Borough of Harrington Park, NJ
Bergen County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Harrington Park as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Fire Department — See Ch. 33.
Personnel policies — See Ch. 60.
[Adopted 4-1-1968 by Ord. No. 220 (Ch. 32 of the 1967 Code); amended in its entirety 11-16-1987 by Ord. No. 387]
There is hereby established, as an executive and enforcement function of the municipal government of the Borough of Harrington Park, a Police Department of and for the Borough.
The Police Department shall consist of the following:
A. 
The Chief of Police or in his/her absence the Deputy Chief of Police or Director shall be the head of the Police Department and shall be directly responsible to the Police Committee, as the appropriate authority pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:A:14-118, for the efficiency and routine day-to-day operations of the Police Department and shall, pursuant to policies established from time to time by the Police Committee, and pursuant to the rules and regulations established from time to time by the Mayor and Council for the government of the Police Department and for the discipline of its members (the "Police Rules and Regulations"), as said Police Rules and Regulations are from time to time amended, supplemented and/or superseded by directives from any law enforcement agency (including, but not limited to, the State Attorney General and the Bergen County Prosecutor) or supplemented by general and/or special orders issued by the Chief of Police or in his/her absence the Deputy Chief of Police:
[Amended 2-22-2011 by Ord. No. 653; 10-21-2013 by Ord. No. 683]
(1) 
Administer and enforce the Police Rules and Regulations (as amended and/or supplemented) and any special emergency directives of the Police Committee for the disposition and discipline of the Police Department and its officers and personnel.
(2) 
Have, exercise and discharge the functions, powers and duties of the Police Department.
(3) 
Prescribe the duties and assignments of all subordinates and other personnel.
(4) 
Delegate such of his/her authority as he/she may deem necessary for the efficient operation of the Police Department to be exercised under his/her direction and supervision.
(5) 
Report at least monthly to the Police Committee in such form as shall be prescribed by such Committee on the operation of the Police Department during the preceding month and make such other reports as may be requested by such Committee.
(6) 
Personally, or through a designee, promptly investigate any conduct by any member or employee of the Police Department which constitutes or may constitute an unauthorized absence, or a dereliction of duty, or improper conduct, or a violation of any law or any of the Police Rules and Regulations (as amended and/or supplemented) and, if the Chief of Police or Director deems it appropriate, he/she may cause written charges or a letter of reprimand to be filed with the Borough Clerk pursuant to law.
(7) 
In all cases in which, in the discretion of the Chief of Police or Director, emergency discipline is required, he/she may immediately suspend with pay any member or employee of the Police Department and, in the event of such a suspension, he/she shall, as soon as practically possible thereafter, report such action to the Mayor and Council.
B. 
Such other members, officers and personnel as shall be deemed necessary by the Mayor and Council.
[Amended 2-22-2011 by Ord. No. 653]
The terms of office of the Chief of Police or Director and such other members, officers and personnel as shall be deemed necessary by the Mayor and Council, their compensation and their powers, functions and duties shall be such as the Mayor and Council shall deem necessary for the effective government of the Police Department.
[Amended 2-22-2011 by Ord. No. 653]
A. 
The Police Department shall be under such supervision and control of the Police Committee of the Mayor and Council as is delegated to the Police Committee from time to time by the Mayor and Council. The Police Committee shall, on a day-to-day basis, be the appropriate authority pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:14-118 to which the Police Chief or in his/her absence the Deputy Chief of Police or Director shall be immediately responsible for the efficiency and routine day-to-day operations of the Police Department and shall have the authority to establish from time to time policies to ensure the efficiency and orderly operation of the Police Department. In addition, it shall be the responsibility of the Police Committee to make recommendations to the Mayor and Council with respect to decisions such as, but not limited to, hiring, firing and promoting personnel; compensation; the purchase of equipment; the organization of the Police Department; and all other like matters.
[Amended 10-21-2013 by Ord. No. 683]
B. 
The Police Committee shall be appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the Borough Council. The Police Committee shall consist of three members of the Borough Council. One member shall be Chairperson of the Police Committee, and he/she shall be known as the "Police Commissioner" of the Borough. Another member shall be its Vice Chairperson. Each appointment shall be for a term not exceeding one year. The Police Committee, the Police Chair, the Vice Chairperson of the Police Committee who shall act as Police Chair in the absence of the Police Chair, and the third member of the Police Committee shall have such authority in connection with police or related matters as is from time to time conferred upon or delegated to each by ordinance or resolution of the Mayor and Council. The Police Committee shall have the power and duty to act to provide for the health, safety or welfare of the municipality in an emergency situation through special emergency directives.
