WASHINGTON — The Washington Police Department's full-time patrol officers have a new two-year contract with the city.
Washington City Council on Monday approved the agreement with the Policemen's Benevolent Labor Committee, which represents the police officers. The contract extends from May 1, 2017, to April 30, 2019, and includes a 2.5 percent wage increase each year.
The 14-member union ratified the 34-page contract in late November.
Union President Ryan Grossman, who has been an officer in the Police Department since 2012, spoke to the council Monday, praising the contract negotiations and agreement.
"It was a long and arduous process, but we feel we have a contract that's beneficial for the city and officers," he said.
Grossman said "you don't have to look far" to find communities that have a tense relationship between management and labor.
"That's not an issue here," he said, as far as his union was concerned.
Grossman thanked City Administrator Jim Culotta for being professional, reasonable and open during contract negotiations and said Washington Police Chief Mike McCoy was essential to the process in his role as an intermediary.
"These things are never fun," McCoy said about contract talks. "That's why negotiating in a professional manner is huge."
McCoy praised the contributions of Aldermen Brian Butler and Mike Brownfield, who also participated in contract talks with the police union.
Under the terms of the new contract, a new patrol officer in Washington will earn $49,713 in the first year of the agreement and $50,956 in the second year. After five years, salaries will be $64,713 and $66,331. After 15 years, salaries will be $68,587 and $70,301.
The council also approved an ordinance amendment at Monday's meeting that returns the rank of deputy chief to the Police Department's roster.
"It's a big need," McCoy said earlier Monday. "Someone needs to be able to make decisions and be in command when I'm not available. And the person in the position will be a huge assistance for me."
Don Volk was appointed the Police Department's first deputy chief in 2007; he became the police chief in July 2013. The deputy chief position was vacant until January 2015, when Jeff Stevens was promoted from detective commander.
Volk retired in April 2016. Former East Peoria Police Chief Ed Papis and then former Pekin Police Chief Ted Miller filled in as police chief until June, when McCoy took over.
Meanwhile, Stevens was named the Police Department's master sergeant in November 2016, when Papis was interim police chief. An 18-year department veteran, Stevens has been serving as the de facto deputy chief since his appointment as master sergeant.
McCoy said he will make an announcement Tuesday regarding the new deputy chief.
Steve Stein can be reached at 686-3114 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve.