Act of Jun. 15, 1951, P.L. 586, No. 144              Cl. 53
                                  AN ACT

     Regulating the suspension, removal, furloughing and
        reinstatement of police officers in boroughs and townships of
        the first class having police forces of less than three
        members, and in townships of the second class.

        The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
     hereby enacts as follows:

        Section 1.  This act shall apply to each township of the
     second class, to each borough and township of the first class
     having a police force of less than three members and not subject
     to sections one thousand one hundred sixty-five through one
     thousand one hundred ninety of the act, approved the fourth day
     of May, one thousand nine hundred twenty-seven (Pamphlet Laws
     519), known as "The Borough Code," and their amendments, nor to
     sections six hundred twenty-five through six hundred fifty of
     the act, approved the twenty-fourth day of June, one thousand
     nine hundred thirty-one (Pamphlet Laws 1206), known as "The
     First Class Township Code," and their amendments.
        Section 2.  Removals.--No person employed as a regular full
     time police officer in any police department of any township of
     the second class, or any borough or township of the first class
     within the scope of this act, with the exception of policemen
     appointed for a probationary period of one year or less, shall
     be suspended, removed or reduced in rank except for the
     following reasons: (1) physical or mental disability affecting
     his ability to continue in service, in which case the person
     shall receive an honorable discharge from service; (2) neglect
     or violation of any official duty; (3) violating of any law
     which provides that such violation constitutes a misdemeanor or
     felony; (4) inefficiency, neglect, intemperance, disobedience of
     orders, or conduct unbecoming an officer; (5) intoxication while
     on duty. A person so employed shall not be removed for
     religious, racial or political reasons. A written statement of
     any charges made against any person so employed shall be
     furnished to such person within five days after the same are
        (2 amended July 19, 1965, P.L.219, No.119)
        Section 3.  Reduction in Number of Police.--If, for reasons
     of economy or other reasons, it shall be deemed necessary by any
     township of the second class, or any borough or township of the
     first class within the scope of this act, to reduce the number
     of paid employes of the police department, then such political
     subdivision shall apply the following procedure: (a) If there
     are any employes eligible for retirement under the terms of any
     retirement or pension law, then such reduction in numbers shall
     be made by retirement, if the party to be retired exceeds the
     maximum age as defined in the act of October 27, 1955 (P.L.744,
     No.222), known as the "Pennsylvania Human Relations Act"; (b) If
     the number of paid employes in the police force eligible to
     retirement is sufficient to effect the necessary reduction in
     number, or if there are no persons eligible for retirement, or
     if no retirement or pension fund exists, then the reduction
     shall be effected by furloughing the man or men, including
     probationers, last appointed to said police force. Such removal
     shall be accomplished by furloughing in numerical order,
     commencing with the man last appointed, until such reduction
     shall have been accomplished. In the event the said police force
     shall again be increased, the employes furloughed shall be
     reinstated in the order of their seniority in the service.
        (3 amended May 9, 1984, P.L.253, No.56)
        Section 4.  Hearings on Dismissals.--If the person sought to
     be suspended or removed shall demand a public hearing, the
     demand shall be made to the appointing authority. Such person
     may make written answers to any charges filed against him. The
     appointing authority shall grant him a public hearing, which
     shall be held within a period of ten days from the filing of
     charges in writing, and written answers thereto filed within
     five days, and may be continued by the appointing authority for
     cause or at the request of the accused. At any such hearing, the
     person against whom the charges are made may be present in
     person and by counsel. The appointing authority may suspend any
     such person without pay pending the determination of the charges
     against him, but in the event the appointing authority fails to
     uphold the charges, then the person sought to be suspended or
     removed shall be reinstated with full pay for the period during
     which he was suspended, and no charges shall be officially
     recorded against his record. No order of suspension made by the
     appointing authority shall be for a longer period than one year.
        A written record of all testimony taken at such hearings
     shall be filed with and preserved by the appointing authority,
     which record shall be sealed and not be available for public
     inspection in the event the charges are dismissed.
        Section 5.  The suspended or dismissed employe shall have the
     right to appeal to the court of common pleas of the county in
     which he was employed.
        Section 6.  In any case in which a township or borough to
     which this act applies has heretofore appointed policemen or
     established a police department by lawful action of council or
     supervisors but not by or pursuant to an ordinance or resolution
     regularly enacted, such action shall be deemed to have been a
     valid exercise of the legislative power of the township or
     borough for all purposes the same as though an ordinance or
     resolution had been enacted, and all policemen appointed
     thereunder shall occupy the same status as in the case of
     policemen appointed under authority of an ordinance or
        (6 added Apr. 28, 1961, P.L.122, No.53)