H. B. 2854
(By Delegates Lawrence, R. Phillips, Skaff and Paxton)
[Introduced January 26, 2011; referred to the
Committee on Political Subdivisions then the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §8-14-6 and §8-14-17 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, all relating to qualifications for appointments or promotions to positions in paid police departments and to increasing the classes of cities to which these provisions apply by adding Class III and Class IV cities.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §8-14-6 and §8-14-17 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 14. LAW AND ORDER; POLICE FORCE OR DEPARTMENTS, ETC.
PART V. CIVIL SERVICE FOR CERTAIN POLICE DEPARTMENTS.
§8-14-6. Qualifications for appointment or promotion to positions in certain paid police departments to be ascertained by examination; provisions exclusive as to appointments, etc.; definitions.
(a) All appointments and promotions to all positions in all paid police departments of Class I, and Class II, Class III and Class IV cities shall be made only according to qualifications and fitness to be ascertained by examinations, which, so far as practicable, shall be competitive, as hereinafter provided.
(b) No individual, except the chief or deputy chiefs of police, if the position of deputy chief of police has been previously created by the city council of that Class I, or Class II, Class III or Class IV city, may be appointed, promoted, reinstated, removed, discharged, suspended or reduced in rank or pay as a paid member of a paid police department, regardless of rank or position, of any Class I, or Class II, Class III or Class IV city in any manner or by any means other than those prescribed in the following sections of this article Provided, That except that an individual appointed chief or deputy chief of police who held a position as a member of a paid police department in that police department before the appointment as chief or deputy chief of police shall be reinstated to the officer’s previous rank following his or her term as chief or deputy chief of police.
(c) The term "member of a paid police department", whenever used in the following sections of this article, means an individual employed in a paid police department who is clothed with the police power of the state in being authorized to carry deadly weapons, make arrests, enforce traffic and other municipal ordinances, issue summons for violations of traffic and other municipal ordinances, and perform other duties which are within the scope of active, general law enforcement.
(d) The term "appointing officer", as used in the following sections of this article, means the Class I, or Class II, Class III or Class IV city officer in whom the power of appointment of members of a paid police department is vested by charter provision or ordinance of the city.
§8-14-17. Vacancies filled by promotions; eligibility for promotion; rights of chief.
(a) Vacancies in positions in a paid police department of a Class I, or Class II Class II, Class III or Class IV city shall be filled, so far as practicable, by promotions from among individuals holding positions in the next lower grade in the department.
(b) Promotions shall be based upon experience and by written competitive examinations to be provided by the Policemen's Civil Service Commission. Provided, That Except for the chief or deputy chiefs of police, if the position of deputy chief of police has been previously created by the city council of that Class I or Class II Class II, Class III or Class IV city, no individual is eligible for promotion from the lower grade to the next higher grade until the individual has completed at least two years of continuous service in the next lower grade in the department immediately prior to the examination: Provided, however, That notwithstanding the provisions of section six of this article, any member of a paid police department of a Class I, or Class II Class II, Class III or Class IV city now occupying the office of chief or deputy chief of police of that paid police department, or hereafter appointed to the office of chief or deputy chief of police, except as hereinafter provided in this section, is entitled to all of the rights and benefits of the civil service provisions of this article except that he or she may be removed from the office of chief or deputy chief of police without cause. and The time spent by the member in the office of chief or deputy chief of police shall be added to the time served by the member during the entire time he or she was a member of that paid police department prior to his or her appointment as chief or deputy chief of police. and shall In all cases of removal, except for removal for good cause, retain the member retains the regular rank within that paid police department which he or she held at the time of his or her appointment to the office of chief or deputy chief of police or which he or she has attained during his or her term of service as chief or deputy chief of police.
(c) The provisions of this section apply and inure to the benefit of all individuals who have ever been subject to the provisions of this article. The commission may determine in each instance whether an increase in salary constitutes a promotion.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to increase the cities to which the code sections applies making provisions regarding the qualifications of paid police officers applicable to Class III and Class IV cities in addition to Class I and Class II.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.