The city of Wilmington has been looking for ways to save money in the city budget and maintain a level of police protection in the face of layoffs and cuts. They believe they’ve found a way to do both.
City council gave its approval to a new one year police contract. The key points include new 12 hour shifts. The city hopes the 12 hour shifts will put 7 additional officers on the street at any given time. The union agreed to try out the plan for the next 18 months.
The Wilmington Fraternal Order of Police also becomes the first union to agree to pay more for their health benefits. The agreement will also change one of the three existing pension plans. Now a police officer can collect 62.5% of their salary after 25 years of service. The changes, which cover 75 police officers, will increase the number of years to 30 needed to collect a pension. However, it also increases the payout to 75%.
The final money portion of the contract will give union officers a 2.5% pay raise. It’s a raise they were supposed to get in this fiscal year.
The chief of staff to Mayor James Baker, William Montgomery, said there will be a $551,000 savings during this fiscal year. He says there will be a $143,000 savings for the next fiscal year beginning July 1.