Community Operations Manual

 

This manual provides guidance to all members on applicable policies regarding the general operations of the community including membership requirements and operational considerations.

 

 COMMUNITY OPERATIONS MANUAL

Version 3.7

Approved by Sheriff Luke Hobbs on 02/21/2016

Harbor County Community Operations Manual - Table of Contents


Mission

The mission of the Harbor County Department of Public safety role play community is to provide the highest quality role play community, with a transparent leadership structure dedicated to the community as a whole.

Core Values

In pursuit of our mission, our community takes the following core values to be of critical importance. All members are expected to exhibit these minimum characteristics.

  • Equity Fair, impartial and equitable treatment of all people
  • Integrity Faithful performance of our duties and always doing the right thing for the right reason
  • Honesty Incorruptible character and truthfulness
  • Accountability Demonstrating responsibility in all activities
  • Respect Treating others as we would like to be treated
  • Diversity Encouraging the participation of all people and the inclusion of diverse points of view
  • Teamwork Achieving more through partnerships
  • Innovation Encouraging creativity within and contribution to the community

 Law Enforcement Code of Ethics

While the Harbor County DPS is not a real life law enforcement or emergency service agency, we strive to role play as these dedicated and courageous men and women during our game sessions. As such, we should recognize the high standards they uphold while performing their duties and strive for the same in ourselves.

 

”As a Law Enforcement Officer, my fundamental duty is to serve mankind, to safeguard lives and property, to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation, and the peaceful against violence or disorder; and to respect the Constitutional rights of all men to liberty, equality and justice.

I will keep my private life unsullied as an example to all; maintain courageous calm in the face of danger, scorn or ridicule; develop self-restraint and be constantly mindful of the welfare of others. Honest in thought and deed in both my personal and official life, I will be exemplary in obeying the laws of the land and the regulations of my department. Whatever I see or hear of a confidential nature or that is confided to me in my official capacity will be kept ever secret unless revelation is necessary in the performance of my duty.

I will never act officiously or permit personal feelings, prejudices, animosities or friendships to influence my decisions. With no compromise for crime and with relentless prosecution of criminals, I will enforce the law courteously and appropriately without fear or favor, malice or ill will, never employing unnecessary force or violence and never accepting gratuities.

I recognize the badge of my office as a symbol of public faith, and I accept it as a public trust to be held so long as I am true to the ethics of the police service. I will constantly strive to achieve these objectives and ideals, dedicating myself to my chosen profession...law enforcement."

 History

The Harbor County Department of Public Safety was founded in early 2012 by Dan Shaw, John O'Neill, and Chevyman. Together they have more than a decade of online community experience and over two decades of leadership experience, both in the online world and the real world.

The vision for the HCDPS community is to provide an environment that strives for a realistic role play experience, led by transparent leaders that are fully committed to the community as a whole, and encourage each member to develop and contribute to the community.

 

 

HCSO Personnel Structure

 

The following image depicts a graphical representation of the HCSO "chain of command" structure.

HCSO-CoCCommunity_Ops_Manual_Page

Sheriff

The Sheriff shall be responsible for overseeing the daily operations of the community, guiding and directing the overall direction and development of the community as a whole, and shall be ultimately responsible for all matters relating to the operation and development of the community.

Chief Deputy

The Chief Deputy shall be responsible for directly assisting the Sheriff in the performance of his / her duties. The Chief Deputy shall perform the duties and hold the responsibilities of the Sheriff in case of the Sheriff's absence.

Major

The Major shall be responsible for directly assisting the Chief Deputy in the performance of his / her duties. The Major shall also be responsible for maintaining up to date records with regards to current policy manuals and community documents, and recording and publishing meeting minutes during staff meetings.

Captain

The Captain shall be responsible for overseeing the operations of each of the 3 Companies and ensuring that each Company is operating in accordance with community guidelines. The Captain shall also be responsible for supervising the staff of each Company to ensure they are performing their duties and responsibilities.

