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Mayor Of Martinez Responds To Police Officer Association Letter

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Response to MPOA Letter from the Mayor’s Office:

MARTINEZ – The Martinez Police Officers Association (MPOA) recently released a post on Twitter and Facebook, as well as a letter to East County Today, expressing their concerns with the Martinez Police Department’s ability to recruit and retain officers given their current compensation. The MPOA asserts in this statement that the City is not responding to their request for an immediate salary increase, and thus is prioritizing other community issues and projects over the public’s safety. The following is provided in an effort to convey additional pertinent information to the community on this important topic and illustrate that the City is making every effort to be responsive to MPOA’s request within the confines of state law.

Last Thursday, March 22nd, management staff, on behalf of the City Council, informed the MPOA that the Council recognizes and shares the MPOA’s strong concerns regarding recruitment and retention. The safety of Martinez residents and business owners is of the highest priority for the City Council and, even though the City’s current contract with MPOA is closed and does not expire until June 30, 2019, the City expressed its willingness to discuss a salary increase with MPOA. However, any actions taken to address the concerns of the MPOA must take into consideration the impact on the City’s overall budget, including other City services and employees. Additionally, in order to effectuate any change in their compensation, it is necessary to engage in the legal meet and confer process as outlined by the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act (MMBA) in the California Government Code. Last Thursday, the City attempted to initiate that meet and confer process with MPOA in accordance with the MMBA, but they declined to open the relevant sections of their contract.

It is my hope, as well as that of the City Council, that all parties return to the table to discuss more viable options for police officer compensation that will improve the department’s ability to attract and retain officers in a fiscally responsible manner.

Rob Schroder, Mayor

8 COMMENTS

  1. Martinez, as most cities here in CCC, are heading the way of Detroit and Flint, Michigan. They too have underpaid and understaffed police, then went as far as getting voters to approve a special bond, only to have city council divert the money. Watch the series “Flint” on Netflix and tell me it’s not so!!

  2. I was hoping no one would mention Flint. I never thought we’d be headed in that direction but now I’m not so sure. Maybe when our water comes out brown and so polluted you can light it we’ll get some action. But then – it was too late, right?

  3. They’re understaffed, but police officers in CA aren’t underpaid. They were years ago. If you’re making 100K plus without an undergraduate or graduate degree, you’re not underpaid. Also – police officers are in a helping profession. If you’re in a helping profession (teachers, nurses, social workers, police officers, etc.) for the money, you’re in the WRONG profession.

  4. Bonds are not meant for day to day expenses. Bonds are for capital improvements. We are at this juncture because of long term neglect by city officials in dealing with normal and regular expenses. Another example is the street maintenance issue. If attention was given spending the regular and predictable property tax money over the long haul, we would not be so far behind. Even a bond for police services is only a temporary fix. We need leadership at City Hall. There has been plenty of time to demonstrate this by the Mayor and council. Going through so many City managers was not helpful.And I am convinced that we need term limits for the Office of Mayor. Why not start there!

  5. About 20 years ago we had a policeman that was a Richmond police officer came to work for the City of Martinez. He was a motorcycle policeman while working for the City of Martinez. Very fine guy and
    and he knew his job. Very well liked by all of us. After two years or so he decided to go back to the Richmond P.D. Why???? “Not enough action here” He gave up a job that didn’t put his life on the line
    To go back to a “Hell hole” like Richmond. We never could understand that. Money is not EVERYTHING!!! Rather work for a few dollars less than put my life on the line.

    • @Charlie – We have family who are first responders and we’ve heard this very thing from them. You train for a long time and you want to be able to put that training to good use. It’s a tough and demanding job.

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