NYPD Prior Probationary Service Counts Upon Reinstatement

Ward v  Kelly

Petitioner, Michael Ward, sought to annul a decision of the NYPD, to terminate him as a Probationary Police Officer on March 11, 2009.

In July 2006, Petitioner was originally appointed as a probationary police officer. Approximately nineteen months later, Ward resigned from his position in order to join the New York City Fire Department and less than a month later, on February 13, 2008, he resigned from the Fire Department and reapplied to the NYPD on the same day.

When Petitioner reapplied to the NYPD, he was required to sign a document called “Police Officer Terms of Probation,” which states that he was informed that there will be a twenty-four month probationary period. On February 21, 2008, Ward was appointed as a Probationary Police Officer. Upon appointment, Petitioner alleges that his probationary period would only last thirty-two days because he had started his probationary period on his initial appointment into the NYPD.

In December 2008, Petitioner was arrested for assault, menacing and harassment. Eventually, the charges were dropped, but as a Probationary Police Officer, Ward was terminated from the NYPD.

Petitioner argues that his initial probationary period should have been counted towards the two year probationary period, which ended in August 2008. Therefore, this would entitle Ward to a disciplinary hearing before his termination because he was no longer a Probationary Police Officer.

According to the Personnel Rules and Regulations of the City of New York, when “…a probationary employee has been separated from service, for any reason other than fault or delinquency, and is thereafter re-appointed by the same agency, the length of his prior probationary term shall be deducted from his current probationary term.”

The petition was granted and the decision terminating petitioner was vacated and rescinded. Petitioner will also be subject to such other disciplinary procedures applicable to him as a non-probationary police officer from his December 14, 2008 arrest.

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