Friday, November 5, 2010

Something besides music... YOU can make a difference....

November 3rd, 2010
Dear Friends,

The Stillwater City Council has stated they will have to layoff Police Officers if forced to grant the recent arbitrators decision.  The councilors have refused to acknowledge the existence of available revenues as described in the decision and proven during the hearing.  The City Manager has directed the Chief of Police to layoff FOUR officers January 1st.  Due to three officers being deployed to Afghanistan and four current vacancies besides the four to be laid off this would drop us to staffing levels not seen since the early 90’s.
There have been rumors and misinformation that the layoffs are due to the Stillwater FOP asking for wage increases.  This is absolutely false.  In our offer to the City of Stillwater, that was eventually selected by the impartial arbitrator, our officers agreed to concessions.  Our officers all lost compensation in our proposed contract.  The “net” increase in cost to the city is $6,960!  This is due to merit steps that are part of the compensation plan that increases for our most junior officers as they gain experience.
The City Manager, Dan Galloway, is now claiming that the Chief of Police needs to find $216,000 in savings!  The huge discrepancy in these numbers comes largely from the City Manager not planning to fund programs and compensation they agreed to pay.
The Stillwater FOP has shown the City of Stillwater there is $173,000 in budgeted money that can’t be used by law to pay for a judgment against the city (see page 2).  Additionally, officers have agreed to take compensatory time instead of pay for overtime up to forty hours per year.  This would save the City of Stillwater an additional $109,070.
The arbitration ruling, quotes from Dan Galloway’s and Chief McNickle’s sworn testimony, and other information the citizens of Stillwater need to know can be found on our website   You will also find links to e-mail for the Stillwater City Leadership on our site.
Please take a few moments to send an e-mail, make a phone call, or write a letter to the City Manager, the Mayor, and the City Council members voicing your strong opposition to these unjustified cuts. 
Your support is VERY IMPORTANT!!  On the following page, you will find a form letter you may send to the Stillwater leadership or you may write your own. 

Thank you for your support,
Stillwater Fraternal Order of Police #102
Todd Parry, President

Please email the following message and attend the Council Meeting....     please send to

Dear City Leader,

I am voicing my support for the Stillwater Police Department.  I am NOT in support of your decisions to lay off four officers on January 1st, 2011.  During the recent arbitration hearing on September 22nd, 2010, evidence was provided showing that the City of Stillwater plans to pay out $174,000 to a former officer as part of a judgment.  You have been shown on several occasions that this would be contradictory to Oklahoma State Law (62 OS 365.5, 1979).  This money is available to meet budget.  This amount more than covers the expenses from the contract selected by the arbitrator.  Additionally, the officers have given you another mechanism to fund their budget through up to $110,000 savings through the use of compensatory time.  Bear in mind, the contract selected by the Arbitrator had a “net” cost to the City of Stillwater of $6,960.  For most officers, this is the second year they have seen a decline in their overall compensation.
The City Manager and the Chief of Police both agree the Stillwater Police Department is already understaffed.  With looming military deployments, there is already a crisis of manpower without the loss of four more officers.   Here are a few quotes from their sworn testimony on 9-22-2010.
                Dan Galloway:
“I hate to say that in front of the negotiating team, but we’d love to have a whole lot more police officers than we have because of the growth of the city.  What I’d like to have, what the city council believes we should have is probably a larger police department.” 
“The economy of the country and the unemployment, when you have a society that’s restless about the economic conditions, you tend to have an increase in burglary, in theft, but also just in human attitudes.  I think that the conflict creates a much heavier demand on the police department than you do in good economic times, and so the police officers have a tremendously tough job.” 
“…it just frightens me to think that we have three officers who are going to serve military duty.  I’m glad they can serve military duty but how I’m going to cover that lack of staff hours to deliver police service to the public is a huge problem, you know.”

Chief McNickle:
“…we had five people out on light duty, we had the prospect of three people being activated for duty in the Middle East, and three frozen position, and admittedly, understaffed – an already understaffed police department, and it just becomes problematic from a whole lot of perspectives.”
“The fact of the matter is, and I don’t think it’s any secret to anybody in this room,  we’ve been understaffed for quite some period of time.”

Reconsider your decision to lay off four Stillwater Police Officers.  It is not in the best interest of my family, my friends, or my community. 

(sign your names, please)

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