§ A296-30General examination requirements for position of police officer.
§ A296-31General examination requirements for positions of Lieutenant
§ A296-32Eligibility list.
§ A296-33Appointment of examiners.
§ A296-34Admission to written examination.
§ A296-35Physical fitness testing.
§ A296-36Written examinations.
§ A296-37Oral examination.
§ A296-38Veterans' preference points.
§ A296-39Background investigation.
§ A296-40Improper conduct.
The examination for police officer will consist of a written and an oral examination each of which will be graded on a one-hundred-point scale with the written examination representing 50% of the final score and the oral examination representing 50% of the final score. An applicant to be placed on the eligibility list must pass both the written and oral examinations. In addition, each applicant will undergo a physical performance test which will be graded on a pass/fail basis. Prior to the compilation of the eligibility list, each remaining applicant will undergo a background investigation. After an applicant has been extended an offer of employment, final appointment shall be contingent upon the applicant passing a physical and psychological examination.
Any applicant who has passed both the written and oral examinations and who is "soldier" as defined by 51 Pa.C.S.A. § 7101 shall have his/her score credited with an additional 10 points [see 51 Pa.C.S.A. § 7103(a)].
On each occasion where Borough Council seeks to fill an entry level police position, the Commission shall certify the three highest ranking (as measured by combined written and oral test scores and veterans' preference points) available candidates. Council is free to select any one of the three so certified unless one is a veteran. In the latter case, the one veteran must be the selectee. If two or all three of the applicants are veterans, Council may choose from among the veterans.
When the Commission has written notice from an applicant who has passed the written and oral examinations that he/she does not wish to be further considered for Borough employment (or where the Commission has similarly strong proof that such an applicant is no longer available), the Commission may remove the applicant's name from the eligibility list.
The examination for the positions of Lieutenant and Sergeant shall include a written and an oral examination each of which will be graded on a one-hundred-point scale with the written examination representing 50% of the final score and the oral examination representing 50% of the final score.
Selection of an officer for a promotion shall be determined by his or her standing at the end of the testing procedure. The top three names of the individuals with the highest combined score who have passed both the written and oral examinations shall be submitted to Borough Council for final consideration. The individual who in the opinion of Borough Council is the most qualified for the promotion will be selected. If it is necessary to promote more than one officer, each additional promotion shall be awarded using the same process described above.
Veterans' preference is not applicable to promotion decisions (per opinions of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.)
The only promotion opportunities for which persons who are not already members of the West View Police Department may be considered is Chief. The position of Chief shall be filled as described in 53 P.S. § 46184.
The Council or the Commission, at their discretion, may void an eligible list at any time, but in no case shall any eligible list remain in effect for a period of more than two years from the date of its certification by the Civil Service Commission, except that the Commission may, at its sole discretion, by a vote of the majority of the Commission at a duly authorized Commission meeting, extend the list for up to an additional year.
The Commission may appoint a written examination administrator, an oral examination administrator, a physical fitness examiner, a medical examiner and a psychological examiner to conduct the examinations required by these rules and regulations.
All applicants who meet the basic qualifications, including passing the physical performance examination, will be admitted to the written examination after providing proof of identification. The notification document shall service as the admission card to the examination, at which the right thumb print of the applicant shall be placed on the admissions card and the applicant shall sign the card. This procedure shall be followed at each segment of the examination process.
An applicant for the position of police officer must meet and pass the agility tests currently being conducted by the Allegheny County Police Training Academy. Any changes made by the Academy will automatically be changed for testing purposes.
This test shall be graded on a pass/fail and applicants who successfully pass this portion of the testing will then be scheduled for a written examination.
Within 30 days after the physical performance test, all applicants shall be given written notice of their test results, and passing applicants shall be scheduled for a written examination appointment.
The written examination shall be constructed to test the nonphysical capability of the applicants to perform and to be trained to perform the essential functions of the position. The exact design of the examination shall be altered from time to time but will be practical in character and shall relate to such matters and include such inquiries as will fairly test the merit and fitness of the person examined to discharge the duties of a police officer.
The Commission may designate an examining agency or qualified individual(s) to act as examiner for or consultant on the written examinations. The Commission shall reserve the right to accept or reject for cause, in whole or in part, the recommendations of the regularly appointed examining and/or consulting agency.
The written examination shall be graded on a one-hundred-point scale, and an applicant must achieve a score of 70% on each section of the written examination and an overall score of at least 70% or higher in order to continue in the application process. Applicants scoring less than 70% on any section of the written examination or an overall score shall be rejected.
