Chapter 2.28


2.28.010    Civil service commission – Created – Membership.

2.28.020    Civil service commission – Organization and duties.

2.28.030    Persons included in civil service.

2.28.040    Qualifications – Existing police department members.

2.28.050    Qualifications – Applicants.

2.28.060    Tenure – Reasons for discharge or penalization.

2.28.070    Removal, suspension, demotion or discharge procedure.

2.28.080    Vacancy filling.

2.28.090    Leaves of absence without pay.

2.28.100    Deceptive practices prohibited.

2.28.110    Political contributions and services.

2.28.120    Accommodations, office supplies and equipment for civil service commission.

2.28.130    Cooperation of city officers and employees required.

2.28.140    Penalty for violation.

2.28.010 Civil service commission – Created – Membership.

(1) There is created a civil service commission which shall be composed of three persons.

(2) The members of the commission shall be appointed by the city manager. The members of the commission shall serve without compensation. No person shall be appointed to be a member of such commission who is not a citizen of the United States and a resident of the city for at least three years immediately preceding such appointment. The term of office of each commissioner shall be for six years. Any member of the commission may be removed from office for incompetency, dereliction of duty, malfeasance in office, or other good cause; provided, however, that no member of the commission shall be removed until written notice of the removal and reason therefor shall have been provided and an opportunity given for a hearing before the city council. Two members of the commission shall constitute a quorum and the votes of any two members of the commission concurring shall be sufficient for the transaction of all business by the commission. (Ord. 578 § 1, 1994; Ord. 348 § 1(a), 1979).

2.28.020 Civil service commission – Organization and duties.

(1) Immediately after appointment, the commission shall organize by electing one of its members chairman and hold regular meetings once a month, and such additional meetings as may be required for the proper discharge of their duties. The regular monthly meeting need not be convened if the commissioners concur that there is no business to come before the commission for that month. They shall appoint a secretary and chief examiner, who shall keep the records for the commission, preserve all reports made to it, superintend and keep a record of all examinations held under its direction, and perform such other duties as the commission may prescribe.

(2) It shall be the duty of the civil service commission:

(a) To make suitable rules and regulations not inconsistent with the provisions of this chapter. Such rules and regulations shall provide in detail the manner in which examinations may be held, and appointments, promotions, transfers, reinstatements, demotions, suspensions and discharges shall be made, and may also provide for any other matters connected with the general subject of personnel administration, and which may be considered desirable to further carry out the general purposes of this chapter, or which may be found in the interest of good personnel administration. Such rules and regulations may be changed from time to time. The rules and regulations and any amendments thereof shall be printed, mimeographed or multigraphed for free public distribution;

(b) All tests shall be practical, and shall consist only of subjects which will fairly determine the capacity of persons examined to perform duties of the position to which appointment is to be made, and may include tests of physical fitness and/or of manual skill;

(c) The rules and regulations adopted by the commission shall provide for a credit of 10 percent in favor of all applicants for appointment under civil service who, in time of war or in any expedition of the Armed Forces of the United States, have served in and been honorably discharged from the Armed Forces of the United States including the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and the

American Red Cross. These credits apply to entrance examinations only and shall be utilized one time only;

(d) The commission shall make investigations concerning and report upon all matters touching the enforcement and effect of the provisions of this chapter, and the rules and regulations prescribed hereunder; inspect all institutions, departments, offices, places, positions and employments affected by this chapter, and ascertain whether this chapter and all such rules and regulations are being obeyed. Such investigations may be made by the commission or by any commissioner designated by the commission for that purpose. Not only must these investigations be made by the commission as provided above, but the commission must make like investigation on petition of a citizen, duly verified, stating that irregularities or abuses exist, or setting forth in concise language, in writing, the necessity for such investigation. In the course of such investigation the commission or designated commissioner, or chief examiner, shall have the power to administer oaths, subpoena and require the attendance of witnesses and the production by them of books, papers, documents and accounts appertaining to the investigation and also to cause the deposition of witnesses residing within or without the state to be taken in the manner prescribed by law for like depositions in civil actions in the superior court; and the oaths administered hereunder and the subpoenas issued thereafter shall have the same force and effect as the oaths administered by a superior court judge in his judicial capacity; and the failure upon the part of any person so subpoenaed to comply with the provisions of this section shall be deemed a violation of this chapter, and punishable as such;

(e) The commission shall commence and conduct all civil suits which may be necessary for the proper enforcement of this chapter and of the rules and regulations of the commission. The commission shall be represented in such suits by the city attorney. All hearings and investigations before the commission or designated commissioner, or chief examiner, shall be governed by this chapter and by rules of practice and procedure to be adopted by the commission, and in the conduct thereof neither the commission, nor designated commissioner shall be bound by the technical rules of evidence. No informality in any proceedings or hearings, or in the manner of taking testimony before the commission or designated commissioner, shall invalidate any order, decision, rule or regulation made, approved or confirmed by the commission; provided, however, that no order, decision, rule or regulation made by any designated commissioner conducting any hearing or investigation alone shall be of any force or effect whatsoever unless and until concurred in by at least one of the other two members;

