Most citizens of the city would probably agree that officers of the Hagerstown Police Department do a great job under trying conditions. But agreeing that officers deserve a pat on the back and agreeing to dip into your wallet to fund better benefits are two different things. It's time for everyone involved in negotiating the new city police contract to put the financial facts on the table.
Among other items, the police want the right to retire after 25 years' service, instead of the current 30-year requirement. David Long, an executive board member of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3373, says it's ludicrous to force officers to serve 30 years, because that means 50- to 60-year-old officers must chase suspects on foot or respond to dangerous domestic-disturbance calls.
We agree; chasing crooks on foot is a job for younger people. But getting the retirement down from 30 to 25 years isn't as simple as saying okay.