Duties and Responsibilities


(A)       Establishment and membership.  A Police Civil Service Commission is created pursuant to Minnesota Statutes Chapter 419, to be composed of three members.  No Civil Service Commissioner shall, at the time of appointment to the Commission or while serving on the Commission, hold any elected office under the City, the United States, the state of Minnesota, or any public corporation or political division thereof, or employment under the City, or employment under a police department of any city, other than as a member of a civil service commission for firefighters or other municipal personnel.

(B)       Powers, duties and responsibilities.

(1)        Generally.  The Commission shall have absolute control and supervision over the employment, promotion, discharge and suspension of all officers and employees of the City’s Police Department and these powers shall extend to and include all members of the Police Department. The Commission may not, however, prescribe any residency requirements for the positions under its control, unless approved by the City Council.

(2)        Keeping of a service register.  The Commission shall grade and classify all of the employees of the Police Department of the City and a service register shall be prepared for the purpose, in which shall be entered, in their classes, the names, ages, compensation, period of past employment and such other facts and data with reference to each employee as the Commission may deem useful.

(3)        Keeping of an application register.  The Commission shall keep a second register to be known as the application register in which shall be entered the names and addresses, in the order of the date of application, of all applicants for examination and the offices or employment they seek.  All applications shall be upon forms prescribed by the Commission and contain such data and information as the Commission deems necessary and useful.

(4)        Conduct candidate examinations.  The Commission is to conduct examination of candidates.  The members of the Commission collectively or individually may act as examiners or assistant examiners.  The Chief of Police or other City employees may also act as examiners if requested by the Commission.  The examinations must be impartial, fair and practical and designed only to test the relative qualifications and fitness of the applicants to discharge the duties of the particular employment which they seek to fill.  All applicants for positions of trust and responsibility must be specially examined as to moral character, sobriety and integrity, and all applicants for positions requiring special experience, skill or faithfulness must be specially examined with respect to those qualities.  The Commission is to provide notice of the examinations in accordance with the requirements set forth in Minnesota Statutes Section 419.10, subdivision 1.  Additional examinations may be administered to applicants meeting threshold requirements without an additional publication or 10 day notice.  Applicants passing a later examination must be added to the eligible register in the order of their standing relative to the remaining applicants on the register.

(5)        Maintain an eligibility list.  After the examinations are complete, the Commission must create and maintain a list of those found eligible upon examination in order of their standing in the examination.  The list must include their names, addresses and percentages on the eligible register.  The Commission shall have the authority to reject candidates or strike them from the list under the circumstances set forth in Minnesota Statutes Section 419.06, paragraphs (5) and (6).

(6)        Provide the City Council with certified list to fill vacancies.  If there is a vacancy in a position within the Police Department, including the Chief of Police position, the Commission must provide the City Council with the certified list of the three names standing highest to the City Council.  The City Council shall make the appointment from the certified list.

(7)        Other responsibilities.  The Commission shall be responsible exclusively for the suspension, reduction and removal of Police Department employees.  However, the City Council shall retain inherent management-type control over the Police Department with respect to items such as job descriptions and duties, departmental structure issues and the Department budget.

(C)       Rules.

 (1)        The Commission shall adopt rules to promote efficiency in the Police Department service and to carry out the purposes of Minnesota Statutes Chapter 419 and this Chapter.  The rules must provide, among other things, for:

(i)         The classification of all offices and employments in the Police Department;

(ii)        Public competitive examinations to test the relative fitness of applicants;

(iii)       Public advertisements of all examinations at least 10 days in advance in a newspaper of general circulation in City and posting the advertisement for 10 days in City Hall and at each station house;

(iv)       The creation and maintenance of lists of eligible candidates after successful examination in order of their standing in the examination and without reference to the time of examination, which must be included in an eligible register.  The Commission may by rule provide for striking any name from the eligible register after it has been on the register for one year;

(v)        The rejection of candidates or eligibles who, after the entry of their names, fail to comply with the reasonable rules and requirements of the Commission in respect to age, residence, physical condition or otherwise, or who have been guilty of criminal, infamous or disgraceful conduct, or of any willful misrepresentation, deception or fraud in connection with their applications for employment;

(vi)       The certification of the three names standing highest on the appropriate list to fill any vacancy;

(vii)      Temporary employment without examination, with the consent in each case of the Commission, in cases of emergency, but no such temporary employment may continue more than 30 days nor may successive temporary employment be permitted for the same position; provided, that until 60 days after cessation of hostilities in a war as declared by proper federal authority, whenever there are no names upon the eligible register, temporary appointment may be made for employment to continue until the position is filled by a candidate from the eligible register under the provisions of the rules, provided that persons on the eligible list at the time of induction into the armed forces of the United States must retain their position on the eligible register;

