Lodge 117's president, Michelle Milne, appeared during the Community Forum at Monday night's Mayor and Council meeting, expressing concern that she might not have an opportunity to speak tonight.
Milne said officers are particularly concerned about two issues. First, the city does not offer a salary step scale, making it difficult for officers to forecast their income, she said. A corporal assigned to the department's Criminal Investigations Unit, Milne said that shortcoming is "unheard of in a department in this area."
Noting that the physical demands of police work limit the productive earning years an officer can serve, Milne said, "I might be able to work for 25-30 years, and that’s kind of pushing it. I can’t get into a foot pursuit at 55 or 60." She argued that the department will have a hard time attracting and retaining officers without a step scale, like "all of the other departments around us are getting."
Another area of dispute is in-grade seniority. Milne, who said she has been with the department nearly a decade, said that the city's current system can leave officers with varying lengths of service time making similar salaries.
Mayor Bridget Donnell Newton instructed city staff to add a Community Forum to the agenda for tonight's meeting, which will allow anyone to address the Mayor and Council. Call 240-314-8280 by 4:00 PM today, or use the sign-up sheet before the start of the meeting.