[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Westerly as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Public safety — See Art. IX of the Charter.
[Adopted 8-13-1991 by Ch. No. 983 as §§ 2-25 through 2-58 of the 1991 Code (as amended through Ch. No. 1293)]
[Amended 4-12-2010 by Ch. No. 1713]
All applicants for membership in the Westerly Police Department shall meet the following minimum qualifications:
All applicants shall be a citizen of the United States.
All applicants shall be at least 21 years of age.
All applicants shall possess a valid driver's license.
All applicants shall have earned at least 60 college credits from an accredited college or university or have two years of honorable active duty in any of the armed forces of the United States or have two years of prior full-time municipal or state law enforcement experience.
All applicants shall submit to a background investigation, which shall be conducted by the Police Department.
When a vacancy in the police force exists that the Town intends to fill, such vacancy shall be advertised in a newspaper of general circulation in the area at least 30 days prior to the administration of a written examination.
Each applicant shall complete an application form prescribed by the Police Department. In addition, each applicant may submit his or her armed forces service record and any letters of recommendation that he or she has received. Such application and accompanying armed forces service record and letters of recommendation shall be submitted to the Director of Human Resources.
Each applicant shall include a nonrefundable application fee in the amount of $25 with his or her application.
Each applicant shall take a written examination.
Each applicant shall have a physical examination performed by his/her physician. The physician's report shall be in a format approved by the Police Department.
Each applicant shall take and pass a physical agility test, which shall be the same test that is utilized by the Rhode Island Municipal Police Training Academy.
Applicants who score at least a total combined score of 70% on the written examination and oral interview and who pass the physical agility test and pass the physical examination shall have their test scores forwarded to the Town Manager.
The Town Manager will review the applicant's test results as well as the applicant's armed forces service record, if any, and any letters of reference.
The Town Manager will, upon completion of such review, rank each candidate according to the test scores and armed forces service record as applicable, as well as letters of recommendation.
The Town Manager may conduct interviews of the prospective candidates for appointment and may also seek the recommendation of the Police Chief.
The Town Manager shall select from among the top 10 candidates according to their scores.
Appointment. Upon and the availability of funding, successful candidates shall:
Attend the Rhode Island Municipal Training Academy. Successful completion of the Rhode Island Municipal Training Academy is a prerequisite for appointment to the Westerly Police force as a probationary officer.
Submit to a psychological examination prior to attending the Rhode Island Municipal Police Training Academy.
Submit to a test for controlled substances.
Reinstatement. The Town Manager may, in his discretion, with the approval of the Chief of Police, reinstate without the necessity of testing, in part or whole, any former member of the Westerly Police Department, subject to the following:
The applicant must apply for reinstatement within two years of the date of his separation from the police force.
The applicant must have voluntarily separated from the force and not have been discharged for cause.
If the applicant had previously served his probationary period, any reinstatement shall be with probation.
Any applicant so reinstated shall be given credit for previous time served towards retirement, provided that he reimburses the pension fund for all prior full years of prior service plus interest at the actuarial assumed rate of return at the time that the payment is made. Previous time served shall not count for seniority or for time required for promotion.
The following qualifications and procedures shall be required and followed for the promotion of members of the Police Department.
A member of the bargaining unit must have five years of service, including probationary period, to be eligible for promotion to Sergeant and/or Detective.
Any Sergeant may take a promotional examination for the rank of Lieutenant but must serve in the rank of Sergeant for at least one year to be eligible for promotion to the rank of Lieutenant.
Procedures. At least 30 days prior to any promotional examination, the Town Manager shall cause notice of such examination to be posted on the Police Department bulletin board. Such notice shall contain among other information the source of all materials from which the written examination will be taken.
Efficiency rating by both written test and oral examinations.
A written standardized examination will be given to permit an adequate evaluation of the degree of achievement and preparation for the rank involved, and each applicant will be graded so that a possible score of 100 points may be obtained.
An oral examination (aptitude) will be conducted by a five-member panel. Four members shall be selected by the Town Manager and one member shall be selected by the I.B.P.O. Questions on general knowledge of police work shall make up a large percentage of this examination. Each candidate will be graded so that a possible score of 100 points may be obtained
The scores of the applicant taking the examination will be weighed, with the written examination being worth 50 points of the total score and the oral examination will be worth 25 points of the score. All candidates shall accrue and have added to their scores seniority at the rate of 5/16 of 1% (calculated at 0.3125) for each three months of service for the maximum of 25 points; such points to be calculated as of the time of the taking of the written examination. The Town Manager shall rank the applicants based upon their total cumulative score, and the Town Manager shall select from the candidates scoring 70 or above on the cumulative score and may appoint the applicant not having the highest score to the vacancy if in his/her considered judgment that the applicant will render better services and that the applicant has an overall numerical score within three points of the one receiving the highest score.
The Town Manager shall administer this promotional plan, and he shall certify all test scores within one week after receiving the same.
A vacancy shall be filled no later than 30 days following the creation of a vacancy. A vacancy shall be deemed created when a position is vacated and the prior incumbent is removed from the payroll.
The written examination shall be prepared at the direction of the Town Manager and any member taking the examination shall have the right to review his examination within 20 days after receipt of the score from the Town Manager. All testing data will be retained by the Town Manager for a period of 30 days from the certifying of the test scores except in the case where a grievance is filed and in that case, the examinations will be retained until the grievance is heard and determined.
Promotional lists shall be valid for two years.
The Town shall give promotional examinations every two years. Any member of the bargaining unit having three years of eligibility may be placed on the list and will be ineligible for appointment until after completion of five years of service.
The Chief of Police and each member of the permanent police force shall devote full time to Police Department duties and shall not engage in any other business, profession or occupation, either directly or indirectly, unless with the approval of the Chief of Police and the Town Council.
[Adopted 8-13-1991 by Ch. No. 983 as § 2-182 of the 1991 Code]
The Chief of Police is authorized and empowered to sell at public auction any lost or stolen property, or property recovered or found by, or which has otherwise come into the possession, charge or control of, the police force of this Town, which has not been claimed by the owners thereof within 60 days.
The Chief of Police shall first give notice of the proposed sale by advertisement thereof, one week prior to the time of such sale in a public newspaper published in the Town.
The proceeds of such sale, after the payment of the expenses thereof and expenses incurred in keeping the property, shall be paid into the treasury of the Town.