year from the date of the conclusion of the Corporal selection process, or upon the commencement of a Sergeant's promotional process, at which time the list shall be vacated, and the new Sergeant's list shall take effect.
The candidate receiving the highest overall score for the rank being tested for shall be recommended by the Chief of Police to the Mayor and the Township Committee for promotion. In the event of a tie, the Chief of Police will recommend the candidate the Chief deems better suited for promotion.
The candidate receiving the highest overall final score for the rank of Chief of Police shall be recommended by the Police Promotional Committee to the Mayor and Township Committee. In the event of a tie, the Township Committee will recommend the candidate the Committee deems better suited for promotion.
The Police Chief or his/her designee shall be responsible for conducting all examination phases of the promotional process.
No member of the Police Department shall be promoted unless and until the Township Committee adopts a resolution approving the recommendation of the Chief of Police or the Police Promotional Committee, as may be applicable to the promotion being considered. The Township Committee reserves the right and discretion to accept or reject the recommended candidate, provided that the Township Committee may exercise this authority only in a manner consistent with law. If the recommended candidate is rejected, the candidate having the next-highest overall score for the rank in question shall be recommended.
Request for results.
Upon completion of the promotional process, each candidate may submit a request in writing for his or her results (must be submitted within 10 days from the date of the conclusion of the promotional process), which includes his or her:
Within 10 days of receipt of his/her scores, a candidate may submit a letter to the Police Promotional Committee requesting a retabulation of the scores to confirm accuracy. The letter must state why the candidate believes such action is warranted.
[Amended 5-19-1986 by Ord. No. 17-86]
Annual compensation. All full-time members of the Police Department below the rank of Captain shall receive annual compensation for college credits as set forth in the contract negotiated between Washington Township and the Washington Township Police Officers Association.
Payment. Levels shall be based on the number of credits completed by February 1 of each year. Payment shall be made after the officer presents a voucher approved by the Chief of Police and a record of credits. No credit shall be considered if a minimum grade of C or its equivalent has not been awarded in the subject. Probationary patrolmen shall not be eligible for this compensation. Officers who serve only a portion of a year shall be paid based on that portion of the year they were employed.
[Amended 5-19-1986 by Ord. No. 17-86]
The positions of Emergency Dispatchers are hereby established. An Emergency Dispatcher may be appointed by the Township Committee for a term not exceeding one year. Any such appointment may be revoked at any time without notice and without hearing.
[Added 9-19-1994 by Ord. No. 19-94 (Sec. 4-18 of the Revised General Ordinances)]
Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:14-156.1, there is hereby established a mutual police aid agreement between the Township of Washington and each of the following municipalities which adopts a reciprocal ordinance: Mount Olive Township; Chester Township; Bedminster Township; Tewksbury Township; Lebanon Township; Mansfield Township; and the Town of Hackettstown.
The Chief of Police of the Township of Washington, or his designee, is authorized to request assistance from the Chief of Police or other head of the Police Department of any other municipality that adopts a reciprocal ordinance, to provide aid during and after any emergency in order to protect life and property or to assist in suppressing a riot or disorder.
The Chief of Police of the Township of Washington, or his designee, shall provide assistance to any other municipality that accepts the terms of this agreement and makes a valid request to supply such personnel and equipment, to the extent possible without endangering persons or property within the Township of Washington. The members of the Washington Township Police Department supplying such aid shall have the same powers, authority, rights and immunities as the members of the police force of the municipality to which assistance is rendered.
The Township of Washington shall, upon providing assistance to another municipality which has enacted a reciprocal mutual aid ordinance, assume the cost and expense of providing its personnel and equipment to the requesting municipality, except in such instances where the requesting municipality receives state or federal aid by way of reimbursement. Under those circumstances, the costs incurred by the Township of Washington shall be submitted to the municipality requesting assistance for reimbursement out of the funds received by way of state or federal aid.
Members of the Washington Township Police Department suffering injury, or their legal representatives if death results while rendering assistance in another municipality, shall be entitled to all such benefits they would have realized if injury or death had occurred in the performance of normal duties within the Township of Washington.
The Chief of Police of the Township of Washington, or his designee, and the Chiefs of the other participating municipalities or their designees shall jointly prepare written standard operating procedures (SOP) which shall address the implementation of this mutual police aid agreement. A copy of the SOP, and all amendments and revisions thereto, shall be filed with each participating Police Department and the respective Clerks of each participating municipality and with the police dispatcher for each such municipality.
This mutual police aid agreement shall have an initial term of one year and shall be automatically renewed for additional and successive one-year terms, unless and until one of the parties hereto elects to terminate the agreement by providing prior written notice to the other party to the agreement.
A copy of this article shall be transmitted to the Municipal Clerk of each municipality named herein no later than five business days following final adoption.