Rockford aldermen are on track to give the City's police officers a raise and to test out a major change for the police department. A tentative agreement was approved in committee.
Rockford cops have been working without a contract since 2011. This new one is a three-year agreement.
"The biggest change is, of course, wages. The City agreed to pay additional wages; 2% retroactive to the first year of the contract, 2% retroactive to the beginning of this year (the second year of the contract) and 2.5% for 2014." -says City of Rockford Legal Director Patrick Hayes.
Another change has to do with transforming how officers patrol Rockford streets. The union and Finance & Personnel Committee approve a one-year deployment of the Pilot Police District, the City's first step towards geographic policing.
"In addition, the union's taking a bit of a walk with us and indicated that we can try out 12-hour shifts in the PPD, so the patrol officers in the PPD will be working 12-hour shifts." -Hayes explains.
Also part of the Pilot Police District, Community Services officers and Rockford's M-3 Unit will come together, forming a Neighborhood Resource Unit. Union members will pay higher healthcare premiums.
"We're very appreciative to the members of the PB&PA for ratifying the contract and to the members of the bargaining team for the hard-fought bargain that we struck." -Hayes adds.
Rockford's police union President Terry Peterson released the following statement:
"The Police Benevolent & Protective Association Unit 6 is pleased city council finds merit in the agreement reached... The City Administration will have one year for its experimental Police District with a 12-hour shift structure. It's time for the Administration to come clean with the Council and the Public on cost figures they've been holding back regarding these Districts."
City council members laid over the full vote to next week.
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