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HomeMy WebLinkAboutPolicy 115 – DisciplineOSHKOSH POLICE DEPARTMENT POLICY AND PROCEDURE TITLE: Discipline POLICY SERIES: 115 Effective Date: November 26, 2020 Date Issued: November 11, 2020 Chief of Police: Dean Smith (Signature on File) Date Signed: November 11, 2020 CALEA Standard: 26.1.4, 26.1.5, 26.1.6, 26.1.7, 26.1.8, WILEAG Standard: 4.2.1, 4.2.3 Statutory References: 62.13 Review Date: November 11, 2020 Review By: Command Staff/PSD Lieutenant Rescinds Policy Dated: 08-06-14 SECTION DESCRIPTION 115.01 Policy 115.02 Purpose 115.03 Definitions 115.04 Procedures 115.05 Disciplinary Considerations 115.06 Alternatives to Formal Discipline 115.07 Formal Discipline 115.08 Appeal Procedures 115.09 Disciplinary Records Appendix A Employee Disciplinary Notice - Verbal Appendix B Employee Disciplinary Notice - Written 115.01 Policy All employees of the Oshkosh Police Department shall follow the rules of conduct, policies, procedures, and directives for the department and the City of Oshkosh Employee Handbook. When violations occur they will be reviewed to determine the proper method for correcting the behavior. This may occur informally outside of the formal discipline process and may include counseling, note to file, and/or retraining. If serious or repeated violations occur employees may be subject to formal discipline. Formal discipline may range from oral reprimand up to termination. The primary goal is to correct behavior. 115.02 Purpose The purpose of this policy is to establish guidelines for the administration of the disciplinary process. 115.03 Definitions A. Demotion — The non -voluntary permanent reassignment of an employee to a position with a lower rate of pay. B. Discipline - Action taken to correct behavior which is contrary to City of Oshkosh Employee Handbook or Department rules of conduct, policies, procedures, directives and memorandums, training and/or job descriptions. C. Dismissal — The permanent removal of an employee from employment with the City of Oshkosh. D. Command Staff — Personnel at the rank Captain, Assistant Chief, and Chief of Police. E. Corrective action — Action taken to correct a violation which may range from training to dismissal from the city. F. Improper Conduct - The action of the agency or the employee which is inconsistent with the rules of conduct, policies, procedures, directives, memoranda, training, and/or job descriptions of the Police Department or the City of Oshkosh Employee Handbook. G. Policy Failure - The rules of conduct, policies, procedures, directives and memoranda under which the employee acted in accordance with, are determined to be inadequate in a specific situation. H. Proper Conduct - The action of the agency or the employee which is consistent with the rules of conduct, policies, procedures, directives and memoranda of the Police Department and the City of Oshkosh. I. Sworn Supervisors - All lieutenants and sergeants employed by the Oshkosh Police Department. 115.04 Procedures A. Internal Affairs and Disciplinary Investigations shall be completed by sworn supervisors or members of the command staff at the direction of the Chief of Police or designee. B. Employees shall be notified by a sworn supervisor if they are the subject of an investigation which may result in discipline and the allegation. C. The Chief of Police or designee may place an employee on paid administrative leave or modified assignment pending the outcome of an internal investigation or discipline process. D. Employees shall be allowed a representative be present with them during any interrogations related to an investigation that may result in their discipline and at the time any discipline is administered in person. E. The sworn supervisor or command staff member will submit their completed investigation to the Chief of Police. F. Employees who receive formal discipline shall meet with the Chief of Police or designee prior to formal discipline being administered. G. A sworn supervisor or command staff member shall meet with the involved employee to administer any formal discipline. 115.05 Disciplinary Considerations A. Mitigating Circumstances that may be considered. 1. Substitution test — could this happen to anyone in the same situation (policy or training failure) 2. Receptive to correction/display proper attitude 3. Employee has made efforts to correct the problem 4. Employee self -reported 5. Tenure and record with the department B. Aggravating Circumstances that may be considered 1. Operational impact 2. Employee is unreceptive to correction (attitude). 3. Uncooperative with the investigation. 4. Employee attempts to hide behavior 5. High value/dollar loss 6. Biased or harassment based action 7. Rank, tenure or position within the department. 8. Constitutional implications. 9. Lack of due regard. C. Issues that may be addressed by supervisors after consultation with the appropriate bureau captain outside of the formal discipline process include but are not limited to: 1. Tardiness for duty assignment 2. Failure to report for a subpoena 3. Minor policy violations 4. Inadequate/incomplete reports 5. Improper response to a call (call -dodging) 6. Failure to care for issued equipment 7. On -duty traffic violations 8. Minor on -duty traffic crashes 115.06 Alternatives to Formal Discipline A. Counseling 1. Supervisors may address minor issues outside of the formal disciplinary process with constructive counseling with employees. 2. Officers may receive verbal counseling without written documentation for minor violations. B. Note to File 1. Supervisors or command staff may issue employees a note to file to document a counseling session. This may be done in order to: a. Document the behavior in case of reoccurrence that may require formal discipline. b. Document the behavior for use in the employee's evaluation. 2. Employees may also receive a note to file as a result of an Internal Affairs (IA) or disciplinary investigation. a. Any counseling received as a result of an IA or disciplinary investigation shall be documented in writing and the employee provided a copy of the written documentation. 