Chapter 2.85
POLICE*

Sections:

Article I. In General

2.85.010    Cemetery superintendents as ex officio police officers.

Article II. Police Department Generally

2.85.020    Composition.

2.85.030    Control by city manager.

2.85.040    Appointment and terms of members generally – Increasing membership in emergencies.

2.85.050    Qualifications for appointment.

2.85.060    General powers and duties of chief.

2.85.070    General powers and duties of members.

2.85.075    Designation of police to enforce trespass violations.

2.85.080    Operation of lockup facility.

2.85.090    Answering appeals when officer off duty.

2.85.100    Officers engaging in off-duty employment.

2.85.110    Political activity by members.

Article III. Lost, Stolen, etc., Property in Police Department’s Possession

2.85.120    Definition.

2.85.130    Identification and storage.

2.85.140    Location of owner and return of property.

2.85.150    Disposal of unclaimed property.

2.85.160    Same – Disposition of proceeds.

2.85.170    Same – Records to be kept.

2.85.180    Destruction of certain property.

2.85.190    Article subordinate to conflicting statutes or ordinances.

*Cross references – Use of radios capable of receiving police calls in taxicabs, SCC 5.30.090; police alarm systems, Ch. 8.10 SCC; driving to scene of police investigation, SCC 10.15.120.

Article I. In General

2.85.010 Cemetery superintendents as ex officio police officers.

To secure the more effectual enforcement of Sections 18.2-12518.2-127 of the Code of Virginia, the superintendent of any cemetery in the city shall be, ex officio, a police officer with power, without warrant, to summon the offender to answer before the appropriate district court. (Code 1964, § 16-9; Code 1985, § 20-1).

Article II. Police Department Generally

Cross references – Police department designated as part of city’s official safety program, SCC 2.05.040; registration of bicycles with police department, SCC 10.40.020.

State law reference – General powers and duties of local police force, Code of Virginia, § 15.2-1704.

2.85.020 Composition.

The police department shall consist of a chief of police, such regular officers and employees as may be specified by the city manager and a reserve police force of volunteer policemen to supplement the staffing of the regular officers and employees. (Code 1964, § 21-1; Code 1985, § 20-12).

Cross reference – Bond of chief of police, SCC 2.15.010.

2.85.030 Control by city manager.

The police department shall be under the general supervision of the city manager pursuant to the ordinances of the city. The city manager, with the assistance of the chief of police, shall issue rules and regulations for the department, prescribe the uniforms and report to the city council from time to time on the operation of the department, and make suggestions for improvement as he may see fit. (Code 1964, § 21-2; Code 1985, § 20-13).

2.85.040 Appointment and terms of members generally – Increasing membership in emergencies.

(1) Subject to the provisions and limitations of appropriations of the annual budget, the city manager shall make appointments to the various positions of the police department. Such appointments shall be for indefinite terms and the appointees shall serve at the pleasure of the city manager.

(2) The city manager may, when he deems it necessary in an emergency, increase the number of officers in the police department to any extent the public necessity may require. He shall report any such increase and his reasons for so doing to the next regular meeting of the council. (Code 1964, §§ 21-3, 21-4; Code 1985, § 20-14).

2.85.050 Qualifications for appointment.

(1) The city manager, with the cooperation of the chief of police and subject to the restrictions of the law, shall establish standards for appointments to membership in the police department. No person shall be appointed to the police department who is known by the chief of police or the city manager to have been convicted of a felony or an offense involving domestic violence.

(2) Applicants for appointment to the police department shall be examined by some physician designated by the city manager and no such applicant shall be appointed, until the physician has certified that, in his opinion, the applicant is physically able to perform police duties. (Code 1964, § 21-5; Code 1985, § 20-15; Amended during the 2003 reformat).

2.85.060 General powers and duties of chief.

(1) The chief of police shall be the chief executive officer of the police department and he shall, at all times, enforce the rules and regulations for the government of the department prescribed by the city manager, not inconsistent with the ordinances of the city. He shall have general charge of the peace and good order of the city, see to the observance of the ordinances of the city and laws of the state relative to it and, in any emergency, he may direct the whole police force, or any part thereof, to any place in the city he may deem proper. He shall give information to the city manager of the violation of the laws of the state and ordinances of the city concerning any matter of police regulations. He shall report all misconduct or neglect of duty by any officer, and shall pay frequent visits, at uncertain hours, to various portions of the city, and thus be able to supervise the conduct of all subordinates.

(2) The chief of police may call into service the reserve police force, or particular members thereof, as he may deem necessary:

(a) In time of public emergency;

(b) At such times as there are insufficient numbers of regular policemen to preserve the peace, safety and good order of the community; or

(c) At any time for the purpose of training such reserve policemen. (Code 1964, § 21-8; Code 1985, § 20-16; Ord. 8-25-88).

2.85.070 General powers and duties of members.

The members of the police department shall endeavor to prevent the commission of offenses in the city, to preserve the good order and peace thereof and to secure its inhabitants from personal violence and their property from loss and injury. They shall earnestly endeavor, when any offense is committed in the city, to detect and arrest the offender, to enforce all laws of the state, ordinances of the city and rules and regulations prescribed by the department of health for the preservation of health. (Code 1964, § 21-7; Code 1985, § 20-17).

2.85.075 Designation of police to enforce trespass violations.

(1) The Staunton police department is hereby authorized to establish a procedure whereby the owner, lessee, custodian, or person lawfully in charge, as those terms are used in Section 18.2-119 of the Code of Virginia, of any real property may designate the Staunton police department as a person lawfully in charge of the property for the purpose of forbidding another to go on or remain upon the lands, buildings, or premises of the owner as specified in the designation, pursuant to provisions of Section 15.2-1717.1 of the Code of Virginia, as amended, or subsequently amended.