A. 
In addition to the Chief of Police or Director, the permanent members of the Police Department may, in the discretion of the Mayor and Council, include one Deputy Chief of Police, one Captain of Police, two Lieutenants of Police and four Sergeants of Police, as well as such number of patrol officers as the Mayor and Council deem necessary.
[Amended 2-22-2011 by Ord. No. 653; 10-21-2013 by Ord. No. 683; 11-20-2017 by Ord. No. 719]
B. 
Other personnel of the Police Department may, in the discretion of the Mayor and Council, include probationary police officers, special police officers, school marshals, police matrons, dispatchers, clerical employees, secretaries and others.
C. 
All permanent members and officers and all other personnel of the Police Department shall be subject to all laws enacted for the conduct of permanent members and officers or employees of police departments in the State of New Jersey and shall abide by the provisions of the Police Rules and Regulations.
All members, officers and personnel of the Police Department shall, before appointment or promotion, be required to pass such physical, psychological, psychiatric, medical, written and oral examinations as may be required by the Mayor and Council or the Police Committee. Subject to the limitations imposed by law, and at the sole expense of the Borough, each member, officer and other employee of the Police Department shall, at any time the Mayor and Council or the Police Committee deems it necessary for the efficient government of the Police Department, submit to and cooperate in any and all physical, psychological, psychiatric and other examinations directed by the Mayor and Council or the Police Committee.
All appointments to the Police Department shall be made by the Mayor upon the recommendation of the Police Committee and shall be confirmed by the Borough Council. Appointments may be made to fill vacancies due to any cause, and additional permanent members and other personnel (for whom a sufficient appropriation has been provided in the annual budget and tax ordinance) may be appointed. All such appointees shall have complied with the requirements as set forth in the laws of the State of New Jersey applying to police departments and shall be appointed on probation for a term not exceeding one year from the date of said appointment, during which term of probation their appointments may be revoked in the discretion of the Mayor and Council.
[Added 11-18-2019 by Ord. No. 742]
A. 
Promotion of officers: Captain, Lieutenant and Sergeant.
(1) 
Goals. The Borough of Harrington Park desires to promote the most qualified candidates to the ranks of Captain, Lieutenant and Sergeant. This section establishes the eligibility requirements and the process for promotion to those ranks. In accordance with N.J.S.A. 40A:14-129, promotion of any officer shall be made from the membership of the Harrington Park Police Department.
(2) 
Eligibility requirements.
(a) 
Sergeant. For promotion to Sergeant, no person shall be eligible for such promotion unless he or she:
[1] 
Shall have served as a full-time police officer in the Harrington Park Police Department for at least three years;
[2] 
Shall be graded on all Harrington Park Police Department performance standards in his or her three most recent annual performance evaluations conducted by his or her superiors; and
[3] 
Shall possess an associate's degree, or 64 college credits. This education requirement shall not apply to officers employed by the Harrington Park Police Department as of the date of the adoption of this section.
(b) 
Lieutenant. For promotion to Lieutenant, no person shall be eligible for such promotion unless he or she:
[1] 
Shall have served as a full-time officer on the Harrington Park Police Department for at least five years;
[2] 
Shall be graded on all Harrington Park Police Department performance standards in his or her three most recent annual performance evaluations conducted by his or her superiors; and
[3] 
Shall possess a bachelor's degree or higher. This education requirement shall not apply to officers employed by the Harrington Park Police Department as of the date of the adoption of this section.
(c) 
Captain. For promotion to Captain, no person shall be eligible for such promotion unless he or she:
[1] 
Shall have served at least five years as a full-time officer on the Harrington Park Police Department;
[2] 
Shall be graded on all Harrington Park Police Department performance standards in his or her three most recent annual performance evaluations conducted by his or her superiors; and
[3] 
Shall possess a bachelor's degree or higher. This education requirement shall not apply to officers employed by the Harrington Park Police Department as of the date of the adoption of this section.
(3) 
Process.