Within 30 days after the administration of the written examination, all applicants shall be given written notice of their test results and passing applicants shall be scheduled for an oral examination appointment.
Every applicant who scored 70% or higher in the written examination shall be given an oral examination which will be graded on a one-hundred-point scale with a score of 70% or higher necessary for passing. Within 30 days after the applicant's oral examination, he shall be informed of his score in his oral examination and total overall score.
Organizing the oral examination of applicants who passed the written examination shall be the responsibility of the Commission. The Commission shall empanel a board of examiners who shall ask each applicant interviewed a predetermined series of basic questions (follow up questions may vary from applicant to applicant depending upon the responses given to the basic questions.) The basic questions shall relate to predetermined scenarios or situations which shall be provided to the applicants being examined at the start of the examination. The board of examiners shall consist of five individuals one of whom may be the Police Chief and one of whom may be a member of Council. The Commission shall select the five members of this board of examiners with a view to the community's policing needs and with the goal of placing persons on the board of examiners who are knowledgeable about modern policing techniques, issues and/or concerns. Each member of the board of examiners shall interview and rate every applicant. Each applicant's responses to the five questions shall be rated on a scale of zero to 20 (zero to four: poor, unresponsive, incomplete, wrong or inadequate answers; five to nine: marginal to fair responses; 10 to 14 professional quality, appropriate, adequate to very good responses; 15 to 19 superior response; and 20 as good a response as one could ever expect a candidate to give). Members of this board shall score the applicants without first consulting with any or all of the other board members. The applicant's score on each question shall be his/her average score on that question and his/her total score shall be the addition of the average scores on all five questions.
The persons assigned to conduct oral examinations shall complete a rating form after interviewing each applicant. The rating form shall be collected, tallied and recorded by the Secretary, or his designee. Applicants should be scored for their demeanor and for the content and relevance of their answers/responses.
Pursuant to the Veterans' Preference Act, any applicant for the position of patrol officer who qualifies as a "soldier" under the Act, shall receive an additional 10 points on top of their total score if that applicant had received passing scores under §§ A296-35, A296-36 and A296-37. "Soldier" is defined as any individual who has served in the regular military, the National Guard or the Reserves since July 1953, and who has completed his military service commitment and has received (or will receive) an honorable discharge from such service at the time they take the civil service appointment examination. An "honorable discharge" may include a general discharge under honorable circumstances. Applicants claiming veterans' preference must submit satisfactory proof of service and honorable discharge with the application, specifically Form DD-214.
The Commission shall request the Chief of Police or his designee to conduct a background investigation on each of the top three applicants for each position declared vacant by Council. The number of applicants subject to the background check may be increased if the appointing authority has expressed an interest in hiring more than one officer. The application will provide the basis for the background investigation. The authority to release portion of the application form must have been completed by the applicant if the applicant is to continue in the selection process. The background investigation shall include interviews with the applicant's family, acquaintance, current and former employers, current and former neighbors, references and current and former teachers and school officials. In addition, the applicant's credit history and record of criminal convictions should be investigated. The applicant may be interviewed directly when the information collected during the background investigation requires clarification or explanation. The background check shall comply with the guidelines established by the M.P.O.E.T.C.
Each applicant shall be fingerprinted and the finger print cards shall be distributed to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Pennsylvania State Police and the Borough of West View Police Department.
After the background investigation is completed, the Chief, or his designee, shall make a written recommendation to the Commission on whether the applicant is appropriate for consideration for appointment as a police officer. Appropriateness of the applicant shall be based on the criteria set forth in these rules and regulations and in the civil service provisions of the Borough Code. Based upon the results of the background investigation, the Chief, the Mayor or a member of Council may request, pursuant to 53 P.S. § 46184, that an individual be removed from the list. The applicant may oppose this request and, in turn, pursuant to the Borough Code (53 P.S. § 46183) request a hearing. This recommendation shall be in writing and, if the recommendation is to disqualify, then a detailed written explanation of the reasons for disqualification must be included. The Commission shall make the final administrative determination on whether the information collected during the background investigation warrants rejection of the candidate.
Within 30 days or soon thereafter as possible after the Commission considers the recommendation of the Chief of Police or his designee, the applicant will be informed of whether he has passed the background investigation.
Should any applicant conduct himself in any manner during the course of the selection process so as to defeat the proper intent, conduct or course of the examination process, his name shall be removed from any list of eligibility derived from the examination process (assuming he was permitted to complete the process), and the applicant shall not be permitted to make any future application for any position in the Police Department.