City Council approved the hiring of three new police officers.
2009 guidelines require Police Chief Bob Marshall to seek City Council’s approval for external hiring.
The new officers will earn starting pay resulting in over 78,000 dollars in savings.
The three new hires are needed to work regular patrol, but they will have to go through extensive training before they will be able to do solo patrol.
Chief Marshall hopes to hire the new officers before the next police academy session begins April 8th.
The City has also agreed to a new deal with the police union that will give officers a six percent pay increase over three years.
Council voted 7-2 in favor of the deal that would give officers a four percent increase retroactive to May 1st, 2012, no increase in the second year, and a two percent increase in the third year.
Councilman Joseph McElroy supported the way the pay increases are structured saying the lack of a pay increase in the second year could force some officers to retire who then can be replaced by officers who earn a lower wage.
Councilman Grant Wehrli didn’t vote for the deal because of state laws that force Council to bargain in a way that he thinks is fiscally irresponsible.
In 2010 city leaders and the police union approved a deal that increased pay by three percent, but six officers were laid off shortly after.
The police union, FOP No. 42, said the positive outcome of the deal has helped rebuild and establish their level of trust with the city council.
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