(a) 
In creating the list of eligible candidates for promotion, the Interview Committee (comprised of the Borough Police Committee and the Chief of Police) shall score/rank each such candidate as follows:
[1] 
Each eligible candidate shall construct, write and provide an original essay, on a topic to be provided by the Chief of Police, which will be scored by the Interview Committee. The results of such written essay shall constitute 35% of the overall total score for each eligible candidate based on the score accorded to each eligible candidate arrived at averaging the total scores the individual members of the Essay Committee. The total possible points for this essay shall be 100 points. For example, a candidate whose average score for the essay is 90 points shall receive 31.5 points towards his/her overall total score (90 x 35% = 31.5 points).
[2] 
Each eligible candidate shall be interviewed by the Interview Committee. All candidates so interviewed by the Interview Committee shall be asked the same questions. The results of such oral interview by the Interview Committee, and its consideration of the candidate's past performance based upon evaluations conducted during the preceding three years, shall constitute 65% of the overall total score for each eligible candidate based on the score accorded to each eligible candidate arrived at by averaging the total scores of the individual members of the Interview Committee for such interview. The total possible points for this oral interview shall be 100 points. For example, a candidate who receives a total of 90 points for this oral interview shall receive 58.5 points towards his/her overall total score (90 x 65% = 58.5 points). Assessment of any candidate by the Interview Panel shall include at least the following: employee evaluations; knowledge of police procedure and supervisory skills; merit; productivity; demonstrated ability and accomplishments; in-service education and specialized training; specialized assignments; attitude and demeanor, comportment and interpersonal skills; reputation within the Department for fairness, lack of bias and cooperative policing; professional and civic commendations; seniority.
(b) 
Candidates shall not discuss any of the questions or disclose any information about the process.
(c) 
The candidate(s) receiving the highest total combined score(s) as calculated by reference to Subsection A(3)(a)[1] and [2] above shall be deemed the first candidate recommended to the Council for promotion.
(d) 
Notwithstanding anything in this chapter to the contrary, the Borough of Harrington Park reserves the right to waive the essay and/or oral interview components of the promotional process when the number of eligible candidates for a particular position is equal to or less than the number of vacant positions and the Borough intends to fill all vacant positions, or create a position by ordinance. If the Borough elects to so waive the essay and/or oral interview components, all other components of the promotional process within this section not so waived shall remain in effect.
(e) 
Notwithstanding anything in this chapter to the contrary, the Borough of Harrington Park reserves the right to relax and/or waive the eligibility requirements for a particular position(s) if the number of eligible candidates for such position(s) is less than the number of vacant positions and the Borough intends to fill all vacant positions. If the Borough so elects to relax or waive the eligibility requirements, all candidates for the particular position(s), including those who are eligible as a result of the waiver or relaxation of such requirements, shall not be required to undergo or participate in the applicable process set forth hereinabove.
(f) 
Nothing herein shall be construed as conferring a right upon any candidate to promotion; the decision of the Mayor and Council with respect to such appointment/promotion shall be absolute and the Mayor and Council in its sole and absolute discretion may determine not to create and/or fill any vacancy within the ranks of the Police Department.
(4) 
Announcement of promotional opportunity.
(a) 
Based on an existing vacancy and after approval by the governing body, which may be withdrawn at any time, the Chief will announce when a promotional opportunity occurs in a given position through an announcement posted at police headquarters. The announcement shall state the position which is open, eligibility requirements, and a request that each officer submit a letter of intent, along with a standard business-type resume, within 10 days of the date of the posting. It shall also state that the process requires:
[1] 
A written essay on a topic to be provided by the Chief that will be assessed by the Chief and the Essay Committee; and
[2] 
An oral interview by the Interview Committee.
(b) 
For any eligible officer who does not wish to be considered, such officer shall provide a letter of declination declining to be considered. If a letter of intent or letter of declination is not received within the ten-day period, such officer shall be deemed to have declined to be considered. The ten-day deadline may be extended by the Chief for good cause.
(5) 
Duration of eligibility list.
(a) 
A list of the results will be posted and an eligibility list will only remain in effect for each announced vacancy, and shall not be maintained once said announced vacancy is filled. Candidates may review their individual results through the Chief of Police.
(b) 
After the expiration of the eligibility list, candidates will be required to reapply for any subsequent promotional process.
B. 
Promotion of officers: Chief of Police. The Chief of Police and Deputy Chief of Police shall be appointed by the Mayor, with the advice and consent of the governing body. The process for Captains, Lieutenants and Sergeants shall not apply.