Lieutenant

Each Company shall have an assigned Lieutenant who shall be directly responsible for the operation of their assigned Company. The Lieutenant shall ensure that each Company is operated in accordance with community policy, and is moving in the direction set forth by the Sheriff.

Sergeant

Each Company shall have one or more Sergeants, assigned to lead a specific numerical Unit. The Sergeant's primary responsibility is the direct supervision and control of in progress game sessions. They shall also supervise each Deputy assigned to their Unit and encourage each Deputy’s progress and development in the community.

Training Sergeant

Company A, Unit 1 shall be considered a Training Unit and shall be assigned a Training Sergeant who shall be directly responsible for developing, overseeing, and conducting effective training programs for all new member training. The Training Sergeant shall also oversee all Training Deputies assigned to execute the training program. The Training Sergeant may also designate other staff members as Authorized Instructors and Authorized Evaluators to assist in the execution of the training program.

Master Deputy

Master Deputies have exhibited all the qualities of the community's core values and consistently demonstrated through their involvement and contribution to the community that they are willing and able to perform above and beyond the normal scope of their duties. Master Deputies may serve as acting game supervisors in the absence of a Sergeant.

Training Deputy

Training Deputies shall be responsible for executing the training plan developed by the Training Sergeant and shall ensure that all new members are welcomed to the community, and receive the knowledge necessary to flourish and grow within the community. Training Deputies may serve as acting game supervisors in the absence of a Sergeant or Master Deputy.

Deputy

Deputies are the standard members of the HCSO. They are responsible for actively participating in games, assisting and welcoming new members, and upholding the community's core values at all times.

Probationary Deputy

Probationary Deputies have completed Academic training and progressed to Field Training with the Training Deputies. Probationary Deputies shall be responsible for striving to learn and progress, and become active contributing members of the community.

Sheriff's Cadet

Sheriff's Cadets are the newest members of the community and will be the default group for new hires. A Sheriff's Cadet is solely responsible for Academic learning, striving to learn and progress, and become active contributing members of the community.

 

HCFD Personnel Structure

 

The following image depicts a graphical representation of the HCFD "chain of command" structure.

HCFD-CoC_Community_Ops_Manual_Page

 

Fire Chief

The Fire Chief shall be responsible for overseeing the daily operations of the Fire Department, contributing to the overall direction and development of the community as a whole, and shall be ultimately responsible for all matters relating to the operation and development of the Fire Department.

Assistant Fire Chief

The Assistant Fire Chief shall be responsible for directly assisting the Fire Chief in the performance of his / her duties. The Assistant Fire Cheif shall perform the duties and hold the responsibilities of the Fire Chief in case of the Fire Chief's absence.

Battalion Chiefs

The HCFD shall have one or more Battalion Chiefs whose primary responsibility is the direct supervision and control of HCFD personnel in game sessions as well as serving as Incident Commanders. They shall also supervise each Firefighter and encourage each Firefighter's progress and development in the community. The Battalion Chiefs shall also be responsible for developing, overseeing, and conducting effective training programs for all new member training. As such, they shall also supervise Training Firefighters assigned to execute the training program.

Engineers

Engineers have exhibited all the qualities of the community's core values and consistently demonstrated through their involvement and contribution to the community that they are willing and able to perform above and beyond the normal scope of their duties. Engineers may serve as acting HCFD supervisors and Incident Commanders in the absence of a Battalion Chief.

Training Firefighters

Training Firefighters shall be responsible for executing the training plan developed by the Battalion Chiefs and shall ensure that all new members are welcomed to the community, and receive the knowledge necessary to flourish and grow within the community. Training Firefighters may serve as acting HCFD supervisors in the absence of an Engineer or Battalion Chief.

Firefighters

Firefighters are the standard members of the HCFD. They are responsible for actively participating in games, assisting and welcoming new members, and upholding the community's core values at all times.

Probationary Firefighters

Probationary Firefighters have completed Academic training and progressed to Field Training with the Training Firefighters. Probationary Firefighters shall be responsible for striving to learn and progress, and become active contributing members of the community.

Fire Cadet

Fire Cadets are the newest members of the community and will be the default group for new hires. A Fire Cadet is solely responsible for Academic learning, striving to learn and progress, and become active contributing members of the community.

 

Organization

Executive Staff

The Executive Staff shall consist of the Sheriff, Chief Deputy, Major, and Fire Chief. Together, the 4 members of the Executive Staff shall be solely responsible for the authoring, revision, and institution of all community policies and manuals. They should seek and accept input and opinions from the Administrative Staff in the performance of these duties. The Sheriff may also issue Executive Orders with immediate effect regarding any facet of the community's operation.

Administrative Staff

The Administrative Staff shall consist of the Captain, each of the 3 Company Lieutenants, and the Assistant Fire Chief. Together, the 5 members of the Administrative staff shall serve as the advisers to the Executive Staff in the performance of their duties. Ideas, suggestions, feedback, and opinions should be freely discussed and exchanged between the Administrative and Executive groups regarding planned policies and manuals, as well as the direction of the community.

Supervisory Staff

The Supervisory Staff shall consist of all designated Sergeants for each HCSO Unit, and all Battalion Chiefs. Together, the members of the Supervisory Staff shall ensure that the community is operated smoothly during all game sessions, foster and develop the members of the community, and encourage all members to contribute to the community. Any ideas, suggestions, feedback, and opinions from the Supervisory Staff or any member of the community should promptly be taken up the chain of command to the Administrative Staff for consideration.

Special Contractors

The staff may also designate Special Contractor positions to be filled by individuals that support the community or it's operations, but who do not have a need to be an regular community member. Some examples of Special Contractors may be website or IT administrators, clerical staff, other consultants or advisors, etc.

A simple majority vote of the combined Executive and Administrative staff shall be required to create any new Special Contractor Position. The Executive and Administrative staff shall designate what community access, information, authority, and privileges a Special Contractor shall have on a case by case basis appropriate to the Special Contractor's job function.

Any Special Contractor positions created shall be added to this section of the Community Operations Manual with a brief description of the position and the name of the person assigned to fill the role, as well as their access, authority, and privileges.

FBI Criminal Consultant - Agent Darren Houseknecht

Description: Early in the communities organization, it became clear that we needed someone dedicated to managing the grand scale of our plans for our Civilian Operations and Criminal Investigations. These two areas frequently involve the need for in depth character profiles and backgrounds with recurring characters, and ongoing story lines and cases. It wouldn't make sense to have any CID or TRU members investigating their own story lines and characters for some of these events, so someone would need to be designated to provide the appropriate information and context to the Detectives as the case progresses. Agent Houseknecht has years of experience in this type of role play, character generation, and story writing so he was a natural choice to help the community achieve it’s goals.

Access/Information Level: Supervisory Staff

Authority: Supervisory Staff

Other Details: Agent Houseknecht is eligible for all awards and commendations, and is to be treated as an equal to a Supervisory Staff member.

MDC Vendor- Sarah Coffield

Description: With the ongoing development of a custom MDC/CAD for Harbor County it is beneficial for both the developer and the client to be able to have an open line of communication and interaction.

Access/Information Level: Regular Forum Member / Regular Access to Teamspeak

Authority: None

Other Details: A new MDC Development forum was created.  At this time access is limited to Supervisory Staff and above as well as the MDC Vendor.  It will later be opened up to dispatchers then the general membership for testing and bug reporting. Sarah is eligible for all awards and commendations, and is to be treated as an equal to a regular community member.

 

 Operation

The 3 staff groups, Executive, Administrative, and Supervisory, as well as the Board of Directors, must work harmoniously together in pursuit of the greater good for the community as a whole. A system of checks and balances shall be in place to prevent one group from becoming destructive to the community, governed by the following provisions.