(viii)     Promotion based on competitive examination and upon records of efficiency, character, conduct and seniority;

(ix)       Suspension with or without pay for not longer than 60 days and for leave of absence, with or without pay; and

(x)        Other rules not inconsistent with the provisions of Minnesota Statutes Chapter 419 and this Chapter as may, from time to time, are found necessary to secure the purposes of Minnesota Statutes Chapter 419 or this Chapter. When a disparity exists between the make-up of the Police Department and its approved affirmative action goals, the Commission may certify up to two eligible candidates from each protected group for which a disparity exists.  This certification is in addition to the three candidates certified under paragraph (B) (6) above.  Certifications under this paragraph must be made from the list of eligible candidates who have successfully completed the examination, in order of their standing in the examination.  These expanded certification procedures apply only to positions to be filled from the public and do not apply to promotional appointments.

(2)        Copies of all rules adopted by the Commission must be kept posted in a conspicuous place at each police station house and no rules of general application with reference to employment, promotion, discharge or suspension are effective until posted.

(D)       Disciplinary action. No officer or employee other than a peace officer, after six months’ continuous employment, shall be removed or discharged except for cause upon written charges and after an opportunity to be heard in defense of the charges as in this Section hereinafter provided.  No newly appointed peace officer after satisfactory completion of the basic peace officer’s training course pursuant to Minnesota Statutes Sections 626.843 to 626.852 and after a period of no longer than 12 months continuous employment thereafter, shall be removed or discharged except for cause upon written charges and after an opportunity to be heard in defense of the charges as in this Section hereinafter provided.  Such charges shall be investigated by or before the Commission.  The finding and decision of the Commission shall be forthwith certified to the Chief of Police or other appointed or superior officer and shall be enforced by such officer.  Nothing in this Chapter shall limit the power of any officer to suspend a subordinate for a reasonable period not exceeding 60 days for the purpose of discipline, or pending investigation of charges where the officer deems such suspension advisable. 

(E)       Procedures.

(1)        Charges.  Charges of inefficiency or misconduct may be filed with the secretary of the Commission by a superior officer or by the City Council, and thereupon, the Commission shall try the charges after no less than 10 days’ written notice to the accused.  Such notice shall set forth the charges as filed.  The trial of these charges shall be open to the public and each Commissioner shall have the power to issue subpoenas and to administer oaths and to compel the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of books and papers relevant to the investigation.  The Commission shall require by subpoena the attendance of any witness requested by the accused who can be found in Wabasha or Goodhue County.  The Commission may make complaint to the district court of disobedience of its subpoenas or orders under this section, and the court shall prescribe notice to the person accused and require the accused person to obey the Commission’s subpoena and order, if found within the lawful powers of the Commission, and punish disobedience as a contempt of court. Witnesses shall be entitled to the same fees and mileage as for attendance upon the district court, except that any officer, agent, or employee of the City who receives compensation for services, shall not be entitled to fees or mileage.

(2)        Findings.  If the Commission upon trial finds the employee guilty of inefficiency, breach of duty or misconduct, he or she may be removed, reduced or suspended and his or her name may also be stricken from the service register.  If the Commission determines that the charges are not sustained, the accused, if suspended pending investigation, shall be immediately reinstated and shall be paid all back pay due for the period of suspension.

(3)        Notification.  Findings, determinations, and orders of the Commission for suspension, reduction or removal shall be in writing and shall be filed within three days after the completion of the hearing with the secretary of the Commission.  The secretary shall notify the employee of the decision in writing.  Any person suspended, reduced or removed by the Commission after investigation may appeal in accordance with Minnesota Statutes Chapter 14.         

(F)       Certain acts a misdemeanor.  An applicant for examination, appointment or promotion in the Police Department service of the City who shall, either directly or indirectly, give, render, or pay or promise to give, render or pay any money, service or other thing to any person, for or on account of or in connection with the applicant’s examination, appointment or proposed appointment or promotion shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall also be subject to suspension or removal.

Any officer or employee of the Police Department, when operating under civil service in accordance with the provisions of Minnesota Statutes Chapter 419 or this Chapter, who shall in any manner directly or indirectly solicit, receive, or pay, or be in any manner concerned in the soliciting, receiving, or paying, any assessment, subscription or contribution for any party or political purpose, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be subject to suspension or removal.

Any person who shall solicit or receive directly or indirectly, or be in any manner concerned in soliciting or receiving any assessment, contribution, or payment for any political purpose whatever from any officer or employee in a police department operated under civil service as in Minnesota Statutes Chapter 419 provided for, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.