Annapolis, police reach agreement

Tentative pact would yield raise of at least $3,500

April 24, 2002|By Amanda J. Crawford | Amanda J. Crawford,SUN STAFF

Hoping to boost their chances of recruiting and retaining officers in the Annapolis Police Department, city officials have agreed to a contract that would raise salaries and improve benefits for the officers.

Announced yesterday, the tentative agreement between the city and the union representing Annapolis police would guarantee a raise of at least $3,500 a year for every officer, on top of a 2 percent cost-of-living raise. The contract would put the starting salary for officers at $35,000 - on par with the pay offered by Anne Arundel County.

The contract also calls for the city to pay 80 percent of officers' medical coverage after retirement until they are eligible for Medicare. After that, the city would pay for 80 percent of supplemental health coverage. The city does not pay for these benefits now.

The agreement "allows the city of Annapolis to be highly competitive in recruiting new officers," said Police Chief Joseph S. Johnson, who joined the force 11 years ago.

The contract was approved last week in a 56-4 vote by members of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400, the union that represents city police officers. The agreement must be approved by the city council, which will vote on it this spring as part of its approval of the fiscal 2003 budget.

Johnson said yesterday that staffing shortages have become "very critical." Only 106 of the department's 128 authorized officer positions are filled.

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