Mayor Swearengin Commends Police For Approving Contracts to Help Address Budget Issues, Protect Front-Line Services

Mayor Ashley Swearengin today praised the Fresno Police Officers Association and its management unit for approving agreements that will help the City address its budget challenges while preserving front-line police resources.

Both agreements call for the bargaining units to forgo scheduled salary increases in the 2009-2010 fiscal year.

As a result of the actions, the City would be able to save sworn officer positions that were at risk because of economic conditions.

“I applaud both bargaining units for showing real leadership on this issue,” Mayor Swearengin said. “These are difficult financial times, so these actions are tremendously important in helping us address our immediate budget challenges while continuing to protect public safety. At the same time, the agreements will provide stability for the bargaining units to address longer-term concerns.”

Police Chief Jerry Dyer, FPOA President Jacky Parks, and Andy Hall from the FPOA Management Unit provided the following comments:

Chief Dyer: "I am so proud of the men and women of the Fresno Police Department for their willingness to sacrifice in these difficult fiscal times. My level of respect for FPOA President Jacky Parks and the entire FPOA Leadership has grown tremendously during this process. Their ability to balance the needs of their membership with the needs of the city is remarkable."

Jacky Parks: “Tough financial times call for even tougher financial decisions. Through a collaborative effort involving the Mayor, the City Manager’s Office, Chief Dyer, and the FPOA leadership a tentative agreement was reached to save the city much needed money. The real test for the tentative agreement came from the FPOA general membership meetings. At the end of the last meeting the votes were tallied and the membership overwhelmingly supported the tentative agreement with a 78% approval. It was not easy to defer or give up money in their personal budgets; however, it was easy to do the right thing. I was impressed with the membership’s selflessness and responsiveness to the global economic downturn that has struck not only our city, but our entire nation. “

Andy Hall: "On behalf of the Management Bargaining Unit we would like to thank Mayor Swearengin for her compassion, willingness to listen and the ‘roll up your sleeves’ and get it done attitude she brought to the table. This agreement reflects the City's commitment to the safety of our community and addresses the tough economic times we are all facing."

The agreements still need to be approved by Fresno City Council. Council is expected to act on the agreements at its June 25 meeting.