South Jacksonville approves FOP contract to raise pay for SJPD officers

By Blake Schnitker on December 15 at 7:56am

Increased pay for South Jacksonville Police Officers was at the center of discussions at last night’s special meeting in South Jacksonville.

The special meeting was called to address an item that was taken off of the agenda during the Board’s last regular meeting, which dealt with a Fraternal Order of Police, or FOP contract to increase pay for South Jacksonville’s Police Officers.

After an executive meeting for further discussion, Trustees voted to approve the pay increase. Village President Harry Jennings breaks down the details within the contract.

“We gave a salary adjust to bring the officers in line more with surrounding departments of this size, so hopefully we’ll attract quality officers who will stay here for a longer time,” says Jennings.

Jennings explains why the contract was not voted on until now.

“There’s a couple reasons. First, the union really didn’t want to negotiate until the new mayor took office, so that was part of the delay. Once started going, we found some things that were old language that we fixed in the old contract. And the other reason we wanted to get it in before the end of the year is because the guys are working on last year’s contract, so that way they can get their retro pay from May,” Jennings says.

SJPD’s liaison to the FOP, South Jacksonville Sergeant Brian Wilson, explains what this contract will mean for the department.

“We’ve been negotiating this contract since May of this year, trying to get everything together so both parties could agree on the aspects of it. The main thing right now is that we will be moving forward with this now that we have the contract settled, it’s going to open up the opportunity for us to increase our manpower and hire some additional officers full time, which we’ve been having to hold off on until this was resolved,” Wilson says.

Last night’s meeting appears to be the final South Jacksonville Board meeting of the 2017 calendar year unless additional special meetings are called.