"We have decided to extend the police contract three months from January 1 to March 31," said Martin Brubaker, Hagerstown City Council.
Negotiations between the city and officers have been ongoing for months. We spoke to negotiators from the police union who say they proposed two "fair" and "viable" options, but both were rejected by the City.
The police union says for the past five years officers haven't gotten any step increases.
Detective Tammy Jurado is on the negotiating team for the police union and said, "Our concern is that without the pay steps being reinstated we will continue to lose qualified officers to other agencies that have more competitive salaries."
In fact Detective Jurado told WHAG two more officers resigned this past week.
The city says they want to retain experienced officers, but they also have to keep the City's finances in mind.
The current revenue forecast shows a decrease in funds for the city. More specific numbers will be released in January.
Brubaker said, "We need to keep in mind the needs of the employees, the need to retain police officers, the need to maintain valuable firemen with experience balanced against the budget."
In the meantime, officers say they'll continue to protect and serve.
"We're out there regardless of the fact that we don't have a contract and that our steps have been frozen for almost five years now," said Jurado. "We go out every single day and still do the job, and do it effectively."
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