1. Only the Executive Staff shall have the authority to author, revise, or institute any new policy or manual; excluding the Sheriff's authority to issue Executive Orders, which shall not be infringed.

2. The Administrative staff may and should be involved in the brainstorming process with regards to what policies need be authored, revised, or instituted and what changes to make therein.

3. Once a policy has been written, it shall pass and be instituted only after approval by majority vote first of the Executive Staff, then of a combined vote of the Executive Staff and the Administrative Staff. The combined vote count shall not exceed nine (9) as each member shall have only 1 vote; but may cast the vote of another member not in attendance as an authorized proxy with written authorization from the member not in attendance in accordance with the provisions contained in the "Vote by Proxy" section below.

4. Policy change votes shall take place in the community discussion forum. The thread will be updated and moved to each staff group's dedicated forum as necessary. Once a vote has been opened, it shall be considered final upon reaching a simple majority count in favor of one option, all eligible votes being cast, or upon expiration 7 days after the poll was opened. As each staff member shall only have one (1) vote, if any staff member holds proxy as outlined in the Vote By Proxy section below, he shall make a forum post in the vote thread advising this his vote also has a proxy so that it can be counted accordingly. The vote threads should be used to clearly track the voting process, and any discussion related to the topic being voted on should be held in a different thread rather than cluttering the vote thread itself. Once a policy has been passed by the Administrative and Executive staff groups, it shall be passed to the Supervisory staff group for review prior to implementation. The Supervisory staff shall have the opportunity to review and vote on the finalized policy and either "Approve" or "Veto" the policy, subject to the voting provisions contained in this section.

5. The Sheriff's Office and Fire Department staff should come together as a single group of Executive, Administrative, and Supervisory Staff for matters related to the entire community. For individual policy or procedure decisions, the 2 chains may operate independently as needed.

 

Vote by Proxy

If a staff member is on a leave of absence or otherwise deems themselves unavailable to fulfill their obligations to participate in the voting process during their absence, he or she may delegate their vote to another staff member to vote on their behalf, subject to the following provisions. These provisions shall apply to any staff member holding authority to vote on any topic, such as HR duties or policy changes.

1. Votes may only be delegated with written authorization from the absentee staff member. For the purposes of this requirement, "Written Authorization" shall be defined as a forum thread in the appropriate staff sub forum (Executive, Administrative, or Supervisory) that is pinned to ensure visibility. The forum post must clearly contain information about which staff member the vote has been delegated to, and for what period of time the delegation is effective. This provision serves to clearly communicate all delegated votes to all affected staff members.

2. Votes may only be delegated to one staff member at a time, and the staff member must be in the same category (Executive, Administrative, or Supervisory) as the absentee staff member. For example, an Administrative Staff member may only delegate their vote to another Administrative Staff member. This provision serves to ensure that all compartmentalized information relevant to cast an appropriate vote is available to the person who will be casting the vote.

3. If a staff member delegates his or her vote to another staff member, then he or she shall not be permitted to vote on their own behalf so long as the proxy is in effect. For example, if a staff member returns from a leave of absence early, they must revoke their delegated vote prior to participating in any votes directly. This provision serves to ensure that there is no chance for duplicate or conflicting votes to be cast or counted.

4. If a staff member is on a designated Leave of Absence or otherwise deems themselves to be unavailable or "Out of the Office", and fails to delegate their vote to another staff member, or if another staff member of the same category is not available for delegation; their vote shall be considered to be abstained until their return. This provision serves to ensure that no unnecessary delays exist during the voting process.

5. A vote may not be delegated to a staff member who is on a Leave of Absence or has deemed themselves to be unavailable or "Out of the Office".

 

 Board of Directors

Purpose

The purpose of this section is to establish the provisions, responsibilities, scope and all other matters pertaining to the establishment and operation of the Harbor County Department of Public Safety Board of Directors (BOD).

