[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Paterson 10-11-1994 by Ord. No. 94-066. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Police Division — See Ch. 81.
[Amended 1-24-2006 by Ord. No. 06-001]
Eligibility for the office of constable requires the appointment by a member of the City Council, which shall lapse if the appointee has not qualified within 30 days after his or her appointment. No person shall be considered for the office of constable unless he or she has been a resident and a qualified voter of the City of Paterson for at least three years preceding his or her nomination. No more than 50 and not fewer than two individuals shall hold the office of constable at any one time. Prior to an appointment as constable, any interested applicant must provide to the City Clerk's office, at the applicant's expense, a state police record check indicating said applicant's qualification pursuant to § 21-3F.
The City Clerk's office shall process the applications for constable and shall do such other matters as are set forth in this chapter.
Each applicant shall:
Be at least 18 years of age.
Be of sound mind and body, with good eyesight and not subject to epilepsy, vertigo, heart trouble, drug or alcohol addiction or any other infirmity which might render him or her unfit to hold the position of constable.
Be able to read and write English.
Be clean in dress and person.
Be of good character.
Not have the following:
[Amended 1-24-2006 by Ord. No. 06-002]
A conviction of any crime or offense entered under the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act;
Any individual who is subjected to the terms of a domestic violence restraining order (TRO/FRO) which prohibits the possession or control of a firearm;
Any conviction or PTI for a crime committed with the unlawful possession of a weapon;
Serious violations of CDS offenses or repeat minor offenses;
Convictions for criminal offenses (first, second, third or fourth degree);
A history of arrests for any criminal or disorderly persons offense, even if charges are later dropped;
Recent arrests or negative police encounters;
Poor motor vehicle history record, including; numerous suspensions. failures to appear, DWI, repetitive and/or recent violations not including parking violations);
Falsifying or providing misinformation on application.
Poor conduct or dishonorable discharge from military service.
A history of any illegal drug use while employed in any law enforcement or prosecutorial position, or while employed in a position which carries with it a high level of responsibility or public trust;
Any misrepresentation of drug history in completing the application.
A history of the sale of any illegal drug for profit at any time;
A history of the use of any illegal drug (including anabolic steroids after February 27, 1991,) other than marijuana, within the last 10 years or more than five times in one's life.
A history of the use of marijuana within the past three years or more than a total of 15 times in one's life.
Any individual adjudicated delinquent as a juvenile for any crime or offense involving the unlawful possession of a weapon. (Under Chapter 73 of the Laws of 2003, weapon is deemed to include any weapon and is not limited to a firearm).
Any individual adjudicated delinquent as a juvenile for one of the enumerated crimes established by the No Early Release Act (NERA). A listing of said crimes is as follows:
Be a citizen of the United States or legal alien thereof.
Submit his or her completed application to the City Clerk's office within 30 days after being appointed by a member of the City Council.
The applicant's written appointment by a member of the City Council shall be submitted to the City Clerk's office along with the application for constable.
Every application and application for renewal shall be filed with the City Clerk's office on forms provided by it and shall be retained on file as a permanent record.
Every application and every application for renewal shall be verified under oath and shall truthfully and accurately contain the following information:
The applicant's full name and address.
The applicant's date of birth.
The applicant's social security number.
The applicant's driver's license number.
The applicant's residences for the preceding five years.
The applicant's age, height, weight, hair and eye color.
The applicant's United States citizenship status.
The applicant's employment history for the preceding five years.
The applicant's official criminal history which shall be determined via the applicant's fingerprints submitted to the Paterson Police Division.
The applicant's badge number.
Any other information required by the City Clerk's office.
Each application and each application for renewal shall be accompanied by two 2 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches, recent front-view photographs of the applicant. One of said photographs shall be attached to the application maintained in the City Clerk's office.
The applicant shall submit with his or her application two notarized affidavits regarding the applicant's good character from two reputable citizens of Paterson who have known the applicant and observed his or her conduct during the previous 12 months. Affidavits are not required for renewal applications.
Each application and each application for renewal shall be accompanied by a letter from a physician duly authorized to practice medicine in the State of New Jersey, certifying that he or she has examined the applicant and the applicant has been found to be physically fit and, in his professional opinion, medically able to perform the duties of a constable. Such examination shall not exceed 60 days prior to the date from the filing of the application.
Any false statement contained in the application will be grounds for rejection of the application and shall promptly be reported to the City Council and may subject the applicant to prosecution by the Passaic County Prosecutor's office, in addition to any penalties which may be imposed under this chapter.
