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Waynesboro police get 3-year pay hike

January 04, 2000|By RICHARD F. BELISLE, Waynesboro

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Talks that began in August ended this week when officers in the Waynesboro Police Department accepted pay raises that will boost their salaries by 12 percent over the next three years.

The pact, which includes longevity and cost-of-living raises, still leaves the 15-member force among the lowest-paid in Franklin County.

"I realize it's one of the lowest, and I've asked the mayor and police chief to look for funds and grants to improve it," Councilwoman Vicki Huff said Tuesday.

She said the council could raise taxes to increase police salaries but doubts that would happen since the borough, at its current rate of 29 mills, is close to its legal ceiling. A mill represents $1 for every $1,000 of assessed property value.

A court ruling would be needed to exceed the limit, she said.

"We can have a special tax for the fire department, but not for the police department," she said.

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The new contract calls for a 4 percent wage hike in each year of its three years.

Starting salaries under the old contract, which expired Dec. 31, were $26,500 for officers who had not completed a 13-week police training course at Harrisburg (Pa.) Community College. It was $28,000 for officers who came to work with their training certification.

The new contract starts officers with no training certification at $27,590 and those with the certification at $29,130, Huff said.

The contract also calls for each officer to receive $300 a year to pay for ongoing training, either in college or specialized training programs.

The department lost three officers to resignations and retirements last year. Three replacement officers have started their training in Harrisburg.

Chief Glenn R. Phenicie has said that he expects them to be ready for duty in April.

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