[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Southold 9-29-1964 by L.L. No. 2-1964. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Code of Ethics — See Ch. 26.
There is hereby established a Police Department for that portion of the Town of Southold outside the Incorporated Village of Greenport.
There shall be in such Police Department a Chief of Police and such number of Lieutenants, Sergeants, patrolmen, watchmen, special police and other officers and employees as shall be determined by the Town Board.
When appointed, such policemen shall be peace officers and shall have all the powers and be subject to all the duties and liabilities of a constable of the Town in all criminal actions, proceedings and special proceedings of a criminal nature, and such additional powers, not inconsistent with law, as shall be conferred upon them by the Town Board.
The compensation of the members of such Department shall be a Town charge and the manner of payment thereof shall be fixed and determined by the Town Board. The Town shall pay for the cost of the uniforms and necessary equipment of such policemen.
The Town Board of the Town of Southold has determined that in order to provide proper support and oversight of the operations of the Police Department it is necessary to supersede the provisions of Town Law § 150, Subdivision 2, pursuant to the Municipal Home Rule Law of the State of New York. The Town Board hereby establishes a Board of Police Commissioners and that each member of the Town Board shall be designated a Commissioner of said Board of Commissioners and shall have all the powers of and perform the duties of such Board of Police Commissioners.
[Amended 9-8-2020 by L.L. No. 6-2020]
The Town Board may also, by resolution, designate the Supervisor to serve as Police Commissioner, and when so designated, such Supervisor shall have all the powers of and perform the duties of such Board of Police Commissioners.
When either of such Boards of Police Commissioners shall have been established or the Supervisor designated as Police Commissioner, such Board of Police Commissioners or Police Commissioner shall have and exercise all the powers relative to police matters conferred upon the Town Board by this chapter.
The Town Board may, by resolution, at any time abolish such Police Commission or revoke the designation of such Supervisor as Police Commissioner and thereupon the Town Board only shall exercise the powers conferred upon it by this chapter.
Except as otherwise provided by law, the members of the Police Department shall be appointed and promoted from an eligible civil service list. Except as otherwise provided by law, no person shall be appointed a member of the Police Department, nor continue as a member thereof, who shall not be a citizen of the United States, who has been convicted of a felony, who shall be unable to read and write understandably the English language or who shall not have resided within the State of New York one year and in the County of Suffolk for six months next preceding his appointment; provided, however, that at the time of the organization of such Police Department, appointments thereto shall be made first from among constables and/or police officers then employed by the Town of Southold if such persons possess all of the qualifications hereinbefore in this section set forth. Each member of the Police Department shall hold office during good behavior.
The Town Board may employ temporary police officers from time to time as the Town Board may determine their services necessary. Such police officers shall be known as "special policemen" and shall have all the powers and authority conferred upon constables by the general laws of the state and such additional powers, not inconsistent with law, as shall be conferred upon them by the Town Board. They shall be subject to the general authority and direction of the Town Board and to such orders and regulations as the Town Board may prescribe, not inconsistent with law. Such special policemen shall serve at the pleasure of the Town Board, and the Town Board shall fix their compensation and may purchase uniforms and equipment therefor within the budget appropriation therefor. Such special police shall not be eligible for appointment unless they shall have passed an examination held by the appropriate civil service commission at the time of their appointment; provided, however, and notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section, the Town Board may, when in its judgment it deems it necessary for the preservation of the public peace during any emergency period of 60 days or less, appoint and at pleasure remove within such period additional special policemen, not exceeding five in number, without examination.
The Town Board may, from time to time, make, adopt and enforce rules, orders and regulations for the government, discipline, administration and disposition of the Police Department and the members thereof. Any such rules and regulation or any amendments thereto shall be in written form and a copy of the same shall be distributed to each member of the Department and posted in a conspicuous place in the headquarters of the Police Department.
The Town Board shall have the power and authority to adopt and make rules and regulations for the examination, hearing, investigation and determination of charges made or preferred against any member or members of the Police Department. Except as otherwise provided by law, no member or members of the Police Department shall be fined, reprimanded, removed or dismissed until written charges shall have been examined, heard and investigated in such manner or pursuant to such rules of procedure, practice, examination and investigation as the Town Board, by rules and regulations, from time to time may prescribe. Such charges shall not be brought more than 60 days after the time when the facts upon which such charges are based are known to the Town Board. Any member of the Police Department shall have the right to a public hearing and trial on such charges and to be represented by counsel at the time of such hearing or trial; no person who shall have preferred such charges or any part of the same shall sit as judge upon such hearing or trial. Witnesses upon the trial of such charges shall testify thereto under oath. No member of such Department who shall have been dismissed shall be reinstated unless he shall, within 12 months of his dismissal, file with the Town Board a written application for a rehearing of the charges upon which he was dismissed. The Town Board shall have the power to rehear such charges and, in its discretion, may reinstate a member of the Department after he has filed such written application therefor.
Any member of such Department found guilty upon charges, after five days' notice and an opportunity to be heard in his defense, of neglect or dereliction in the performance of official duty, or of violation of rules or regulations or disobedience, or of incompetency to perform official duty, or of an act of delinquency seriously affecting his general character or fitness for office, may be punished by the Town Board by reprimand, by forfeiture and withholding of salary or compensation for a specified time not exceeding 20 days, by extra tours or hours of duty during a specified time not exceeding 20 days, by suspension from duty for a specified time not exceeding 20 days and the withholding of salary or compensation during such suspension, or by dismissal from the Department. The Town Board shall have the power to suspend, without pay, pending the trial of charges, any member of the Police Department. If any member of the Police Department so suspended shall not be convicted of the charges so preferred, he shall be entitled to full pay from the date of suspension. The conviction of a member of the Police Department by the Town Board shall be subject to review by the Supreme Court in the judicial district in which the Town of Southold is located, in the manner provided by Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules, provided that the proceeding is commenced within 30 days from the determination of such conviction by the Town Board.