LPD, City Negotiations Headed to Arbitration - KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo -

LPD, City Negotiations Headed to Arbitration

Posted: Updated:

LAWTON Okla_ Negotiations between the Lawton Police Department and the city over a new contract are heading for arbitration.

They've been trying to work out a deal for more than nine months. They have reached compromises on some items, including the union agreeing to freeze their salary step increases and hold off on other monetary and educational incentives because of the city's budget shortfall. They are not willing to back down on the city's request to move the department to 8-hour shifts, though.

The City of Lawton used the budget shortfall as the first reason, saying it would save the city money to move the department to an 8-hour shift. Now, they say it will put more officers on the street, but the union disagrees.

"I think it is an unreasonable request when we have conceded and given the city everything that they have asked for minus this," Terry Quisenberry of the Lawton Police Union said.

Quisenberry said the union cannot back down on a change that will directly affect morale and the livelihood of their officers. 

"It is a financial burden to the membership so yeah it brings morale down," Quisenberry said.

It's on an issue the union said the city has not been able to provide information or evidence to support.

"It is not going to save any money, and they couldn't show that," Quisenberry said.

Quisenberry said that's when the city changed its reasoning saying it would increase public safety with more officers on the ground, which is another claim the union said is not supported by evidence.

"We have more boots on the ground during that peak time that they need it under the 10 hour shift," Quisenberry said. "They need to provide that information to be able to get us to sell it to our members. And at this point and time they have not done it."

The local union believes that the change could actually hamper officers' ability to effectively do their jobs, especially with the current vacancies.

"Under the 8 hour shift, I don't think you can meet the needs of the officers themselves without calling more people in," Quisenberry said.

It would also hurt their ability to attract and recruit quality applicants to fill the department's current openings.

"If you take a benefit away from a police department, especially one that has a low starting pay, then you are going to detract quality applicants," Quisenberry said.

Arbitration will only cost the city more money over a shift model that works.

"Right now, we have a perfect model that fits for the department, but they just want to change for the sake of change," Quisenberry said. "If you have not valid reason to do it, change for the sake of change is always a negative change."

The city wants the contract to read that they are able to change the department's shift at any time, and the union wants it to stay the same until next year's contract. We reached out to the city manager's office and they did not want to provide a comment. The arbitration hearing is scheduled for Dec. 16.

 

 

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • SkyWARN 7 Forecast

    SkyWARN 7 Forecast

    Thursday, April 17 2014 4:38 AM EDT2014-04-17 08:38:07 GMT
    What a nice end to the work week with sunshine, south winds and temperatures ranging through the 70s and even some low 80s out near the Texas panhandle.  For this evening expect temperatures to fall through
    A Cold Front Brings a Chance for Showers Today. 
  • Sideswiped car slams into U-Haul truck

    Sideswiped car slams into U-Haul truck

    Thursday, April 17 2014 12:12 AM EDT2014-04-17 04:12:34 GMT
    LAWTON, Okla._ A car slammed into a parked U-Haul truck in Lawton Wednesday after being sideswiped by another car changing lanes.  Police said the driver of an SUV was changing lanes at the corner of
    A car slammed into a parked U-Haul truck in Lawton Wednesday after being sideswiped by another car changing lanes.
  • Man arrested in Lawton in connection with twisted murder plot

    Man arrested in Lawton in connection with twisted murder plot

    Thursday, April 17 2014 12:07 AM EDT2014-04-17 04:07:05 GMT
    LAWTON, Okla._ A man who is charged with first-degree murder in connection with the burning death of a Blanchard man back in January was arrested in Lawton Wednesday evening. LPD officers, along with
    A man who is charged with first-degree murder in connection with the burning death of a Blanchard man back in January was arrested in Lawton Wednesday evening.
Powered by WorldNow
KSWO-TV, 1401 SE 60th Street
Lawton, OK 73501

Telephone: (580) 355-7000
Fax: (580) 357-3811
Email: news@kswo.com

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and KSWO. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.