[HISTORY: Adopted by the Municipal Council of the Township of Irvington 5-23-2017 by Ord. No. MC 3608. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The governing body shall have the authority to appoint, by resolution, no more than 50 Constables in the following manner, recognizing that there are four wards, each represented by one Councilperson and three at-large Councilpersons in the Township of Irvington:
Each Ward (East, West, South and North) Councilperson shall have a total of five appointments during his or her term of office;
Each at-large Councilperson shall have a total of six appointments during his or her term of office;
The Council President shall have one additional appointment.
The total number of Constables appointed at one time shall not exceed 39.
Any Councilperson who at the time of the adoption of the amendments to this chapter who has met their quota as detailed above will not be able to make any new appointments.
Constables will be appointed for a one-year term, which appointment shall remain in effect until such time as it is amended or a resolution is adopted changing the term of Constables. The Municipal Council may change the term of appointment by resolution.
The Constable shall complete a notarized, executed application, in a form acceptable to the Township Clerk and the Department of Public Safety, in conformity with state law.
The Constable, for initial application and for renewal, shall pay $50 for each year of his or her term.
A person is eligible for appointment as a Constable if he/she is a resident and qualified voter of the Township of Irvington for at least three years prior to their appointment and pass a background and records check in accordance with current custom, practice and procedures of local law enforcement agencies, specifically, the Township of Irvington Department of Public Safety. A Constable candidate or reappointee shall complete this process and be cleared for appointment by the Department of Public Safety prior to being placed on the Municipal Council agenda for a vote.
A Constable shall fulfill the following necessary requirements within 30 days of appointment: present himself or herself at the Office of the Township Clerk; post the surety bond; and take the oath of office, in accordance with this chapter and any applicable state law or regulation, as amended. Failure to fulfill all of the necessary requirements within 30 days of his or her appointment shall be cause to rescind the appointing resolution.
The Department of Public Safety shall issue a photo identification card and a badge to the Constable, after he/she has taken the oath of office and posted the required surety bond, which shall be filed in the Office of the Township Clerk.
Constables shall only have such power and authority as outlined in this chapter and in specific statutes, including but not limited to N.J.S.A. 2A:33-9, assisting with distraint (repossession) proceedings, and their appointment is expressly limited to these powers and authorities, notwithstanding any other prior or existing law or precedent. In particular, Constables shall be authorized to serve judicial process, including subpoenas and warrants, capias ad testificandum or other compulsory process issued by any court of the state; assist with distraint proceedings (repossession), including appraisal of property, as authorized by N.J.S.A. 2A:33-9; and serve a lock-out for a landlord.
Constables are expressly prohibited from acting in any manner contrary to state law or this chapter. Constables are expressly forbidden from holding themselves out as Constables to members of the public, or wearing any paraphernalia or insignia identifying themselves as Irvington Constables, when and if such individuals are acting as private security officers. Constables are also expressly prohibited, when acting in their official capacity as a Constable, from representing to others that they are or otherwise acting as if they are sworn officers of the Township of Irvington Department of Public Safety. The carrying or display of a firearm while performing the duties of a Constable is prohibited.
If a Constable shall be found to have violated the scope of duties, the rules and regulations established pursuant to this chapter or their statutory duties, the Constable shall be removed by a notice of termination issued by the Public Safety Director or the sponsoring Council member, pending adoption of a resolution terminating the appointment. The Municipal Council shall review and take action on the Public Safety Director's or sponsoring Council member's recommendation at the first available Council meeting following the notice of termination. If a Constable is removed from office resulting from a finding of a violation of this chapter, he or she shall be ineligible for future appointment in the Township of Irvington. Notwithstanding the foregoing, if the Constable shall have failed to file the report required by N.J.S.A. 40A:9-126.1 for any reason except physical incapacity, and outlined in § 24-17 of this chapter, no rescinding resolution shall be necessary, as provided by the statute.
Constables are expressly prohibited, when acting in their official capacity as a Constable, from wearing any insignia, clothing, hat or other paraphernalia identifying them as Constables or as employees or representatives of the Township of Irvington or the Department of Public Safety, except for the wearing or exhibiting of the official identification card and official badge, each issued by the Department of Public Safety. This chapter does not intend or authorize and expressly prohibits the expenditure of public monies to purchase apparel or insignia for any Constable (excluding the official photo identification card and the official badge), including a firearm.
Once a constable application is approved by the Municipal Council and the necessary requirements under §§ 24-3, 24-4, and 24-5 are met, the Department of Public Safety shall issue a photo identification card and badge to each Constable. A Constable shall not exhibit any identification card or other documentation or a badge not in conformity with this chapter while engaged in his or her official business or at any other time. In no event shall the identification card or badge represent that the Constable is a sworn law enforcement personnel in the Department of Public Safety and shall not be utilized or exhibited if the Constable is acting as a private security officer, acting independently or in the employ of a private security company. The identification card and badge shall be returned to the Department of Public Safety at the expiration of the Constable's term.
This chapter is not intended to substitute for any licensing or registration requirements for private security officers or private detectives.
Notwithstanding anything to the contrary herein, this chapter does not confer on a Constable the authority to act in any capacity involving a criminal proceeding or investigation. Neither this chapter nor the appointment by the Municipal Council confers, nor are either intended to confer, a right on behalf of the Constable to carry a firearm.
Any complaint regarding a Constable lodged with the Township Clerk or the Township of Irvington Department of Public Safety by any person, including representatives of the County of Essex, shall be investigated by the Township of Irvington Department of Public Safety or the Essex County Prosecutors Office, and may result in a recommendation for termination.
The appointment of the Constable does not and is not intended to establish an employment arrangement between the Constable and the Township of Irvington. Constables who would like to be considered for employment with the Township must also undergo all training, background check and physical and mental health screening required by the Department of Public Safety.
Each person appointed as a Constable, before entering upon the duties of his or her office, shall take and subscribe an oath of office which shall be filed with the Township Clerk.
As required by N.J.S.A. 40A:9-126.1, each Constable shall on or before the first Wednesday of every month, file with the Township Clerk a report of his or her official activities, other than in connection with court or judicial proceedings, for the month immediately past. The Township Clerk shall forward a copy to the Public Safety Director. The report shall list the names and addresses of all persons contacted by the Constable in his or her official capacity, together with the date, time and purpose of the contact. In addition, the report shall contain an accurate statement of all fees collected by the Constable and from whom and for what service each fee was collected. A template of the report shall be prepared by the Township Clerk and provided to Constables for completion. Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:9-126.1, a failure to comply with the reporting requirements of this chapter for a period of two consecutive months, except only for physical incapacity, shall result in his or her office being deemed vacant.
As a condition of appointment, the Constable shall take an oath of office and shall post a surety bond in the amount of $5,000, which bond shall be approved as to form and legality by resolution, approved by the Municipal Council as to form, amount and sufficiency. The bond must be issued by a bond company licensed to do business in the State of New Jersey.
The Constable shall sign prior to appointment an agreement agreeing to defend, indemnify and hold the Township of Irvington, its officers, officials, employees and volunteers harmless from any and all claims, injuries, damages, losses or suits including attorney fees, arising out of or resulting from the acts, errors or omissions of the Constable in performance of his or her duties as a Constable, except for injuries and damages caused by the sole negligence of the Township.