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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What is the difference between working for a non civil service town and a civil service one? I am contemplating applying to a small town near my residence (Part time since I do not have the MCJTC full time academy). I never had a reason to apply to non civil service places and I have no political contacts.

I have heard some bad comments about non civil service departments, but I still would like to check it out. I did apply to one non civil service town a while ago and they hired a person (Part time paid position) with only one year of experience and no type of academy.

I guess my question would be to all the non civil service cops out there what can I expect. I work currently with a guy who claims he worked full time for a non civil service town for six years and suddenly didn't get reappointed because he gave a cousin of a selectman a ticket....But so many people tell stories I don't know if it is true and I don't understand this "reappointment every year" thing.
Any advice would be great. Thanks.
 

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NSP233 said:
I guess my question would be to all the non civil service cops out there what can I expect. I work currently with a guy who claims he worked full time for a non civil service town for six years and suddenly didn't get reappointed because he gave a cousin of a selectman a ticket....But so many people tell stories I don't know if it is true and I don't understand this "reappointment every year" thing.
Any advice would be great. Thanks.
I do know of some towns especially on the cape that have issues with their selectmen. For example: :roll:

Friday, June 20, 2003

Police reappointment sparks discussion and debate

WELLFLEET - Although police officers Jonathan Taylor and James Campbell declined an invitation to speak with selectmen Monday, the board voted unanimously to reappoint the pair to the police department.

Eventually.

The board initially voted 4-1 to reappoint Taylor and Campbell, with Selectman Jerry Houk voting no. At the end of the meeting, more than two hours later, he changed his vote to make the appointments unanimous.

"We were not trying to deny them tenure," Houk said after the meeting. "I was hoping to set a standard so that when the next group comes up for tenure, we could bring them in and ask them what they've learned about working in Wellfleet, and what they see as their problems. What's wrong with that? I think the best thing we could do, when we hire new police officers, is to interview them."

Houk had proposed that the officers come in so that the board could talk with each one about their philosophy of policing before approving their reappointment. He noted that come December, both officers will be tenured. But Town Administrator Tim Smith told the selectmen that Detective Michael Mizzen, president of the union, notified him by letter that Taylor and Campbell had declined the invitation.

Houk said he saw no harm in making the invitation, and was disappointed that Campbell did not show up. He said he did not think the board should allow "someone to choose when and where they are going to speak to you. If you do that, then this board is not going to have any authority."

Houk was talking when Selectman Dale Donovan, chairman, allowed Smith to explain that the tenure issue was a "moot point," and nothing the board could act upon. Houk angrily protested Donovan allowing Smith to talk when he had the floor, but to no avail.

After the meeting, Donovan said a police officer, after one year on the job, has tenure, under the town contract. State law also provides tenure after five years on the job. But even with tenure, he noted, the board can fire any officer if they have cause.
Berta Bruinooge, co-chairwoman of the disbanded Public Safety Review Committee, said in a phone conversation that she agreed with Houk.

"In a town this size, I see no reason why citizens, especially active citizens who are selectmen, should not know who the police officers are. Twenty years ago, I knew all the policemen who worked in town, and I think it's certainly a good idea that we know all the officers. It would be fine for them to at least know the selectmen. There is no reason why a police officer should think this is bad, or wrong, or get defensive about it. It's too bad, that in a small town like this, we can't all know each other."

Matt Frazier, who co-chaired the Public Safety Review Committee with Bruinooge, said officers are concerned that things in the past will be "dredged up" if they appear before the selectmen. "I think perhaps a certain tone was perceived by some people that Jerry was obviously a vocal proponent of the public safety review committee, which failed miserably due to a total lack of communication from the management arm of the department." He said he got no cooperation from Chief Richard Rosenthal, although questions put to the "rank and file" of the police department were answered.

Houk said Campbell missed a good opportunity for public relations with the board and the police department by failing to come to the meeting.

Donovan said he saw no need for selectmen to interview police officers. "Why just police officers?" he said. "Why not lifeguards? Would we interview them, too?"

The police have made an effort to introduce themselves to the community, Donovan said. They prepared a booklet about their backgrounds and families, which is available to the public. "The more time we spend with this sort of thing, demonstrating that we have the authority to do it (interview officers), the less time we spend on our real responsibility as selectmen, which is to make policy," he said.