Each application and each application for renewal shall be accompanied by an indemnification and hold-harmless agreement for the benefit of the City of Paterson secured with a surety bond from a private bonding company in the amount of $25,000. Each application and each application for renewal shall also be accompanied by a certificate of liability insurance covering the constable either individually or as part of a group insurance plan in an amount of not less than $25,000. Said insurance certificate shall include the City of Paterson as an additionally insured party, and said certificate shall also contain a provision whereby the insurance company agrees to immediately notify the City of Paterson's City Clerk's office, in writing, in the event that the policy is changed, canceled or for any other reason does not remain in full force and effect.
[Added 11-25-2003 by Ord. No. 03-066]
The failure of any Constable appointment to properly qualify for same within 90 days of the date of the resolution appointing him shall automatically void that appointment without further action on the part of the Municipal Council. Qualification by a Constable appointment shall include compliance with all of the documentation, information, and authorization requirements set forth in this chapter, including but not limited to proof of compliance with the insurance requirements set forth in § 21-5.
The term of office of a constable shall be for a period of three years, unless the City Council by resolution of appointment fixes a term of one year.
Every person appointed as a constable shall upon entering the office of constable take, subscribe and file with the City Clerk's office the following oath:
A constable shall notify the City Clerk's office of his or her new address, in writing on forms provided by the City Clerk's office, within three days after he or she changes residences.
A constable shall wear a uniform approved by the City Council for constables at all times while he or she is on duty, and such uniform shall include a badge.
Each constable shall be issued a numbered badge, which shall be returned to the City Clerk's office immediately upon his or her leaving office for any reason.
A constable shall not wear his or her uniform or any part thereof while off-duty, except while he or she is en route to or from a location where he or she is employed as a constable.
A constable shall not be employed in any capacity in an establishment which serves alcoholic beverages, in compliance with N.J.A.C. 13:2-23.31.
A constable shall, upon demand of a police officer or other authorized person, exhibit his or her constable identification card, badge and his or her gun permit for inspection.
A constable shall be deemed suspended pending a hearing before the City Council or its designee where:
He or she has been arrested and charged with a criminal offense.
He or she is drug or alcohol dependent.
He or she is suffering from a mental disease or defect which renders the applicant unable to perform his or her duties or would make it unsafe for him or her to do so.
He or she is suffering from a physical or medical condition which renders the applicant unable to perform his or her duties or would make it unsafe for him or her to do so.
He or she is under 18 years of age.
Allowing him or her to remain as a constable would not be in the interest of the public health, public safety or the general welfare.
Where a constable is suspended pending a hearing, the hearing shall be held no later than 30 days after the suspension became effective. Where the hearing is not held within this period, through no fault or acquiescence of the constable in question, then the suspension shall be rescinded, unless good cause has been shown for an extension of the thirty-day time period.
Where a constable is suspended from office or his or her appointment is rescinded, he or she shall immediately deliver to the City Clerk's office his or her constable identification card, badge and gun permit.
Following a hearing, before the City Council or its designee, a constable may be suspended or removed from office for any violation of this chapter.
Any suspension or revocation shall be noted in the City Clerk's office file on the constable in question, together with the reasons for such action.
Where a constable has been suspended for the same reason as a previous suspension or a constable has been suspended for the third time for any reason, his or her appointment shall be revoked.
Where a constable is suspended or removed from office, the City Clerk's office shall give written notice of the suspension or removal to the constable and shall retain a copy of this notice on file.
A suspension or removal from office of a constable shall become effective immediately upon actual receipt of notice by the constable or his or her agent or, where notice is sent by ordinary mail, the suspension or revocation shall become effective five days after notice of the suspension or revocation was sent.
A constable shall submit a true and accurate report on or before the first Wednesday following the first Monday of each month to the City Clerk's office, and such reports shall contain the following information:
The constable's name, address, phone number and badge number.
The name and address of each person contacted by the constable in his official capacity, together with the date, time and purpose of the contact.
An accurate statement of all fees collected by the constable and from whom and for what service each fee was collected.
Once a constable report is submitted, the City Clerk's office shall forward a copy of each constable report to the Chief of Police. Failure by a constable to file a report for two consecutive months, unless he or she was prevented from doing so by physical incapacity, shall result in his or her removal from office in compliance with N.J.S.A. 40A:9-126.1.
Except as provided by law, any person who violates or permits, aids or abets in the violation of any provision of this chapter may be suspended from the office of constable, may have his or her appointment revoked and shall be subject to a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 and shall be subject to a term of imprisonment not to exceed 90 days, or both. A separate offense is deemed to arise on each day during which a violation occurs or continues.