Mission

The mission of the BOD shall be to act in accordance with the provisions provided herein to continue a system of checks and balances among the community leadership so that no one person, or group of persons, shall have unchecked authority to become detrimental to the interests of the community as a whole. The BOD shall function similar to a law enforcement agency Office of Professional Responsibility or Union Delegation, providing accountability for job performance over the Sheriff or Fire Chief.

Composition

The BOD shall be composed of a group of a maximum of 5 members of the community subject to the following minimum requirements:

1. Must have been a member of the community for a period of not less than 1 year.

2. Must have previously served or be currently serving as a community staff member, except that Executive Staff members are not permitted to be on the board. Ideally, the BOD should be composed of non staff members whenever practical.

3. Must have made a notable contribution to the community in some way that merits earning a position on the board.

Appointment of Members

Any community member meeting the above requirements may be nominated for a BOD position, but final appointment to the BOD will require a unanimous vote of approval from all current board members.

Removal of Members

If a board member has demonstrated an inability adequately perform BOD responsibilities as outlined in this section, that BOD member may be removed from the board by a unanimous vote of all other board members.

Dissolution and Alteration

The BOD may not be dissolved nor may the provisions contained herein be changed or altered except when deemed necessary by unanimous vote of all members of the board and the Executive and Administrative staff members.

Scope and Operating Provisions

In order to effectively accomplish the mission stated above, the BOD shall operate under the following provisions:

(a) The BOD shall have no additional powers, authority, or responsibility, other than those described herein or otherwise pertinent to the rank or staff position the member holds outside of his or her involvement with the BOD.

(b) The BOD shall perform their duties on as needed basis outside the existing chain of command and daily community operations. As such the BOD shall not be treated as a “specialty unit” and no qualified member shall be denied a position on the BOD due to their membership in any other unit.

(c) The BOD shall serve as the representatives of the members of the community as a whole and as the “last line of defense” in safeguarding the success of the community. As such, the members of the BOD shall maintain a close professional relationship with all members of the community so as to better serve as their representatives in the performance of BOD duties.

(d) While the BOD may serve as advisers to the Staff if so desired, the BOD need not be directly involved in the decision making process. If the staff desires input from the BOD, it is permissible to discuss confidential or sensitive information with the Board members. At no time shall this sensitive information be disseminated beyond the BOD to any other member of the community.

(e) In the event the community is in need of a new Sheriff or Fire Chief, the BOD shall work with the existing staff to determine candidates for the position, and the BOD shall be responsible for making a final appointment of a new Sheriff or Fire Chief.

(f) The BOD may aid in conflict resolution proceedings involving staff members. In the event of a conflict requiring BOD intervention, the members of the BOD may be granted access to sensitive information including Administrative and Executive level information such as forum threads and HR records deemed pertinent to the resolution process by the Board. At no time shall this sensitive information be disseminated beyond the BOD to any other member of the community.

(g) If at any time the Sheriff or Fire Chief becomes destructive to the community as a whole through the abuse of their authority or a demonstrated inability to meet job performance expectations, a unanimous vote of no confidence may be taken by the members of the BOD. Should a unanimous vote of no confidence be reached, it may be resolved through one of two avenues:

(g1) Open Discussion whereby rank and position are disregarded and members of the BOD and Staff may all speak freely without censorship, except in cases of gross personal disrespect, to attempt to reach consensus as to the peaceful resolution of differences.

(g2) If the BOD members believe that peaceful resolution cannot be reached under the provision of (g1) of this section, then impeachment of the voted no confidence member becomes necessary. Impeachment may only occur after a unanimous vote of the BOD members is held, and this vote must he held separately from the initial no confidence vote.

(h) BOD members may not proxy their votes to other members when voting on BOD matters.

 General Membership Provisions

Financial Contribution

It is widely known that to start and maintain a virtual community at a level strived for by Harbor County, there will be financial costs associated with the operation. These costs may not be substantial, but are an essential component of long term success. This section will establish how Harbor County will handle these costs.

First and foremost we would like to start off by saying the general members of the community will never be required to make financial contributions to the community as a condition of membership.

