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Sandusky city commission approves police union contract

Andy Ouriel • Apr 24, 2013 at 1:18 PM

Full-time Sandusky police personnel will receive three separate raises between now and Jan. 1, 2015.

The additional cost to taxpayers over the next two years amounts to about $101,000

Sandusky city commissioners voted 6-1 Monday in favor of the new contract for police officers, which covers everyone except the department’s chief, John Orzech. 

Commissioner Wes Poole voted against the contract after realizing city funds would pay for firearms officers could keep forever, even after leaving the department.

The provision indicates officers can buy up to one gun during their entire career with Sandusky through their annual uniform allowance, totaling $750.

“I see no reason why the city of Sandusky should buy people guns and rifles,” Poole said. “I don’t think it was a good decision to do this.”

All full-time Sandusky officers receive a department-issued handgun, with the opportunity to use a rifle or shotgun as well, Sandusky police Chief John Orzech said. Officers must return these firearms once they leave the force.

Officers often buy another gun for backup or off-duty reasons.

“These guys aren’t walking out of here with 20 guns,” commissioner Jeff Smith said. “They can have one gun.”

Poole also soured on an apparently lenient physical fitness requirement, in which officers can opt of semi-regular athletic assessments.

“This isn’t a good process that we have set up where employees decide whether or not they are going to be fit,” Poole said.

Said Orzech: “Hopefully the officer(s) will maintain a level of fitness that is expected of them.”

The new contract piggybacks off the contracts for fire and non-safety service employees, which were approved about a month ago. Accounting for added costs and concessions, the latter two contracts will cost taxpayers at least an extra $91,000. All told, the three contracts will cost the city an additional $192,000.  

Get contract details in today's Register. Click here for the ePaper, for home delivery or buy the Register daily at a newsstand near you. 



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