New police union president named

January 29, 1999|By KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI

With the new year came a new union president for the Hagerstown City Police Department.

Officer Wayne Hose of Williamsport took over the 70-member union, succeeding Detective Carroll Braun on Jan. 1. Braun had been president for four years.

"He'll do a great job. I think he's level-headed and will add new blood to the union," said Braun, who stepped down for personal reasons.

A Hagerstown native, Hose is president of the 3373 Local American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which includes all nonsupervisory staff. He formerly served as vice president of the union before being voted into the three-year position.


His first job as president will be to hold elections for vice president and then fill the committees, he said.

Hose said he will continue on the path of his predecessor, keeping lines of communication open and a good working relationship between the force, Police Chief Dale J. Jones, Hagerstown Mayor Robert E. Bruchey and the City Council.

"We have made strides and really come together," he said.

Hose said the police officers' major concerns, including a new retirement plan, increased staffing and technology improvements, were addressed in their recent three-year contract. It expires in July 2000.

He considers the council's approval of a new pension plan for public safety personnel a "victory," since numerous law enforcement agencies in Maryland, West Virginia and Pennsylvania already adopted shorter retirement age requirements.

Police officers can now retire after 25 years of service instead of 30.

"Ninety-five percent of the people eligible, went for it. It's something we've wanted for years," Hose said.

The officers gave up a holiday and are paying into the new system, he said.

"We wouldn't ask for something we're not willing to contribute to," he said.

The recent hiring of 10 new police officers also has been an improvement, Hose said.

Officers were spread thin covering a large area, he said.

"We pushed for years to increase manpower," Hose said.

The enlarged staff will help cut down on overtime costs but never completely eliminate them, he said.

"It's the nature of our beasts. Arrests are going to require overtime because of the paperwork," he said.

What will help out, he said is the acquisition of new computers for the police cruisers that will allow officers to file police reports on site. It also will allow police to access license information directly instead of requesting it from dispatchers.

An officer with the city police department for the past 11 years, Hose was recently assigned the downtown Hagerstown beat.

"It suits me. I enjoy walking and seeing the public," he said.

Hose said his outgoing personality and sense of fair play make him qualified for the presidency.

"I have a good working knowledge of the department and I'm fair and open-minded," he said.

Hose said the majority of his job is the "daily grind of union issues, grievance issues and problem-solving issues."

Such situations require diplomacy, he said.

"You have to find a solution where both parties feel they've gained something out of it," he said.

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