(f) To hear and determine appeals or complaints respecting the administrative work of the personnel department; appeals upon the allocation of positions; the rejection of an examination and such other matters as may be referred to the commission;

(g) Establish and maintain in card or other suitable form a roster of officers and employees;

(h) Provide for, formulate and hold competitive tests to determine the relative qualifications of persons who seek employment in any class or position and as a result thereof establish eligible lists for the various classes of positions, and to provide that men laid off because of curtailment of expenditures, reduction in force, and for like causes, head the list in the order of their seniority, to the end that they shall be the first to be reemployed;

(i) When a vacant position is to be filled, to certify to the appointing authority the top five names from the applicable eligibility list for final appointment by the appointing authority. If there are no such lists, to authorize provisional or temporary appointment to the vacant position. Such temporary or provisional appointment shall not continue for a period longer than four months, except that additional periods may be authorized by the commission for good cause. (Ord. 628 § 1, 1996; Ord. 348 § 1(b), 1979).

2.28.030 Persons included in civil service.

The classified civil service and provisions of this chapter shall include all full-paid employees of the city police department, except the director of public safety. Appointment or promotion to the position of director of public safety shall be ascertained by open competitive examination and impartial investigation. No person shall be appointed, promoted, suspended, discharged or reinstated from any position in the civil service contrary to the provisions of this chapter. (Ord. 636 § 1, 1997; Ord. 348 § 1(c), 1979).

2.28.040 Qualifications – Existing police department members.

All members of the city’s police department are declared to be covered by the provisions of this chapter and existing rules and regulations of the civil service commission and to be classified at the positions existing on the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter. (Ord. 348 § 1(d), 1979).

2.28.050 Qualifications – Applicants.

An applicant for a position of any kind under civil service under the provisions of this chapter must be a citizen of the United States of America or a lawful permanent resident who can read and write the English language. An applicant for a position of any kind under civil service must be of an age suitable for the position applied for, in ordinary good health, of good moral character and of temperate and industrious habits; these facts to be ascertained in such manner as the commission may deem advisable.

An application for a position with a law enforcement agency may be rejected if the law enforcement agency deems that it does not have the resources to conduct the background investigation required pursuant to Chapter 43.101 RCW. “Resources” means materials, funding, and staff time. Nothing in this section impairs applicant’s rights under state antidiscrimination laws. (Ord. 978 § 1, 2019; Ord. 348 § 1(e), 1979).

2.28.060 Tenure – Reasons for discharge or penalization.

The tenure of everyone holding an office, place, position or employment under the provisions of this chapter shall be only during good behavior, and any such person may be removed or discharged, suspended without pay, demoted, or reduced in rank, or deprived of vacation privileges or other special privileges for any of the following reasons:

(1) Incompetency, incapacity, or inefficiency in performance of duties;

(2) Violation of law, of official rules or regulations, or orders, or failure to obey any lawful or reasonable direction when such failure or violation amounts to insubordination or breach of discipline;

(3) Conviction of a felony, or a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude;

(4) Acceptance or personal use of a fee, gift, or other valuable thing in the course of employment when given in the hope or reasonable expectation by the grantor of receiving a favor or better treatment than that accorded the public generally;

(5) Failure to pay just debts if such failure is detrimental to the police department or morale of members;

(6) Conduct unbecoming an officer or employee of the city;

(7) Conduct subversive of public order and discipline, and conduct detrimental to the efficiency or morale of the service;

(8) Misuse of public funds;

(9) Falsifying reports or records;

(10) Intoxication or drinking intoxicating liquor or unlawful use of drugs while on duty;

(11) Addiction to intoxicating liquors, narcotics or other drugs to the extent that the use thereof interferes with the efficiency or mental or physical fitness of the member;

(12) Mental or physical unfitness for the position which the member holds;

(13) Any other act or failure to act which in the judgment of the civil service commissioners is sufficient to show the offender to be an unsuitable and unfit person to be employed in the public service. (Ord. 348 § 1(f), 1979).