The salaries to be paid to the Chief of Police, as well as the permanent members and other personnel of the Police Department, shall, subject to collective negotiations where applicable, be determined annually by the Salary Ordinance.
A. 
Except as otherwise provided by law, and as provided in N.J.S.A. 40A:14-147, no permanent member or officer of the Police Department or force shall be removed from his/her office, employment or position for political reasons or for any cause other than incapacity, misconduct or disobedience of the Police Rules and Regulations, nor shall any such member or officer be suspended, removed, fined or reduced in rank from or in office, employment, or position therein except for just cause as hereinbefore provided and then only upon a written complaint setting forth the charge or charges against such member or officer.
B. 
Said complaint shall be signed by the Chief of Police or in his/her absence the Deputy Chief of Police or Director, or in their absence, the officer in charge, and filed in the office of the Borough Clerk, except where the complaint is against the Chief of Police, Deputy Chief of Police or Director, in which case the complaint shall be signed by the Police Chair or any member of the Police Committee or the Mayor and filed in the office of the Borough Clerk.
[Amended 2-22-2011 by Ord. No. 653; 10-21-2013 by Ord. No. 683[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code revisions (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. III).
C. 
After the filing of the complaint, it shall be reviewed by the Police Committee, which shall report thereon to the Mayor and Council. If the Mayor and Council deem it appropriate, they shall cause a copy of the complaint to be served upon the member or officer charged, together with a notice of a designated hearing thereon by the Mayor and Council, which hearing shall be commenced not less than 10 nor more than 30 days from the date of service of the complaint. A failure to comply with the foregoing provisions as to the service of the complaint shall require a dismissal of the complaint.
D. 
As provided by N.J.S.A. 40A:14-149.1, any police officer of the Police Department or force charged under the laws of the State of New Jersey, another state or the United States with an offense may be suspended with pay by resolution of the Mayor and Council until: i) the case against him/her is disposed of at trial; ii) the complaint is dismissed; or iii) the prosecution is terminated; provided, however, that if a grand jury returns an indictment against him/her, or he/she is charged with an offense which is the equivalent of a high misdemeanor (as the phrase "high misdemeanor" is used in N.J.S.A. 40A:14-149.1) or which involves moral turpitude or dishonesty, he/she may be suspended without pay until: i) the case against him/her is disposed of at trial; ii) the complaint is dismissed; or iii) the prosecution is terminated.
E. 
As provided by N.J.S.A. 40A:14-122, the Mayor and Council may, by resolution, permanently terminate the employment of any permanent member or officer of the Police Department and force who shall be absent from duty without just cause or leave of absence for a continuous period of five days.
F. 
Although the Mayor and Council shall be the sole authority for the imposition of any discipline against permanent members and officers and other personnel of the Police Department, the Mayor and Council may, in their sole discretion, to be exercised by resolution, either constitute themselves as a committee of the whole to hear a complaint brought pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:14-147 or delegate the hearing function to; i) the Police Committee; ii) the Chief of Police or Director; iii) an independent hearing officer or tribunal; or iv) one or more members of the Mayor and Council designated as a hearing officer or tribunal; provided, however, that all charges deemed by the Mayor and Council to be of a serious nature and any charge made against the Chief of Police or Director shall be heard by either: i) the Mayor and Council; ii) the Police Committee; or iii) an independent hearing officer or tribunal. In deciding who shall conduct a hearing on a complaint, the Mayor and Council may consider, among other factors, the nature and severity of the charges, the possible bias and lack of impartiality of one or more members of the Mayor and Council, and the like.
[Amended 2-22-2011 by Ord. No. 653]
G. 
At the hearing on the complaint, the matter may be presented by the Chief of Police, Deputy Police Chief, Director, or officer in charge, alone or, in the discretion of the Mayor and Council, by the Chief of Police, Deputy Police Chief, Director, or officer in charge, with the assistance of special counsel appointed by the Mayor and Council.
[Amended 2-22-2011 by Ord. No. 653; 10-21-2013 by Ord. No. 683[2]]
[2]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code revisions (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. III).
H. 