The community’s infrastructure (Website, TeamSpeak server, HCIC, MDC, other IT properties, and any other required financial obligations) shall supported by voluntary donations. Donations may be made by any member of the community, at any time, in any amount, via the designated Paypal account which can be found under the "Members Only" tab on the website. The current funding amount and goal for the month will be displayed on the website.

In the event insufficient donations exist to cover the cost of the community’s infrastructure at the billing due date, it shall be the responsibility of all Executive Staff members to equally contribute the remaining balance, after all available donations have been utilized.

Probationary Period

All new members shall serve a probationary period once accepted into the community. All Cadets, P/Deputies, P/Firefighters, P/Dispatchers, and P/Civilians are on probation. During the probationary period, members will be expected to perform well above standard, and will be subjected to more strict disciplinary proceedings.

Activity Requirements

Members are encouraged to participate in the community as often as possible and in any way possible. This includes playing game sessions, participating in the discussion forum, being present in our team speak server, etc. Any member who cannot participate in some way for at least 1 calendar month should notify their supervisor so they may be placed on a Leave of Absence.

Community Staff members (Supervisory, Administrative, and Executive) shall be required to post or attend at least one scheduled game on the Events Calendar each calendar month. Posted games must be scheduled not less than 48 hours in advance of the start date of the game. Attending another staff members scheduled game shall satisfy the requirements of this section.

Leave of Absence

Members who are placed on a Leave Of Absence (LOA) will be moved to the Inactive Roster and designated as being on an LOA. They shall retain full website and community access privileges and are encouraged to update staff as frequently as possible, but not less than once every 3 calendar months, as to the nature and expected duration of their leave. Members on leave for Military training or deployment may be granted an extended time period not to exceed 12 months. Members on an LOA who have not advised community staff of their status within the previous 3 calendar months, or the time period specified for Military leave, will have their LOA expired and be considered Inactive, subject to the provisions below. Please note that members who have been on a LOA for more than 3 calendar months will be required to undergo recurrent training prior to reinstatement. Also note that members on an LOA will be considered to have resigned their positions with any Specialty Units or Qualifications they previously held.

Removal From Active Roster

Any member who has not participated in some facet of the community for at least one calendar month and who is not on a Leave of Absence will be moved to the inactive roster and their community access privileges will be restricted. If you are moved to the inactive roster and wish to resume normal activity status, please contact a supervisor or staff member. Also note that members designated as inactive will be considered to have resigned their positions with any Specialty Units or Qualifications they previously held.

Termination of Membership due to Inactivity

Any member on probation that is not on a Leave of Absence and has been inactive for 1 calendar month shall be considered to have resigned their position with the community. Their membership will be terminated and and they shall no longer be considered a member.

Any regular member that is not on a Leave of Absence and has been on the Inactive Roster for 2 calendar months shall be considered to have resigned their position with the community. Their membership will be terminated and and they shall no longer be considered a member.

All members terminated for inactivity will retain rehire status should they decide to re apply in the future.

Resignations

Any member wishing to resign their position within the Harbor County Department of Public Safety is required to send an email to their direct supervisor stating their intentions.  Once received the supervisor will reach out to them to schedule an exit interview.  Email addresses can be found on the community roster.  Once resignation is processed any awards, qualifications, speciality units, DSN and any other items associated with current membership will be forfeited.

Exit Interview

Any member wishing to leave the community for any reason is required to participate in a brief exit interview with their direct supervisor if possible. If direct supervisor is unavailable, next highest staff member available will conduct the interview.  An exit interview must be completed for a member to be separated from the community in good standing.

Member Reinstatement

A previous member of Harbor County may be reinstated to the community if the following criteria are met:

  • New formal application is received within 90 days of separation date.
  • Previous membership ended in good standing.
  • New background investigation is passed.
  • Abbreviated interview completed.

If above criteria are met and member is reinstated, they will be reinstated at the probationary rank (with no solo qualification) of the department chosen provided they were a member of this department during their previous membership.  If member is wishing to re-join a department different from their previous department, they will be reinstated at a Cadet level.

