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Contract gives LPD officers raise

Lawton police have a contract for the existing fiscal year and a 2 percent pay raise after action taken Tuesday by the City Council.

Council members met in special session Tuesday afternoon and almost immediately went into executive session to discuss three items: a damage claim filed by a woman who broke her leg in a city meter box; a lawsuit filed against the city and police personnel by the family of a woman who, they said, died after being tased while being held in the city jail; and a contract with city police.

Police officers have been working under the terms of their 2016-2017 contract this fiscal year after the council voted in May 2017 to extend all but four of the terms of the then-existing contract in effect for police and fire until new contracts were negotiated. Firefighters negotiated a new two-year contract with city officials not long after, but city representatives have been meeting with police officials for months to iron out the details of a contract for this fiscal year, which began July 1, 2017.

On Tuesday, six council members unanimously voted to approve a police contract for the current fiscal year. Among other things, that agreement includes a 2 percent cost of living adjustment (COLA) for police, effective Jan. 29 (the current pay period). That is the same time frame set when general employees and firefighters were awarded a 2 percent COLA earlier in the fiscal year.

In addition, the new police contract will increase starting pay for new officers to $40,913.60 a year, effective June 18; award a public safety incentive payment of $4,900 (minus taxes and other deductibles) to police officers, payable in March; and call for the city to unfreeze merit step increases for police.

The Lawton Constitution

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