2.28.070 Removal, suspension, demotion or discharge procedure.

No person in the classified civil service who shall have been permanently appointed or inducted into civil service under provisions of this chapter shall be removed, suspended, demoted or discharged except for cause, and only upon written accusation of the appointing power, or any citizen or taxpayer, a written statement of which accusation, in general terms, shall be served upon the accused, and a duplicate filed with the commission. Any person so removed, suspended, demoted or discharged may, within 10 days from the time of his removal, suspension, demotion or discharge, file with the commission a written demand for an investigation, whereupon the commission shall conduct such investigation. The investigation shall be confined to the determination of the question of whether such removal, suspension, demotion or discharge was or was not made for political or religious reasons and was or was not in good faith or cause. After such investigation the commission may affirm the removal, or if it finds that the removal, suspension, or demotion was made for political or religious reasons, or was not made in good faith for cause, shall order the immediate reinstatement of or re-employment of such person in the office, place, position or employment from which such person was removed, suspended, demoted or discharged, which reinstatement shall, if the commission so provided in its discretion, be retroactive and entitle such person to pay or compensation from the time of such removal, suspension, demotion or discharge. The commission upon such investigation, in lieu of affirming the removal, suspension, demotion or discharge, may modify the order of removal, suspension, demotion or discharge by directing a suspension, without pay, for a given period, and subsequent restoration to duty, or demotion in classification, grade, or pay. The findings of the commission shall be certified in writing to the appointing power and shall be forthwith enforced by such officer. All investigations made by the commission pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be had by public hearing, after reasonable notice to the accused of the time and place of such hearing, at which hearing the accused shall be afforded an opportunity of appearing in person and by counsel, and presenting his defense. If such judgment or order be occurred in by the commission or a majority thereof, the accused may appeal therefrom to the court of original and unlimited jurisdiction in civil suits of the county wherein he resides. Such appeal shall be taken by serving the commission, within 30 days after the entry of such judgment or order, a written notice of appeal, stating the grounds thereof and demanding that a certified transcript of the record and of all papers on file in the office of the commission affecting or relating to such judgment or order, be filed by the commission with such court. The commission shall, within 10 days after the filing of such notice, make, certify and file such transcript with such court. The court of original and unlimited jurisdiction in civil suits shall thereupon proceed to hear and determine such appeal in a summary manner; provided, however, that such hearing shall be confined to the determination of whether the judgment or order of removal, discharge, demotion or suspension made by the commission was or was not made in good faith for cause, and no appeal to such court shall be taken except upon such ground or grounds. (Ord. 348 § 1(g), 1979).

2.28.080 Vacancy filling.

Whenever a position in the classified service becomes vacant, the appointing power, if it desires to fill the vacancy, shall make requisition upon the commission for the name and address of a person eligible for appointment thereto. The commission shall certify the names of the five persons highest on the eligible list for the class to which the vacant position has been allocated, who are willing to accept employment. If more than one vacancy is to be filled an additional name shall be certified for each additional vacancy. The appointing authority shall appoint one of the five such persons to the vacant position. No appointment, employment or promotion in any position in the classified civil service shall be deemed complete until the expiration of a period of one-year probationary service during which the appointing authority may terminate the employment of the person holding the position if the appointing authority deems the person unfit or unsatisfactory for service in the department. (Ord. 628 § 1, 1996; Ord. 348 § 1(h), 1979).

2.28.090 Leaves of absence without pay.

Leaves of absence, without pay, may be granted by any appointing power to any person under civil service; provided, that such appointing power shall give notice of such leave to the commission. (Ord. 348 § 1(i), 1979).

2.28.100 Deceptive practices prohibited.

No commissioner or any other person shall, by himself or in cooperation with one or more persons, defeat, deceive, or obstruct any person in respect of his right of examination or registration according to the rules and regulations of this chapter, or falsely mark, grade, estimate or report upon the examination or proper standing of any person examined, registered or certified pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, or aid in so doing, or make any false representation concerning the same, or concerning the person examined, or furnish any person any special or secret information for the purpose of improving or injuring the prospects or chances of any person so examined, registered or certified, or persuade any other person, or permit or aid in any manner any other person to personate him, in connection with any examination or registration of application or request to be examined or registered. (Ord. 348 § 1(j), 1979).

2.28.110 Political contributions and services.

No person holding any office, place, position or employment subject to civil service is under any obligation to contribute to any political fund or to render any political service to any person or party whatsoever, and no person shall be removed, reduced in grade or salary, or otherwise prejudiced for refusing to do so. No public officer whether elected or appointed shall discharge, promote, demote, or in any manner change the official rank, employment or compensation of any person under civil service, or promise or threaten to do so, for giving or withholding, or neglecting to make any contribution of money, or services, or any other valuable thing, for any political purpose. (Ord. 348 § 1(k), 1979).

2.28.120 Accommodations, office supplies and equipment for civil service commission.

The city manager shall provide the civil service commission with suitable accommodations in the City Hall and with all office supplies and equipment necessary to carry on the business of the commission. (Ord. 348 § 1(1), 1979).

2.28.130 Cooperation of city officers and employees required.

It shall be the duty of all officers and employees of any such city to aid in all proper ways of carrying out the provisions of this chapter and such rules and regulations as may, from time to time, be prescribed by the commission thereunder and to afford the commission, its members and employees, all reasonable facilities and assistance to inspect all books, papers, documents and accounts applying or in any way appertaining to any and all offices, places, positions and employments, subject to civil service, and also to produce said books, papers, documents and accounts, and attend and testify, whenever required so to do by the commission or any commissioner. (Ord. 348 § 1(m), 1979).

2.28.140 Penalty for violation.

Any person who wilfully violates any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by a fine of not more than $100.00 and by imprisonment for no longer than 30 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment. (Ord. 348 § 1(n), 1979).