Mayor & City Commission Approve Two-Year Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Contract; Includes Competitive Wage Increases

COVINGTON, KY – Tuesday evening, the Mayor and City Commission approved a two-year Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Lodge #1 contract for calendar years 2016 and 2017. Contract adjustments include annual wage increases, adding a competitive edge to the City’s continued efforts to recruit and retain the highest quality of police officers.

Prior to the Board of Commissioners’ approval, FOP membership overwhelmingly agreed to contract terms and conditions concerning hours, wages, working conditions and grievances of the members of the Covington Police Department last week.

As a result, starting pay for new police officers will be increased by more than 10 percent, from $36,279 per year to $41,000 per year retroactively to January 1, 2016, along with all other 2016 wage increases for other police officer ranks.

City Manager Larry Klein stated, “I believe the wage adjustments and other benefits within the contract are fair and reasonable for our Police Officers, citizens and taxpayers.    

“I cannot thank our negotiation team enough, led by NKU Professor of Management and Director of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Center Mike Carrell, City Solicitor/ Assistant City Manager Frank Warnock, Director of Finance & Operations Lisa Desmarais, Chief of Police Bryan Carter, Human Resources Director Jo Ann Simpson, Human Resources Manager Stacey Hoeter and Senior Accounting Manager Robert Hagedorn. 

"I also want to thank FOP Leadership, especially Sgt. Bryan Bogard, for making this contract agreement possible."  

The Covington Police Department and City Administration have worked closely to assess the wages of various Northern Kentucky Police Departments to determine competitive wage increases.

Chief of Police Bryan Carter stated, “I am pleased that FOP Lodge #1 came to a contract agreement with the City. I believe this contract reflects wages that are more comparable to neighboring police agencies, meaning the Covington Police Department can continue attracting and retaining the highest quality of employees.”

Other notable adjustments include the addition of the Referenced Based Pricing Health Plan option. The plan requires no employee premiums for the first six months. This allows employees the option to select the new plan or keep their current health plan option. City Administration anticipates the Reference Based Pricing Plan will save the City and employees money.

Also included in the contract, officers from other police agencies have the opportunity to apply for lateral entry into the Covington Police Department. This allows police officers with years of experience and completed training certification to transition into the Covington Police Department at their appropriate Grade Level.

For example, a police officer with a minimum of two years experience and who has completed certification requirements is able to begin his or her career with Covington Police Department as a Grade 2 Level Police Officer. This adjustment will assist in recruiting police officers with high levels of experience, knowledge and certification.

The FOP contract agreement follows additional improvements made this year, including the purchase of 32 new police vehicles this summer, over $500,000 in state-of-the-art body camera technology, and the authorization of four new police officer positions last winter, as well as a new civilian Computer Forensic Analyst position.

Mayor Sherry Carran stated, “The Board of Commissioners and our City Management Team are pleased to support this contract as it is not only good for our Police Department but for our City as whole. We look forward to continuing our efforts in recruiting and retaining high level police officers to Covington’s exemplary Police Department.”