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SH cops get raises per council vote


May 2, 2017

The Sweet Home City Council last week ratified a three-year contract with Police Department employees, increasing wages by 3 percent in the first year.

The contract is retroactive and the 3-percent increase is effective as of July 1, 2016. A 2-percent increase will take effect on July 1, and a 1-percent increase will take effect on July 1, 2018.

Under the contract, police officers at the top of a six-step schedule earn $5,183 per month. At the end of the contract, they will earn $5,340 per month. Beginning officers earn $4,061. At the end of the contract, they will earn $4,184.

Employees advance one step annually based on a positive performance evaluation. The contract adds a sixth 5-percent step to salary schedules.

A dispatcher at the top of the schedule earns $4,040 per month. In the third year of the contract, they will earn $4,162. A starting dispatcher earns $3,228. In the last year of the contract, they will earn $4,162.

The community services officer earns $3,846 at the top of the schedule per month. In the final year, the officer will earn $3,967. At the entry level, the officer earns $3,014. In the final year, the officer will earn $3,106.

Employees who have completed 10 years of continuous service may receive an additional 2-percent longevity merit pay increase above the top step. Officers and dispatchers also may earn an additional 2 percent for intermediate certification and 4 percent for advanced certification by the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training.

The council also approved raises for supervisory personnel, adding a 3-percent sixth step to sergeant and communications commander salary schedules.

Without certification and longevity pay included, Communications Cmdr. Penny Leland received an increase in her salary from $4,871 to $5,426, reflecting the increase and the addition of the sixth step. She will earn $5,390 per month beginning July 1, 2018.

Moving to the sixth step but not including additional certification and longevity pay, Sergeants Jason Van Eck and Jason Ogden received a raise from $5,799 to $6,272 per month. They will earn $6,461 beginning July 1, 2018.

Police Chief Jeff Lynn is at the fourth step, earning $7,252 per month, up from $6,834 at the previous fourth step, not including longevity and certification pay. His salary schedule ends at the fifth step. On July 1, 2018, the fifth step will pay $7,469 per month.

The city began negotiating the contract with the Sweet Home Police Employee Association in August 2016 following the expiration of the previous contract on June 30, 2016. The association ratified the contract on March 3.

City Manager Ray Towry told the council that this contract brings police employees closer to market comparables.

Under this contract, the Police Department’s operating levy will not cover the costs, Towry said, and the city will need to find some savings within the department to stay within state budgeting law and city financial policy.

Staff has already started discussions to accomplish this, he said.

Present and voting April 25 during their regular meeting to ratify the contract were Susan Coleman, Lisa Gourley, Ryan Underwood, Mayor Greg Mahler, Dave Trask, James Goble and Diane Gerson.

In other business, the council approved an agreement to join the Linn Interagency Narcotics Enforcement team. The Sweet Home Police Department will provide .5 full time equivalent police officer to the team.

The team includes Sweet Home, Lebanon Police Department, Albany Police Department, Oregon State Police, Linn County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. The team receives federal funding as a result of a new designation as a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area.

Lynn said Linn was the last county along the Interstate 5 Corridor to receive the designation.


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