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Three-year police contract will increase size of force

December 13, 2006|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - The Chambersburg Borough Council has approved a new three-year contract with its police officers and an amendment increasing the size of the force in 2007.

The council on Monday authorized the borough to sign the agreement, which covers the 30 members of the Chambersburg Police Officers Association. The agreement gives the officers increases of 4 percent in each of the next three years, Borough Manager Eric Oyer said.

The contract, which covers all the department's full-time officers except Chief Michael DeFrank, also calls for the borough to pay an additional $100 per officer each year to their health benefits plan, which provides coverage beyond the borough's medical plan, Oyer said.

The borough also agreed to buy back additional accumulated sick leave, Oyer said.

Officers who give one year advanced notice of retirement also will receive $2,750 upon retirement, an increase of $250 over the old contract, Oyer said. The provision is an incentive for them to give advanced notice so the department has time to hire and train replacements, Oyer said.

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The council also amended an ordinance to add three new patrol officer positions in 2007, increasing the size of the force to 34, Oyer said. The proposed 2007 budget originally called for adding two more officers, but DeFrank requested another position be added because several senior officers will retire in the next few years.

Along with amending the ordinance, Oyer said the council agreed to the conditional appointments of three probationary patrol officers, Oyer said. The new officers, however, will have to undergo police academy training beginning in January and, upon graduation, field training with the department, he said.

That will mean the officers will not be available for regular patrol duty until several months into next year, Oyer said.

At approximately $4 million, the police department budget represents about 38 percent of the general fund budget for 2007, and includes the replacement of five cruisers. Final approval of the budget is scheduled for Monday.

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