Conflict Resolution

In any community, conflict is bound to occur. Should a conflict occur, all members are asked to remain professional and attempt to resolve the issue reasonably, peacefully, and professionally. If the conflict is with another general member, please contact your supervisor and allow him / her to assist you. If you have a conflict with your supervisor or another staff member, you may contact any other supervisor to ask for assistance.

Intellectual Property

Unless otherwise specified or credited, please be aware that the HCDPS website, team speak server, and all content and other materials contained therein relating to the operation of the community are privately owned, operated, and funded. As such, the owners and designated staff reserve the right to change or alter the rules and provisions for the use of their private property, and to restrict access to and usage of their private property with or without prior notice at any time. Any materials provided to our members are strictly reserved for members only; do not allow non members access to any of our private property, information, or content.

Members are reminded that the Harbor County branding and identity are an essential part of the community's reputation. As such, any member wishing to utilize the Harbor County name, logos, or any other item that may be considered a part of the Harbor County identity must receive permission from a staff member to use this intellectual property for any reason, prior to using it.

Public Relations and Branding Standards

All members who may wish to advertise, promote, or otherwise acknowledge their membership in our community forums or websites outside of our own must adhere to these guidelines. These provisions also apply to our Teamspeak server. While promotion of the community by its members is welcome, the logo and imagery on our website is intellectual property and its use outside our community must adhere to the following policies. In addition, conduct must be held to a higher standard when you are representing our community, even in an unofficial capacity. Everything you do in the public eye reflects upon our community and just as in the real world, we expect all of our members to conduct themselves professionally and represent the community responsibly.

-Members should never claim to represent the community in an official capacity.

-All members are reminded that our basic requirements for membership at Harbor County include displaying a mature, professional, and respectful attitude at all times. Members with any reference to Harbor County in their forum or website signatures, avatars, posts, or threads should NEVER make rude or inappropriate comments, inflammatory remarks, or any statements that may be considered disrespectful.

-Any forum signatures or avatars should be reasonable in size so as to not be obnoxious or distract from other members posts. No animated signatures such as GIF files should ever be used to represent Harbor County.

-Members should never alter the Harbor County logo, banner, or other proprietary imagery or community brands in any way. The following images are suggested for forum signature banners and avatars:

Banner – HCDPS 5.0 Official Banner

Avatar – HCDPS Official Generic Forum Avatar

Video / Screen Shot WaterMark - HCDPS Official Media WaterMark

-Due to the high standards Harbor County strives to achieve, members should also not post or share in game screen shots, video, or any other media containing the Harbor County logo or branding outside the community, without approval from the staff. This is not to discourage members from recording or taking pictures, but rather to ensure the high standards that we all enjoy can continue to remain untarnished to the public; simply ask for permission prior to publicly sharing this material.

-Live streaming of any game play is strictly prohibited without prior approval. This policy also helps to protect members privacy if they wish to not appear "on camera" on the internet.

Also, members are asked to please be mindful of what may be in the background of your screen shots and videos as it is possible for you to accidentally expose our team speak server, or private areas of our discussion forums in any screen shots or other media. Again, please ensure that all media is required to be presented to the staff first for approval before publishing anything publicly.

Awards and Commendations

Harbor County maintains a set of awards and commendations to recognize members for their service and accomplishments. The following awards and commendations may be earned by a member during their tenure with the community. Please note that a member's tenure will be tied to their DSN (if a member resigns from the community and later rejoins, that person will be issued a new DSN and will not retain any awards they held previously)

These awards are disseminated to each member by their designated Company Lieutenant or the Assistant Fire Chief. Awards for staff members are disseminated by the Executive Staff. If any member believes that he / she may be eligible for one of the awards listed below, he /she should speak to their supervisor to begin the verification process. He /she should be prepared to provide their supervisor with a clear, compelling explanation of why he / she is eligible for the award in accordance with the following section.

