Chapter 18: Police Department

Section 431.

Section 431. Department; commissioner.

  1. There shall be a police department the head of which shall be the police commissioner who shall be appointed by the mayor and shall, unless sooner removed, hold office for a term of five years.
  2. Whenever in the judgment of the mayor or the governor the public interests shall so require, the commissioner may be removed from office by either, and shall be ineligible for reappointment thereto.
  3. Whenever a vacancy shall occur in the office of police commissioner, a police commissioner shall be appointed by the mayor within ten days thereafter.

Section 432.

Section 432. Deputies.

The commissioner shall have the power to appoint and at pleasure remove seven deputies, one to be known as first deputy commissioner. During the absence or disability of the commissioner, the first deputy commissioner, or if he shall be absent or under disability, the deputy commissioner designated by the commissioner shall possess all the powers and perform all the duties of the commissioner except the power of making appointments and transfers.

Section 433.

Section 433. Member of department; no other office.

  1. The commissioner shall have cognizance and control of the government, administration, disposition and discipline of the department, and of the police force of the department.
  2. The commissioner shall be the chief executive officer of the police force. He shall be chargeable with and responsible for the execution of all laws and the rules and regulations of the department.

Section 435.

Section 435. Department; duties.

  1. The police department and force shall have the power and it shall be their duty to preserve the public peace, prevent crime, detect and arrest offenders, suppress riots, mobs and insurrections, disperse unlawful or dangerous assemblages and assemblages which obstruct the free passage of public streets, sidewalks, parks and places; protect the rights of persons and property, guard the public health, preserve order at elections and all public meetings and assemblages; subject to the provisions of law and the rules and regulations of the commissioner of traffic,* regulate, direct, control and restrict the movement of vehicular and pedestrian traffic for the facilitation of traffic and the convenience of the public as well as the proper protection of human life and health; remove all nuisances in the public streets, parks and places; arrest all street mendicants and beggars; provide proper police attendance at fires; inspect and observe all places of public amusement, all places of business having excise or other licenses to carry on any business; enforce and prevent the violation of all laws and ordinances in force in the city; and for these purposes to arrest all persons guilty of violating any law or ordinance for the suppression or punishment of crimes or offenses.
  2. The provisions of law and the rules and regulations of the commissioner of transportation relating to regulating, directing, controlling and restricting the parking of vehicles and the movement and conduct of vehicular and pedestrian traffic for the facilitation of traffic and the convenience of the public as well as the proper protection of human life and health may also be enforced by an employee of the police department.
  3. Except as specifically provided herein, nothing contained in this section shall be deemed to limit, restrict, divest, transfer or supersede the powers or the jurisdiction of any agency as defined in section eleven hundred fifty of the charter.
  4. Nothing contained in this charter shall be deemed to grant the department of traffic cognizance or control over the government, administration, disposition and discipline of the police department or police force.

Section 436.

Section 436. Powers over certain trades.

The commissioner shall possess powers of general supervision and inspection over all licensed or unlicensed pawnbrokers, vendors, junkshop keepers, junk boatment, cartmen, dealers in second-hand merchandise and auctioneers within the city; and in connection with the performance of any police duties he shall have power to examine such persons, their clerks and employees and their books, business premises, and any articles of merchandise in their possession. A refusal or neglect to comply in any respect with the provisions of this section on the part of any pawnbroker, vendor, junkshop keeper, junk boatman, cartman, dealer in second-hand merchandise or auctioneer, or any clerk or employee of any thereof shall be triable by a judge of the criminal court and punishable by not more than thirty days’ imprisonment, or by a fine of not more than fifty dollars, or both.

Section 437.

Section 437. Detail to attend court.

The commissioner is empowered to cause some intelligent and experienced person connected with the department to attend any courts in the city in cases where there is need of assistance, who shall, to such extent as shall be permitted by the rules of the court, aid in proceedings pending in such courts.

Section 438.

Section 438. Maintenance and operation of telegraph and telephone lines, etc.

The commissioner shall have power to erect, operate, supply and maintain, subject to the general laws of the state, all such lines of telegraph and telephones and other means of communication as for the purposes and business of the police the commissioner shall deem necessary. The commissioner may provide all instruments, fixtures, property and materials for the purpose above mentioned and control the same.