The person charged shall be afforded due process, including but not limited to the right to be represented by an attorney of his/her choice at his/her own expense, the ability to present evidence and witnesses on his/her behalf, the right to face and question under oath the accuser(s) and witness(es), and the right to discovery. The burden of proof shall rest with the charging party, and, as in all civil matters, the standard of proof shall be proof by a preponderance of the evidence. The hearing officer or tribunal may, in the discretion of the Mayor and Council, be represented and advised at, and in connection with, the hearing by the office of the Borough Attorney.
I. 
The hearing officer or tribunal shall make and deliver to the Mayor and Council findings of fact and shall present to the Mayor and Council recommended determinations of innocence or guilt as to each of the specified charges. The Mayor and Council shall have the sole and final authority to impose discipline, which may include a fine, reduction in rank, suspension or removal.
J. 
The Mayor and Council shall cause the hearing to be recorded verbatim either stenographically or through audio-electronic means. The stenographic notes shall be transcribed. The transcripts or tapes of the hearing shall be preserved so that they shall be available for review by the members of the Mayor and Council. Prior to imposing any discipline upon a permanent member or officer or other employee of the Police Department, each member of the Mayor and Council voting on the matter shall, unless he/she was physically present throughout the entire hearing, review either the transcripts or the tapes of the hearing.
K. 
After conducting the hearing, or after reviewing the transcripts or tapes of the hearing and the findings of fact and recommendations of the hearing officer or tribunal, the Mayor and Council shall, by resolution, specify what discipline, if any, shall be imposed upon the person or persons charged.
L. 
All charges of a criminal nature shall be referred to the appropriate law enforcement authority.
All prior ordinances or parts of ordinances inconsistent with any term of this article are hereby superseded and repealed to the extent of such inconsistency; provided, however, that the adoption of this article shall not prevent or bar the continuance or institution of any proceedings for offenses heretofore committed in violation of preexisting ordinances of the Borough or any rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto.
[Added 7-19-2004 by Ord. No. 572]
A. 
The police force shall be comprised of such number of personnel as the Mayor and Council shall resolve to employ but not to exceed 11 patrol officers, four Sergeants, two Lieutenants, one Captain, one Deputy Chief of Police and one Chief or Director.
[Amended 2-22-2011 by Ord. No. 653; 10-21-2013 by Ord. No. 683[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code revisions (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. III).
B. 
The chain of authority and reporting shall be as follows: the Chief or Director shall have authority over all lesser rank, followed by the Deputy Chief of Police, the Captain, followed by the Lieutenants, followed by the Sergeants, followed by the patrol officers assigned as "Senior Officer, officer in charge," and if no such designation, then in the absence of personnel with greater rank, the most senior patrol officer.
[Amended 2-22-2011 by Ord. No. 653; 10-21-2013 by Ord. No. 683[2]]
[2]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code revisions (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. III).
C. 
(Reserved)[3]
[3]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection C, regarding salaries, was repealed 2-22-2011 by Ord. No. 653.
D. 
The entire regulation of the Police Department is subject to and specifically incorporates by reference all Attorney General guidelines as to conduct and discipline, all statutes and decisions of the court that in any way relate to the operation of this Police Department, any other regulation or guide that may be enacted by law enforcement agencies that pertains to the operation of this Police Department and the regulations and guidelines established by any state, county or superseding authority and this the provision of Ordinance No. 387, as amended or modified.[4]
[4]
Editor's Note: Ordinance No. 387 forms the basis of this article. See history under article title. Original Subsection E, which immediately followed this section, was repealed 4-18-2011 by Ord. No. 658.
[Adopted 6-20-1977 by Ord. No. 294 (Ch. 31A of the 1967 Code)]
The Mayor and Council of the Borough of Harrington Park are hereby authorized to enter into reciprocal agreements with other communities for providing police assistance and to receive similar police assistance from said communities.
[Amended 2-22-2011 by Ord. No. 653]
The Police Department of the Borough of Harrington Park shall respond to such calls for assistance when so ordered by the Chief of Police or Director or his/her designee and shall provide such personnel or equipment as requested to the extent possible without endangering persons or property within the Borough of Harrington Park.
If any member or officer of the Harrington Park Police Department, while rendering such assistance in other communities, shall suffer a casualty or death, he/she or his/her designee or legal representative shall be entitled to all salary, pension rights, workers' compensation and other benefits as if such casualty or death occurred in the performance of duty in the Borough of Harrington Park, where such duties are normally carried on.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code revisions (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. III).