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Six Officers Fired Days After Agreement Is Reached

Six Officers Fired Days After Agreement Is Reached

Chicago Sun-Times via YellowBrix

November 09, 2010

NAPERVILLE, IL – Only four days after announcing a contract agreement that raises the salaries of its rank and file police officers, Naperville officials on Monday laid off six members of the force.

“This is very upsetting, to say the least,” said officer Vince Clark, president of Naperville Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 42, which represents 137 officers. “It’s just shocking, how we can be at this point.”

Four men and two women were dismissed as part of the reduction in force. And citywide, more cuts appear to be on the horizon.

“As it stands right now, I can see no way to balance the budget without further personnel reductions,” City Manager Doug Krieger said Monday evening. That could include further cuts in the police and fire departments, he said.

Seven positions were eliminated altogether Monday, with six people being laid off and one post left unfilled. Krieger said those dismissed included a juvenile crimes officer, a general assignment investigator, a traffic officer and three patrol officers.

Clark said city officials initially wanted to lay off eight people, including a sergeant and another officer. Both were spared after one longtime sergeant retired and an officer left the force earlier this year, he said.

Police Chief David Dial said the layoffs were accomplished “through a reorganization of the department and service modifications. The police department will continue to respond to all emergency calls in an expeditious manner,” Dial said in a city release.

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Krieger added that four shifts of 20 officers each typically patrol the city on a daily basis. That number will now be reduced to 19 per shift, he said.

Clark maintained both of the department’s midnight shifts are likely to be affected by the dismissals. He said one recent shift, which formerly consisted of 14 officers, had been pared to eight.

“The safety of our citizens could be compromised” by the layoffs, Clark warned. Police response times to calls for assistance are likely to be slower, and immediate police response in less serious or non-emergency matters might not come at all, he said.

Clark’s sentiments were echoed by Tamara Cummings, attorney for the Western Springs-based Illinois FOP Labor Council, which represents Lodge 42.

“This is the wrong action at precisely the wrong time,” Cummings said Monday in a prepared statement. City officials are “compromising the safety of the community at a time when crime is dramatically high” and police staffing is simultaneously “at dangerously low levels,” she said.

City officials in February eliminated 12 vacant slots for officers, “and there have been numerous retirements since that time,” Cummings said. “These officers have not been replaced.”

The staff reductions also jeopardize “important specialty units” whose members target narcotics trafficking and other serious crimes, Cummings said. Police will be less able to be “proactive in preventing crime,” putting them instead into “reactive mode, with inadequate resources to react,” she said.

Krieger on Thursday revealed details of the new, three-year police contract, which provides raises totaling 9.3 percent over a three-year period. He warned the city could not afford the pay hikes.

“While the layoffs are unfortunate, it should not be a surprise to anyone,” Krieger said. “We have emphasized our financial condition at the bargaining tables, and we have asked all unions to join our efforts to balance the budget. The city’s declining revenues require unions to understand this is not a time for wage increases.”

City Legal Director Margo Ely on Monday said Naperville “can afford it with seven fewer officers … with no impact to emergency response.”

Cummings dismissed Krieger’s contentions as “disingenuous and misleading,” as the new police contract agreement “was based on the city’s proposal and not the police union’s.”

“Bad faith bargaining is illegal in Illinois, and it is simply unacceptable for the city to make an offer and enter into an agreement that it had no intention of honoring,” she said.

Cummings added the city’s ending fund balance as of April 30 stood at $20.9 million. “Of this amount, nearly all of it was, according to the city’s own audits, ‘unreserved’ and ‘available for spending at the city’s discretion,’” she said.

Clark dismissed the layoffs as “nothing more than a grandstand, a posturing by the city manager and the City Council” aimed at members of Naperville’s nine other public employee unions, to show what might happen to them as well. City officials have denied that contention.

Police strikes and work slow-downs are prohibited under terms of the contract. Clark said Cummings is “exploring the possibility” of legal action based on the city’s alleged violation of good-faith bargaining.


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  • Photo_user_blank_big

    nitesi

    almost 4 years ago

    136 Comments

    Lets hope none of the city council needs police help. It's a total rip off that the most needed force gets the shaft! But it that way all over the country.

  • Joefriday_max50

    alexy

    almost 4 years ago

    3970 Comments

    This is utterly bad faith on the part of Naperville IL. what they did was a textbook example of negotiating a labor agreement in bad faith. I am sure those 6 officers will have a very happy Thanksgiving. Please tell me theFOP is going to contest the firings and sue the town.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    almost 4 years ago

    Police forces shrinking is the new plague

  • Img_0103_max50

    LAWMANTUKES

    almost 4 years ago

    6976 Comments

    What a load...!!%%^^&(.'][[;'+_)(*&**%$#$#@@$@!!!!!!!!

  • Explorer_mourning_badge_max50

    DStike

    almost 4 years ago

    430 Comments

    Grant319 said it right!! While i really, REALLY hate to say it, there are plenty of other jobs within the city other than emergency services that they could cut back on. would you rather be alive or have really nice grass in your city?

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    petersonf

    almost 4 years ago

    8 Comments

    When will the government get it thru their thick head that law enforcement should not be cut AT ALL. Oh guest when the body count rise

  • Anonymous-killer-whale-232189_1__max50

    Whalewatcher

    almost 4 years ago

    11226 Comments

    I've said it before, and I'll say it again: First responders should be the last folks to have their ranks reduced. Shame on the local government !!!

  • My_kids_027_max50

    grant319

    almost 4 years ago

    1208 Comments

    It is aggravating to me to see them cutting Police and Fire personnel, but there is no talk about cutting any other department.

  • Screen_shot_2011-04-10_at_8

    T_9

    almost 4 years ago

    5668 Comments

    Terrible to hear. Crazy how the politics are working more than policing.

  • Pug_max600_max50

    DALLASCRANE

    almost 4 years ago

    19382 Comments

    Bad Faith Bargaining at it's Best. Union busting? Scare tactics?

  • Cimg4853hero_max50

    KWErwin

    almost 4 years ago

    40 Comments

    These were some amazing officers that were laid off. They were all very good officers. This is just a horrible situation. Naperville needs to figure all of this out, they can't afford to be loosing officers.

  • Photo_user_banned_big

    BrooklynHillsCop

    almost 4 years ago

    664 Comments

    No, this is no good...

  • Sfa_iv_max50

    revCCBeasley

    almost 4 years ago

    2944 Comments

    You talk about playing Politics..,..

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    almost 4 years ago

    Government jobs USED to be considered to be good to have. Now, with these times we're in, not so much.

  • Thinker_max50

    darsavmo

    almost 4 years ago

    11362 Comments

    Very unfortunate for those officers, but is what will probably be happening across the country...

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