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New police labor deal announced

LAWTON, Okla._Following months of contract talks between the city of Lawton and the police union, they've come to an agreement on a new labor deal.

The council voted Tuesday in favor of increasing starting officer pay from just over $31,000 to $36,545.The new contract also includes a one-time, $2,500 longevity benefit to be paid to current officers. The two sides have been negotiating since March on a new deal, to replace the contract that expired July 1. They've been operating under the terms of the previous deal since then.

"I think it is wonderful and I hope the police officers are happy with it, we did the best we could for them.”

The city of Lawton announced a new contract agreement with the firefighters union in late November that increased the department's starting salary to roughly $36,500. The fire department contract, however, is for two years.

Also Tuesday, the city council approved the retirement of a police K9 officer.  Chief James Smith said the department will soon get three more K9's. Chief Smith said the dogs will complete their training in February, and then will be assigned to their officers shortly after that.  He said two of the K9's will be multi-purpose, while the other will focus solely on illegal drug detection.

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