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(A) Board membership and qualifications.
(1) Consistency. The Police Merit Board (hereafter referred to as “Board”) shall consist of three members:
(a) One shall be appointed by the Mayor of the city;
(b) One shall be appointed by a majority vote of all full-time police officers; and
(c) One shall be appointed by a majority vote of the Common Council of the city by their normal power of ordinance procedures.
(2) Initial appointments. For the initial appointments to the Board, the following schedule shall be used:
(a) The Mayor shall appoint one member for three years;
(b) The police officers shall appoint one member for two years; and
(c) The Common Council shall appoint one member for one year.
(3) Removal. A Board member serves at the pleasure of the appointing authority and may be removed at any time.
(4) Tenure. After the initial appointment in division (A)(2) above, the Board member shall serve for a period of three years.
(5) Vacancies. A vacancy on the Board shall be filled within 30 days by the appointing authority. This selection is for the remainder of the unexpired term.
(a) All members of the Board must be residents of the city;
(b) No member may be a police officer of the city, an elected official of the city or an employee of the city.
(c) Each member must be at least 21 years of age.
(7) Officers. The Board will elect a President, who shall preside at all meetings under Robert’s Rules of Order, and a Secretary, who shall record all proceedings.
(8) Compensation. Each member of the Board shall receive a per diem compensation for each day of service in the amount fixed by the Common Council at its annual budget meeting.
(Prior Code, § 38.01)
(1) The Board will establish rules and regulations to carry on its function as it sees fit, subject to those specifically required or limited by this ordinance.
(2) The Board shall meet at least once every six months and, in addition, whenever necessary to fulfill its obligations. The President of the Board may call for such meetings at his or her discretion.
(3) Board action shall be limited to issues of the hiring dismissal, promoting from one rank to the next, and demoting from one rank to the next of sworn full-time officers within the Police Department, except upper level policymaking positions shall be appointed by the Mayor, and promotion and demotion to and from the rank of detective shall be made by the Chief. UPPER LEVEL POLICYMAKING POSITIONS shall mean the Chief of Police and the next rank and pay grade immediately below Chief.
(4) (a) Officers of the Police Department shall be promoted from one rank to the next higher rank and shall hold that rank for a period of at least two years before being promoted to the next rank.
(b) Qualifications for rank within the Police Department shall be based upon the following point system:
1. Interview: 20%;
2. Seniority: 10%;
3. Written examination: 40%; and
4. Performance record: 30%.
(c) New officers shall attain at least 24 months seniority before being considered for promotion.
(d) The Chief of the Police Department will submit job classifications, and a manning docket listing the organizational structure of, and ranks within, the Department to the Common Council in June for the following year. The Council must approve these before they take effect. Once approved, the Chief may make emergency changes for a period not to exceed 30 days, and shall notify the Council of each change at the next regularly scheduled Council meeting.
(e) The Chief of the Police Department shall return to his or her prior rank after completing tenure as Chief.
(5) (a) Officers will be demoted only one rank at a time;
(b) Specific charges shall be brought against the officer by the Chief;
(c) At the request of the demoted officer, a hearing will be conducted pursuant to division (B)(7) below; and
(d) All officers shall have right to counsel during the hearing.
(6) (a) Suspensions (with, or without pay) of five days or less shall be made by the Chief and shall not be governed by the Board.
(b) Suspensions exceeding five days, but less than one month, shall be decided by the Board.
(c) There shall not be suspensions in excess of one month. Instead, discipline in excess of one month shall result in dismissal of the officer.
(d) Specific charges shall be brought against an officer by the Chief.
(e) At the request of the demoted officer, a hearing will be conducted pursuant to division (B)(7) below.
(f) All accused officers shall have the right to be represented at each hearing by the counsel of their choice.
(g) Every accused officer shall have the right to appeal the Chief’s decision to the Board, and the Board’s decision to the appropriate Court of jurisdiction.
(7) For any hearing described in divisions (B)(5) and (B)(6) above, the following procedures will apply.
(a) Written notice of the hearing shall be served upon the accused member in person or by a copy left at the member’s last and usual place of residence at least 14 days before the date set for the hearing. The notice must state:
1. The time and place of the hearing;
2. The charges against the member;
3. The specific conduct that comprises the charges;
4. The member is entitled to be represented by counsel or another representative of the member’s choice;
5. The member is entitled to call and cross-examine witnesses;
6. The member is entitled to require the production of evidence; and
7. The member is entitled to have subpoenas issued, served and executed.
(b) If a hearing is required, the parties may, by agreement, designate a hearing officer who is qualified by education, training or experience. If the parties cannot agree on a hearing officer, the Board may hold the hearing or select the hearing officer. The designated hearing officer must be qualified by education, training or experience to conduct such a hearing. The hearing officer may not hold an upper level policymaking position. The hearing conducted under this division (B)(7)(b) shall be held within 30 days after it is requested by the Member.
(c) The Board may:
1. Compel the attendance of witnesses by issuing subpoenas;
2. Examine witnesses under oath; and
3. Order the production of books, papers and other evidence by issuing subpoenas.
(d) If a witness refuses to appear at a hearing of the Board after having received written notice requiring the witness’s attendance, or refuses to produce evidence that the Board requests by written notice, the Board may file an affidavit in the Circuit Court of the county setting forth the facts of the refusal as provided in I.C. 36-8-3.5-17(f).
(e) A decision to discipline an officer may be made only if the preponderance of the evidence presented at the hearing indicates such a course of action.
(f) An officer who is aggrieved by the decision of a person or board designated to conduct a disciplinary hearing under division (B)(7)(c) above may appeal to the Board within ten days of the decision. The Board shall on appeal review the record and either affirm, modify or reverse the decision on the basis of the record and such oral or written testimony that the Board determines, including additional or newly discovered evidence.
(g) The Clerk-Treasurer shall keep a record of the proceedings in cases of suspension, demotion or dismissal. The Board shall give a free copy of the transcript to the officer upon request if an appeal is filed.
(8) An officer who is aggrieved by a decision of the Board to suspend the officer for a period greater than ten calendar days, demote the officer or dismiss the officer may seek judicial review of any such decision as provided in I.C. 36-8-3.5-18, subject to the time limitations and procedural requirements set forth in said statute.
(9) (a) The Board shall establish rules for candidates desiring employment as full-time members of the Department. The Board shall adopt an eligibility list consistent with I.C. 36-8-3.5-13, as amended.
(b) The eligibility list will remain valid for two years from the date it is adopted, or until it is exhausted, whichever period is the shortest. At any time, the Board, for good cause, may determine the existing eligibility list should be voided and a new list created.
(c) The Board shall have the authority to hire “lateral transfer applicants” without regard to the eligibility list maintained for police officer applicants. A LATERAL TRANSFER APPLICANT is defined as an applicant that has been certified by the state’s Law Enforcement Academy certification.
(10) The Board may request the City Attorney to appoint an independent legal advisor, and shall have the power to retain administrative support as it sees fit on a case-by-case basis.
(Prior Code, § 38.02)
(C) Other benefits. The Board of Works and Safety, and the Common Council, shall govern other benefits not regulated by this section. These may include, but not be limited to, vacations, sick pay, shift preference and others.
(Prior Code, § 38.03)
(Ord. G-89-17, passed 11-14-1989; Ord. G-96-10, passed 10-8-1996; Ord. G-05-02, passed 3-22-2005; Ord. G-13-08, passed 4-9-2013; Ord. G-15-05, passed 9-8-2015)