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New police contract includes pay raises, education benefits

Posted by Johanna Seltz  October 6, 2010 03:08 PM

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Dedham selectmen have approved a contract with the police patrolmen’s union that gives 1 percent pay raises for the last two fiscal years and a 2 percent raise for fiscal 2012.

The contract also fully funds current officers’ Quinn Bill compensation and provides a plan for a town-funded educational incentive program for future police officers.

Since 1970, the Quinn Bill has paid substantial bonuses to police officers who go back to school for degrees in law enforcement and criminal justice. The state had split the cost with communities, but last year cut its share to about 10 percent.

Several police unions have taken municipalities to court to get the full amount of Quinn Bill benefits.

“The board believes strongly in a well-educated and appropriately compensated force, and is committed to fully funding the Quinn Bill incentive that the state cut,” said Sarah MacDonald, chairwoman of the Board of Selectmen, which voted on the contract Monday night.

“Beyond that, we are pleased to have worked with the union to define an incentive program for new officers that we believe will help us continue to attract the high quality candidates we seek. ... We are happy to have signed [a contract] that both recognizes the town’s current financial position and allows us to maintain the highly qualified police force we have,” she said.

The 54-person Dedham Police Department has 40 patrolmen and detectives. The department’s new chief, Michael D’Entremont, will be officially sworn in tonight in a ceremony at the Dedham Middle School.

D’Entremont, whose appointment was unanimously approved by selectmen last month, replaced Michael Weir, who retired after four years in the job. Weir, 59, suffered a heart attack and had been on sick leave since January.

The new chief picked Lieutenant Robert Nedder to fill his old position as executive officer of the department.

D’Entremont also promoted Mark Black to lieutenant and Francis McMillan to sergeant. McMillan will assume Nedder’s role as the department’s prosecutor.

Johanna Seltz can be reached at seelenfam@verizon.net.

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