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City, police union open labor talks

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) -Negotiations are underway between the City of Lawton and the police union on a labor contract that would go into effect in July.

The police union said Thursday's meeting was just the first of many. They are hoping the City will adopt a pay scale similar to the one used by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

Brian Shotts, first vice president of the Lawton Police Union, said the pay for state troopers is about mid-level in comparison to other law enforcement agencies in the state.

"We think going to a pay scale like that will allow us to get a lot of those people that are applying at other agencies here, as well as keeping some of our four-, five-, or six-year officers from going to those agencies because of pay," Shotts said.

Shotts says the increase in pay would help the chief and the City with recruiting and retention of current officers, which would in turn benefit the City as a whole.

"The more officers we have on the street, the more visible we are, the more we can deter crime, as well as catch it as it is happening," said Shotts.

Assistant City Manager Jim Russell declined to give a statement saying the city doesn't comment during the negotiation process.

Copyright 2016 KSWO. All rights reserved.

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