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Police Union makes concessions in negotiations with City of Topeka

(WIBW)
Published: Jul. 12, 2021 at 12:15 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Negotiations between the City of Topeka and its Police Union have reached an impasse and are scheduled to enter mediation on Wednesday.

The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #3 says contract negotiations between Topeka’s Police Union and the City of Topeka have remained at an impasse for over a month. On June 9, it said the impasse was declared as an agreement could not be reached on all issues brought to discussion.

“TPD staffing levels continue to be critical and our force is currently 27 officers short with more anticipated departures from the department,” said Charles Wilson President of FOP Lodge #3, “The recruiting and retention crisis in policing is affecting departments across the country and Topeka is no different.”

“From the time a police recruit is hired, it takes nearly a year before he or she can work on their own to patrol the city streets. This staffing crisis is likely to get much worse before it gets better,” said Wilson.

According to the FOP, mediation is scheduled for Wednesday, July 14, in order to hopefully reach a final agreement.

“The FOP has made concessions with the City to reach a deal,” said Matt Blassingame, Chief Union Steward for the FOP, “The FOP requests a reasonable and modest wage increase to remain competitive during this extremely challenging time to be a police officer.”

The FOP said both Wilson and Blassingame agree that with the upcoming elections, it is more important than ever that candidates support the men and women of the Topeka Police Department.

“The City of Topeka is hopeful that we can resolve the remaining contract issues with the FOP during the upcoming mediation session,” said the City.

To contact the Topeka Mayor and Topeka City Council regarding the negotiations, email governingbody@topeka.org.

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