Louis D. Cooper, Joseph I. Lewis, Cooper, Hunter & Lewis, Pittsburgh, for appellant.
T. Robert Brennan, Brennan & Brennan, Pittsburgh, for appellees.
Before Rhodes, P. J., and Hirt, Reno, Ross and Fine, JJ.
[ 166 Pa. Super. Page 488]
These are appeals by the present Civil Service Commission of Scott Township, a township of the first class in Allegheny County, from orders of the court reinstating police officers who had been dismissed by the township commissioners.
On April 30, 1947, Peter Rodzwicz, appellee in No. 180, was appointed Chief of Police by the commissioners of the township. He, with a patrolman not a party to these proceedings, then comprised the township police force. Shortly thereafter, on May 13, 1947, Joseph Cyprowski, appellee in No. 179, was appointed patrolman, bringing the police force of the township to a total of three members. On the same day the township commissioners appointed its first Civil Service Commission. Thereafter, on December 20, 1947, a
[ 166 Pa. Super. Page 489]
fourth patrolman, Anthony Sztorc, appellee in No. 178, was appointed. There is nothing in the record of any of the cases to support an inference that these were temporary war emergency appointments under the Act of May 21, 1943, P.L. 492, as amended, 53 P.S. § 351.28. Cf. Kearcher v. Mt. Oliver Borough Council, 363 Pa. 148, 69 A.2d 394. That Act has no application here.
On February 9, 1948, the township commissioners dismissed the above Civil Service Commission and appointed a new Commission consisting of the present Civil Service Commissioners, the appellants here And on February 13, 1948, the commissioners of the township summarily discharged all of its policemen including the present appellees. No reason was given for their dismissal and they were denied hearings by the Civil Service Commission. From this action they appeal to the common pleas. The court concluded that they were Civil Service Employees of Scott Township, entitled to the protection afforded by the Act of June 5, 1941, P.L. 84 sometimes referred to as the Police Civil Service Act, and on that ground reinstated all three, with pay from the date of their dismissal. We think the court erred as to appellees Cyprowski and Rodzwicz in so holding; the orders will be reversed as to them.
Section 1 of the 1941 Act, 53 P.S. § 351.1, provides: 'This act shall not apply to any borough, incorporated town or township of the first class having a police force of less than three members. Hereafter each and every appointment to and promotion in the police force in every borough, incorporated town and township of the first class, (hereinafter called a municipality) shall be made only according to qualifications and fitness to be ascertained by examinations which shall be competitive as hereinafter provided.' The Act by the specific provision of § 28 became effective July 1, 1941. On that
[ 166 Pa. Super. Page 490]
date Scott Township did not have three policemen and the Act then did not apply to it. However, on May 13, 1947, when the police force was enlarged to three members, the township became subject to its provisions. A Civil Service Commission was lawfully created on that date and thereafter 'qualifications and fitness * * * ascertained by examinations' in accordance with the Act, alone could give Civil Service status to members of any three-man police force appointed after July 1, 1941. The statutory provisions regulating ...