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January 31, 2015

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Boulder City police officers give up annual pay raise

As part of agreement, two positions on force spared

Boulder City

The Boulder City Council approved an agreement with the Police Protective Association on Tuesday to waive officers’ annual pay raise, saving the city $144,673.

The agreement will be added as an amendment the city’s fiscal budget that was finalized on May 18.

As part of the agreement, Police Chief Thomas Finn said, officers will give up a 2.5 percent pay increase, forgo a vacation buyback program and have their monthly uniform allowance reduced by $122.

In exchange, the agreement will keep two police officer positions from being eliminated.

After 30 years in law enforcement, Finn said, he has never seen a cost-of-living raise taken away from officers. But it’s something the police union is willing to sacrifice to save two officers from losing their jobs, he said.

“It tore me up inside to think of losing two of my best guys,” Finn said. “In the context of what’s happening globally, I think it’s fair.”

Finn said the police union was the last to agree to the concessions because it wanted a guarantee no officers would be laid off. He said that kind of promise isn’t feasible with the conditions of the economy right now.

“There’s no city in the country that could make that guarantee,” Finn said. “I’ve told my’s a reality, especially when you live in a state with the second-highest unemployment rate in the country.”

City Manager Vicki Mayes said the council earlier this year eliminated four positions in the Police Department that had been vacant, including three officers and one dispatcher.

A lieutenant position was not cut but is still vacant, she said.

All of the city’s unions have agreed to concessions for the next two years, except for electrical workers. She said the concessions will save the city about $450,000.

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