Rosenthal said his officers have no objection to talking to the board.

"But it was the way it was presented; that was a problem, that prior to making the reappointments the board wanted to interview the officers." When Houk first suggested that the officers come in before being reappointed, Rosenthal objected, and told the board if it failed to make the appointments, this was tantamount to firing the officers. "A failure to reappoint is the same as a termination, and that's right in the statute," he said.

Smith said he wished selectmen had notified him earlier that they wanted to meet with the officers before reappointing them.

"I don't think the police would have had any problems if they had been given some advance notice, but this all came on at once, that we wanted them to come in," he said. "If the selectmen have an issue that they want to talk about, bring it up before the meeting because I can't react at the meeting. All I can say is, 'I'll get back to you.'"
 

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I would suggest that you don't make your decision based on civil service non-civil service., particularly for a part-time position. There are great and lousey departments in either category. Put your efforts into learning about the particular department and if it is a agency you would like to be a part of. One way would be to ask on this board "what can anyone tell be about East-Cupcake PD?" . I've seen others do it and get some really good input.
 

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Prior to becoming a full-time patrolman with a NON-civil service town, I heard the same horror stories. At the time, my impression was that anything done that wasn't in the rules or regulations or a citation that was written to an affluent member could result in termination. In essence, you could fired at the drop of a hat. This is simply not true. Maybe we don't have "civil-service protection" but like other departments, we are part of unions(e.g. Masscop, IBPO, etc.) and have a "strong chief" clause in this town. I have arrested a selectman's son, cited the town administrator's daughter and I still have a job. There was no disciplinary action taken, nor did I have fear/or hear talk of my termination. Like any dept(civil/non-civil) we have f-up's we work with. I have worked with some who's behavior probably should have resulted in termination, yet they continue to work still today. My advice to you, is dispel the rumors. You can be as aggressive as you like and not fear any retaliation for doing your job.
 

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I currently work as a FT PO in a non-civil service community and have never had any problems with the certain "politics" people seem to associate with it. I'd rather be accused of doing my job than not doing it. The way I see it, along with my fellow officers, you would really have to F%$# up to get fired. As far as getting hired because I knew someone. I wish it were the case, because I would have made that call a long time ago. I had in no way, shape or form any ties to the town I work in. This just doesn't go for me, but most of the dept. as well. I like to think that when I went and interviewed for the job my life/work experience, military service and education spoke for itself.
 
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I currently work for a non-civil service town, and let me tell you. I can think of a few Civil service towns out there you couldn't pay me to work for. Don't base your career solely on the civil service status, if this is what you want to do get out there and do it! We are all police officers, civil service or not!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks everybody...

Thanks for the advice. Obviously my chance for a civil service position is gonzo! Non civil service is my only option, so I have to go for it!
 

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There are some really good non-civil service depts out there. You just have to know where to look and then do some homework. Don't be afraid to cold call depts or send a resume.
 

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What qualifications must you have to apply for a non-civil service city/town? Im sure each non civil service city/town has there own requirements but I mean generally speaking what would put you at a good position to be considered. Do most consider the full time MCJTC or would they be willing to send you to the academy? I just don't wanna attend the full time academy and spend all that money with nothing to do with it. Im a college student now and I work for a campus police department that will send me to the part-time academy. Im always looking for advancement hopefully with a city or town in MA. If no luck by the time Im out of college then I'll just head to Florida and start my career. Any suggestions, all opinions welcome!!!

Thank you,
Mike
 

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In this cash strapped economy, most non-civil service departments will be looking for candidates that have already graduated from an MPOC. The reasoning is: Why spend $ on 6 mos. salary & 3 mos. field training before putting someone on the road alone, when you can save the 6 mos. salary at the academy by hiring someone who has already graduated.

With that said, some departments will hire you w/out the academy and put you through. You have to look at each individual announcement and read carefully. For example, Truro's recent opening notice says that MPOC grads are preferred, and Dennis' speaks about reserves and part-timers given preference on an alternating basis.

GOOD LUCK

STAY SAFE
 
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