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FRATERNAL ORDER POLICE v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (01/24/83)

decided: January 24, 1983.

FRATERNAL ORDER OF POLICE, CONFERENCE OF PENNSYLVANIA LIQUOR CONTROL BOARD LODGES, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, PENNSYLVANIA LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, RESPONDENT. COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, INTERVENOR



Appeal from the Order of the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board in case of In the Matter of Employes of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (Liquor Control Board), No. PF-R-80-102-C.

COUNSEL

P. Richard Wagner, Mancke & Lightman, for petitioner.

William J. Maikovich, with him James L. Crawford and Anthony C. Busillo, for respondent.

Robert J. Schwartz, Assistant Counsel, for intervenor, Office of Budget and Administration, Bureau of Labor Relations.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr. and Judges Rogers, Blatt, Williams, Jr. and MacPhail. Opinion by Judge MacPhail.

Author: Macphail

[ 71 Pa. Commw. Page 317]

The Fraternal Order of Police, Conference of Liquor Control Board Lodges (Petitioner) has brought this Petition for Review from a decision of the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board (PLRB) dismissing a Petition for Investigation and Certification of Representatives (Certification Petition). Petitioners seek to acquire the status of bargaining representative for Liquor Control Board Enforcement Officers (LCB Enforcement Officers) pursuant to the provisions of the Act of June 24, 1968 (Act 111), P.L. 237, 43 P.S.

[ 71 Pa. Commw. Page 318]

§§ 217.1-.10.*fn1 The sole basis for the dismissal of the Certification Petition, and the only question properly*fn2 before this Court for review, is whether the PLRB erred in finding*fn3 that LCB Enforcement Officers are not "police" for purposes of Act 111.

The term "policemen" is not defined by Act 111. Under Section 1903(a) of the Statutory Construction Act, 1 Pa. C.S. § 1903(a), the word must therefore be construed according to its common and approved usage. Our Supreme Court, in Pennsylvania Relations Commission v. Beaver Falls City Council, 469 Pa. 522, 366 A.2d 911 (1976) has outlined the common meaning of policeman. That Court, quoting from Judge Rogers' Commonwealth Court opinion, indicated that "the title of policeman [may] be properly applied to one who performs services critical to public safety in the investigation and detection of serious crimes -- a person trained, equipped (with . . . gun, handcuffs, badge of office and motor vehicles) and actually engaged in the detection of persons suspected of crime." 469 Pa. at 527, 366 A.2d at 914 (quoting Beaver Falls City Council v. Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, 17 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 31, 33, 330 A.2d 581, 583 (1975)). The Supreme Court also noted that "a policeman's duty is the enforcement of all laws whose

[ 71 Pa. Commw. Page 319]

    violation affects the peace and good order of the Community." 469 Pa. at 528, 366 A.2d at 914 (quoting McNitt v. Philadelphia, 325 Pa. 73, 189 A. 300 (1937)). Such a definition corresponds with this Court's prior treatment of the term "police" under Act 111. See Venneri v. County of Allegheny, 12 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 517, 316 A.2d 120 (1974); County of Allegheny v. Hartshorn, 9 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 132, 304 A.2d 716 (1973) aff'd, 460 Pa. 560, 333 A.2d 914 (1975).

In the recent case of Commonwealth v. Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board, 64 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 525, 441 A.2d 470 (1982) we again had reason to examine the issue of who are "police" under Act 111. We there indicated that our primary focus would be upon the statutorily authorized powers of the group in question, in order to ascertain the legislative intent regarding police powers. 64 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. at 531, 441 A.2d at 474. The statutory authorization for LCB Enforcement Officers ...


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