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  • Civil Service

    There is currently a bill in the TX Leglisature that if it were to become Law, entitle a small SO to have to voters elect civil service for their County. I know nothing about Civil Service aside from the PD nextdoor has it. For those that know, what are the advantages/disadvantages about Civil Service?

    The main reason I am asking is that our new collective barging is up for re-negotations and I would like to suggest adding a clause that if that bill becomes law, we the members of the associaton want that option of taking it before the voters and if successful, it becomes implemented into the contract.

    Thanks in advance.
    "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called Sons of God - Matthew 5:9

  • #2
    I came from a small civil service department to a larger department that is not. I'm not expert, but basically it seems there is a lot more protection for the line officer with a civil service department. When the department tests there are regulations on how the department hires from the list etc. There is a civil service commission which is made up of citizens in that city, and if you were ever terminated and appealed the termination it would be in front of that commission of people, who have no attachment to the police department.

    Hope that makes sense... personally as a patrol officer I would prefer civil service. I think it makes hiring more fair, promotions typically more fair, and adds added protection to officers from discipline action from the administration and if you are unfairly terminated it adds an excellent opportunity to appeal.

    With that said, there are some down falls to it. I've seen a lot of officers who should have been terminated get their jobs back because civil service didn't agree with the termination. I think sometimes due to the guidelines that have to be followed in the hiring process, some people are hired who aren't necessarily the best picks, but because of how hight they scored that is where they fell.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Se7en View Post
      With that said, there are some down falls to it. I've seen a lot of officers who should have been terminated get their jobs back because civil service didn't agree with the termination. I think sometimes due to the guidelines that have to be followed in the hiring process, some people are hired who aren't necessarily the best picks, but because of how high they scored that is where they fell.
      Seen it a lot here. Turds getting their jobs back 3, 4, sometimes 5 times... It doesn't always bode well for promotions either. Due to the civil service rules, we only have a test to promote, not a test and board like their should be. Also, our last promotion test for a certain rank, we didn't have enough officers pass in order to fill the spots. So instead of retesting later down the road, they just lowered the minimum score in order to get enough... and the civil service board approved it...
      “The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed."

      "You go for a man hard enough and fast enough, he don't have time to think about how many's with him; he thinks about himself, and how he might get clear of that wrath that's about to set down on him."

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      • #4
        Originally posted by JTShooter View Post
        Seen it a lot here. Turds getting their jobs back 3, 4, sometimes 5 times... It doesn't always bode well for promotions either. Due to the civil service rules, we only have a test to promote, not a test and board like their should be. Also, our last promotion test for a certain rank, we didn't have enough officers pass in order to fill the spots. So instead of retesting later down the road, they just lowered the minimum score in order to get enough... and the civil service board approved it...
        I thought of Dallas as I was typing out the negatives of civil service, only because I recall reading a lot of stories in the past of officers doing some really stupid things and getting their jobs back. One, if I recall correctly, was stealing wheels or something from an impound lot, and got his job back. I guess it all comes down to the commission, but I'd rather have that security . At my last department when they tested for promotion it was a written test then an oral board made up of supervisors.

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        • #5
          The civil service commission usually is appointed by the board of supervisors with input from the sheriff. (for a county CS set up)

          Civil Service first of all sets a standard for hiring starting with a written test. The CS commission monitors and scores the written test if not the entire testing process. Other parts of the hiring process CAN be included such as PT, & civil service commission interview. All scores are totaled then a numerical list is given to the hiring authority.

          The hiring authority then USUALLY does interviews with the (top 5, 10, 20---whatever they decide) and pick their hire. A civil service list in my state (Sheriff's) is good for 1 yr. The sheriff's usually hire their picks by number...........#1 Ranking first --etc.

          Promotions are also based on written testing and may also include an interview with the civil service commission to rank the promotees.

          The sheriff then picks off of the top 10 promotable deputies.

          Should a deputy have a demotion or suspension or termination, they are allowed a hearing before the civil service commission before they are allowed to use the district court or any union grievance procedure.
          Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

          My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

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          • #6
            The Civil Service also protects officers from being fired because of new Chief or Sheriff. The Good O Boy system which is an epidemic in most departments these days. We have a Constables in the county that has a son who works as a deputy and believe me he has done some F’ed up things and usually if there is another deputy around they will take the fall.
            Last edited by AKA=Cruz; 04-06-2011, 11:29 AM.
            "An officer has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the quality of his actions and the integrity of his intent."

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            • #7
              Originally posted by AKA=Cruz View Post
              The Civil Service also protects officers from being fired because of new Chief or Sheriff. The Good O Boy system which is an epidemic in most departments these days. We have a Constables in the county that has a son who works as a deputy and believe me he has done some F’ed up things and usually if there is another deputy around they will take the fall.
              Thats what I'm talking about. I love what I do and love working for a Sheriff's Office. I've worked for a PD before, but I guess I'm one of those who was meant to be a SO guy. The only downfall about it is that if a new Sheriff's comes in, he can literally wipe everyone out. I also like the fact that the Civil Service board is independant of the SO, its about the facts, doesn't take sides.

              I am actually surprised that Harris County Constables' dont have civil service. I'm sure all those Deputies would still be working if they had civil service.
              "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called Sons of God - Matthew 5:9

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