(2) Such designation shall be in writing and shall be kept on file by the Staunton police department, in accordance with such procedure. (Ord. 2011-05).

2.85.080 Operation of lockup facility.

(Code 1985, § 20-18; Amended during the 2003 reformat).

2.85.090 Answering appeals when officer off duty.

Although a police officer is appealed to when it is not his time for regular duty, he shall, upon application, whether in the night or day, do all the emergency requires. (Code 1964, § 21-12; Code 1985, § 20-19).

2.85.100 Officers engaging in off-duty employment.

Police officers may engage in off-duty employment which may occasionally require the use of their police powers in the performance of such employment. All off-duty employment, whether requiring the use of such powers or not, shall be in accordance with rules and regulations set forth by the chief of police and approved by the city manager. (Code 1985, § 20-20).

2.85.110 Political activity by members.

No member of the police department shall be permitted to solicit, or be obliged to make contributions, in money or otherwise, on any pretext, to any person, committee or association, for any political purpose whatsoever. Every member of the department shall have the right to entertain political or partisan opinions and his right of elective franchise will be deemed sacred and inviolate, but no member of the department shall be permitted to take any part in any convention held for the nomination of candidates for political office or take an active part in elections or in the political advancement of any party, clique, combination or individual. (Code 1964, § 21-17; Code 1985, § 20-21).

Article III. Lost, Stolen, etc., Property in Police Department’s Possession

2.85.120 Definition.

For the purposes of this article, the term “unclaimed personal property” shall mean any personal property belonging to another which has been acquired by a police officer pursuant to his duties, which is not needed in any criminal prosecution, which has not been claimed by its rightful owner and which the state treasurer has indicated will be declined, if remitted under the Uniform Disposition of Unclaimed Property Act (Section 55-210.1 et seq., of the Code of Virginia). (Code 1985, § 20-32).

State law reference – Similar provisions, Code of Virginia, § 15.2-1719.

2.85.130 Identification and storage.

Lost, stolen, abandoned and legally confiscated personal property and other personal property which comes into the possession of the police department shall be adequately identified, so that a record can be established by the department showing the time, date, place and circumstances under which possession of the property was acquired, as well as an appropriate description of the property, to readily identify it at a later date. Such property shall be safely stored so that it will not be damaged, misplaced or stolen while in the possession of the police department. (Code 1964, § 21-18; Code 1985, § 20-33).

2.85.140 Location of owner and return of property.

The chief of police shall endeavor to locate the owner of any property referred to in SCC 2.85.130 and return it to the owner, if there is no justification by law to retain the property in the custody of the department. (Code 1964, § 21-19; Code 1985, § 20-34).

2.85.150 Disposal of unclaimed property.

(1) Generally.

(a) Any unclaimed personal property which has been in the possession of the police department and unclaimed for a period of more than 60 days may be disposed of by the chief of police by public sale.

(b) Prior to the sale of any unclaimed property under this section, the chief of police shall make reasonable attempts to notify the rightful owner of the property, obtain from the commonwealth’s attorney, in writing, a statement advising that the property is not needed in any criminal prosecution and cause to be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the city, once a week for two successive weeks, notice that there will be a public sale of such unclaimed personal property. Such property shall be described generally in the notice, together with the date, time and place of the sale.

(2) Bicycles, Electric Personal Assistive Mobility Devices, Electric Power-Assisted Bicycles or Mopeds.

(a) Any bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, electric power-assisted bicycle or moped that has been in the possession of the police department, unclaimed, for more than 30 days may be donated to a charitable organization.

(b) Prior to such donation, the chief of police or designee shall post notice on the city’s website and at one other public place for at least two weeks of the reported location and the description of the bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, electric power-assisted bicycle or moped. (Ord. 2009-17. Code 1964, §§ 21-20, 21-22; Code 1985, § 20-35).

State law reference – Authority for subsection (1) and provisions similar to subsection (2) of this section, Code of Virginia, § 15.2-1719.

2.85.160 Same – Disposition of proceeds.

The chief of police shall pay from the proceeds of a sale pursuant to SCC 2.85.150, the costs of advertisement, removal, storage, investigation as to ownership and liens and notice of sale. The balance of the funds shall be held by the chief of police for the owner of the property sold and paid to the owner upon satisfactory proof of ownership. If no claim has been made by the owner for the proceeds of such sale within 60 days of the sale, the remaining funds shall be deposited in the general fund of the city. Any such owner shall be entitled to apply to the city, within three years from the date of the sale, and if timely application is made therefor, the city shall pay the remaining proceeds of the sale to the owner, without interest or other charges. No claim shall be made nor any suit, action or proceeding be instituted for the recovery of such funds after three years from the date of the sale. (Code 1985, § 20-36).

State law reference – Similar provisions, Code of Virginia, § 15.2-1719.

2.85.170 Same – Records to be kept.

The chief of police shall keep adequate records, in a manner prescribed by the city manager, of all sales made pursuant to SCC 2.85.150. (Code 1964, § 21-21; Code 1985, § 20-37).

2.85.180 Destruction of certain property.

Notwithstanding any other provisions of this article, property in the possession of the police department which has no value, which is inherently dangerous or which is prohibited from possession by law may be destroyed in the manner prescribed by the chief of police; provided, however, if such property came into the possession of the police department as evidence, it may be so destroyed only with the approval of the commonwealth’s attorney. (Code 1964, §§ 21-20, 21-22; Code 1985, § 20-38).

2.85.190 Article subordinate to conflicting statutes or ordinances.

When state statutes or city ordinances provide for policies or procedures for the disposal of property which would otherwise be covered by this article, the provisions of this article shall be subordinate to any conflicting provisions of such statutes or ordinances. (Code 1964, § 21-23; Code 1985, § 20-39).