The first series of awards recognizes a member's Longevity with the community. For the purposes of these awards, Longevity shall be defined as the total time a member has accrued at the rank of Deputy, Firefighter, Civilian, Dispatcher, or higher while in ACTIVE status. Please note that only time spent on ACTIVE status contributes to longevity, so any time spent on a Leave of Absence or designated Inactive will not count towards total Longevity.

The following awards apply to total Longevity:

One Month: Awarded after achieving one month of total longevity.

1_month_award

 

 

Six Months: Awarded after achieving six months of total longevity.

6_months_award

 

 

One Year: Awarded after achieving one year of total longevity.

12_months_award

 

 

One and One Half Years: Awarded after achieving one and one half years of total longevity.

18_months_award

 

 

Two Years or More: Awarded after achieving two years or more of total longevity.

24_months_award

 

 

 

In addition to recognizing Longevity, we also have other awards to recognize the following accomplishments:

Special Commendation Award: Awarded to any member who makes a significant recommendation or suggestion that is adopted for use by the community. This will include the submission of material content such as vehicle liveries. Any member can be recommended for this Commendation by any member of staff, but final confirmation will require a unanimous decision by the Executive Staff.

Special-Commendation_award

 

 

Distinguished Service Award:  Awarded to any member that receives 5 positive in-game feedback reports, no negative feedback reports, and has been on active member status for at least 6 months prior to being nominated for this award. As this award is earned for excellent performance and behavior, it may be revoked in the event any disciplinary action is taken against a member who has this award. Any member can be recommended for this Commendation by any member of staff, but final confirmation will require a unanimous decision by the Executive Staff.

Distinguished-Service_award

 

 

Staff Service Award: Given to a staff member who is leaving their position on good terms at the end of their service to recognize their commitment to the community and their service as a former staff member.

Staff-Service_award

 

 

 

Amendments

12/01/2012 - Version 1.1 - Modified the following General Membership provisions: Activity Requirements and Removal from Active Roster. Added the following new provisions: Leave of Absence and Termination of Membership due to Inactivity.

02/05/2013 - Version 1.2 - Modified language for members on LOA or Inactive, prohibiting them from participating in Specialty Units or holding Qualifications.

06/06/2013 - Version 1.3 - Renamed to Community Operations Manual. Added HCFD Chain of Command and provisions for their operation.

07/26/2013 - Version 1.4 - Added Public Relations and Media Branding Standards section.

08/06/2013 -  Version 1.5 - Added T/Sergeant's ability to designate Authorized Instructors and Evaluators. Added descriptions for T/Firefighter that was omitted from previous revision.

09/12/2013 - Version 1.6 - Added Staff Game Play Requirements to the Activity Requirements section.

10/13/2013 - Version 2.0 - Updated to 2.0 due to significant changes to Chain of Command, removal of Districts, and updated vote counts to include HCFD staff.

10/22/2013 - Version 2.1 - Added section for Awards and Commendations.

12/14/2013 - Version 2.2 - Added Special Contractor section. Modified activity requirements for Cadets and Probationary Members.

12/20/2013 - Version 2.3 - Added FBI Criminal Consultant to Special Contractor section.

01/20/2014 - Version 2.4 - Added MDC Vendor to Special Contractor section.

01/29/2014 - Version 3.0 - Added in sections related to member resignations and reinstatement.  Also updated banner link to the 3.0 banner

02/15/2014 - Version 3.1 - Added the word significant into the Special Commendation award description.

07/20/2014 - Version 3.2 - Added the "Vote by Proxy" section.

07/24/2014 - Version 3.3 - Removed Master Sergeant from chain of command.

10/25/2014 - Version 3.4 - Added Financial Contribution section.

12/15/2014 - Version 3.5 - Added Sergeant Veto section under Operation.

10/25/2014 - Version 3.6 - Added Board of Directors section and removed Community Advisory Board Section.

02/21/2016 - Version 3.7 - Updated LOA policy to reflect Military Leave.