3. Notes to file shall be placed in the employees working file. C. Training 1. Training may consist of, but is not limited to: a. Shift level training with supervisors. b. Department training with qualified instructor(s) or personnel with special skills/expertise related to the training topic. c. Outside training conducted by qualified agencies/personnel. d. Performance Improvement Plans (PIPs) 2. Employees may be required to attend training as a result of an Internal Affairs (IA) or disciplinary investigation. a. The formal training plan shall be documented in the employees training file as well as their working file. b. The bureau commander shall be notified upon completion of the training plan. H. It may be suggested to an employee that they participate in the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) in accordance with Policy 122 —Employee Assistance Program. I. It may be suggested to an employee they participate in the mentoring program in accordance with Policy 178 — Mentoring Program. 115.07 Formal Discipline A. Verbal Reprimand (Appendix C) 1. The lowest level of formal discipline. 2. May be used to correct a behavior issue identified during an IA or Shift Level Disciplinary investigation. 3. Employees shall sign for and will receive a copy of any verbal reprimand. 4. A copy of the verbal reprimand will be placed in the employee's personnel file. B. Written Reprimand (Appendix D) 1. The next level of discipline after a verbal reprimand. 2. May be used as the initial step based on the seriousness of the behavior or may be used as the next step after a verbal reprimand. 3. Employees shall sign for and will receive a copy of any written reprimand. 4. A copy of the written reprimand will be placed in the employees personnel file. C. Suspension Without Pay 1. The next level of discipline after a written reprimand. 2. May be used as the initial step based on the seriousness of a behavior or as the next step in progressive discipline after a written reprimand. 3. Suspensions without pay shall be administered by the Chief of Police or designee. 4. Employees who have received a suspension without pay as a part of a formal discipline process shall receive written notice of the suspension, including the date(s) of the suspension. A copy of that notice will be placed in the employee's personnel file. 5. During periods of unpaid suspension, the employee shall not wear any portion of an official uniform and shall surrender their identification as well as their badge and department weapon(s) if applicable. 6. Employees who are on an unpaid suspension shall not perform any work related duties with the exception of appearing for a court subpoena. Officers appearing for a court subpoena will dress in formal attire and will not be in uniform. 7. During an unpaid suspension employees will not report to the police Department unless given permission to do so from a member of the command staff. D. Demotion 1. May be used based on the seriousness of a behavior or as step in progressive discipline. 2. Demotions shall be administered by the Chief of Police or designee. 3. Employees who have received a demotion as a part of a formal discipline process shall receive written notice of the demotion. A copy of that notice will be placed in the employee's personnel file. 4. Sworn employees who are on a probationary status as a result of a promotion may be returned to their previously held rank at the discretion of the Chief of Police if they are not performing satisfactorily and are not entitled to a PFC hearing. E. Dismissal 1. May be used based on the seriousness of a behavior or as step in progressive discipline. 2. Dismissals shall be administered by the Chief of Police or designee. 3. If the Chief of Police or designee determines dismissal is appropriate for a sworn officer he/she shall file written charges and recommend dismissal to the Police and Fire Commission (PFC). 4. PFC procedures do not apply to sworn probationary officers. 5. A copy of the written charges shall be provided to the sworn officer. 6. For complete information regarding PFC procedures refer to Wisconsin Statute 62.13 and the City of Oshkosh PFC Hearing Procedures. 7. The charged officer may choose whether to appear at the PFC hearing and to be represented by counsel. The PFC will determine whether to dismiss the officer or impose an alternate form of formal discipline. 8. The Officer will be notified of the PFC's decision in writing and the notification shall contain the following: a. The reason for dismissal; b. The effective date of dismissal; and c. A statement of the status of accrued employee benefits after dismissal. F. Employees may be required to participate in the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) as a part of the formal discipline process in accordance with Policy 122- Employee Assistance Program. G. Employees may be required to participate in the Mentoring Program as a part of the formal discipline process in accordance with Policy 178 — Mentoring Program. 115.08 Appeal Procedures A. An employee who wishes to contest a verbal or written reprimand may do so by filing a grievance in compliance with Policy 158 — Grievance Procedure. B. In the case of sworn personnel the grievance procedures may also be specified in the labor contract. C. Non -sworn employees may also contest unpaid suspensions, demotions, and dismissals through the grievance process. D. Sworn officers may contest unpaid suspensions and demotions through a PFC public hearing. Sworn officers must make a request to the PFC for a public hearing. E. For complete information on PFC hearing procedures refer to the City of Oshkosh Police & Fire Commission (PFC) Hearing Procedures. 115.09 Disciplinary Records A. Any employee who receives formal discipline shall be provided with a copy of the signed formal discipline. B. All records of formal disciplinary action shall be maintained by the City of Oshkosh Human Resources Department and a copy is retained by the Administrative Bureau Captain in the employees personnel file throughout the duration of the employee's employment with the City of Oshkosh.